Will there ever be another World War?

Yopaz

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Jun 3, 2009
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thaluikhain said:
Yopaz said:
They're better in many aspects, but I also see us moving towards oppression on a more subtle level. We're being held under surveillance with the excuse that they're preventing terrorism (hint: it's not working at all). Things aren't bad, but we're slowly getting there. Hopefully things won't so bad that a civil war will break out.
True, but we used to be held under surveillance to prevent communism. Before that, nazism (to an extent). Before that, Irish terrorism (to an extent).
Yeah, but their methods are becoming more advanced to counter any measures of avoiding it. Anything we try to hide is exposed sooner or later. With lowering crime rates we are still treated like possible criminals. We've never had it better than we do now, but I suspect we'll react more strongly when freedom is taken away than when we've never had any to speak of at all.
 

Mobax

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Kolby Jack said:
Nah. World War 2 left an unignorable, unforgettable, horrific impact on the world, and it was followed by the Cold War, in which multiple generations of people lived through constant threats of total annihilation. Then comes the information age, where billions of people all over the world are suddenly able to talk to one another at a capacity which grows exponentially each day. It's easy to see today that the younger generations are already fed up with the bullshit still left over from wars past and want to move forward, forgive and forget. The two biggest points of tension are the Middle East with Iran and the Pacific with China and it's neighbors. Iran's oppressive regime is living on borrowed time, their military sucks and they have almost NO allies. China is economically tangled with the US to the point that neither really wants to do anything to each other, and their biggest ally, North Korea, is so backwards and insane that even China hates them at this point.

I'm not naive enough to say that we're on the fast track to world peace or that we're moving past violent conflict, because clearly we aren't. But huge, grandiose wars fueled by bigotry and propoganda with death tolls in the multiple millions aren't going to happen. Anyone who thinks so is just so cynical that they've become blind to the positive trends made by people in the modern world. And that's just sad.
1. Iran is not a regime on borrowed time, their newly elected president is much more moderate, and perhaps will open the way for a more productive relationship with the western world.
2. Iran has the 8th largest number of active soldiers in the world, and the 6th highest number of reservists. Granted they don't have the same level of tech and funding as the US or China, but their military definitely does not "suck"
3. Iran has support in the int'l community, it is a trading partner with China, India, Germany, South Korea, Japan, France, Russia and Italy. And Iran is also growing it's relations with South Africa, Turkey, and Pakistan. Plus it's a founding member of OPEC. So Iran is a pretty serious player on the world's stage, and to say they have no allies is ignorant at best.

Back to the topic at hand, without a doubt there will unfortunately be another world war. Whether or not humanity at the time will call it WW3 remains to be seen, but looking back at human history, war is inevitable. One could already argue that WW2 was in fact WW5 or WW6, Roman conquest of the known world, from Ethiopia to Northern England. They fought countless peoples over decades of fighting. The Napoleonic wars is certainly a world war. With fighting all through out Europe, fighting in North America and other colonies around the world, as well as the seven seas. It was definitely a world war.

So yes OP, given that you don't give an end time limit for your question, there will be another world war. Will it be in your or my lifetime? Hopefully not, but I figure I have another 60-70 years left, and that is too long to say there won't be. WW2 only ended 68 years ago. So between now and the end of the world, there will be another great war, a war to end all wars. Einstein may well be right that WW4 will be fought with sticks and stones, and maybe that's not a bad thing for a people like us.
 

Andy of Comix Inc

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There will be a World War III.

It will be fought by very small robots.

It will be our job to build and maintain those robots.
 

Thaluikhain

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Mobax said:
2. Iran has the 8th largest number of active soldiers in the world, and the 6th highest number of reservists. Granted they don't have the same level of tech and funding as the US or China, but their military definitely does not "suck"
They aren't very impressive in the vital field of force projection, though.

Mobax said:
Einstein may well be right that WW4 will be fought with sticks and stones, and maybe that's not a bad thing for a people like us.
Nah, he was making a point, not being literally true. WW3 would set back civilisation back quite a bit, sure, but we lose the ability to fight world wars long before we are reduce to stick and stones.
 

Mobax

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thaluikhain said:
Mobax said:
2. Iran has the 8th largest number of active soldiers in the world, and the 6th highest number of reservists. Granted they don't have the same level of tech and funding as the US or China, but their military definitely does not "suck"
They aren't very impressive in the vital field of force projection, though.

Mobax said:
Einstein may well be right that WW4 will be fought with sticks and stones, and maybe that's not a bad thing for a people like us.
Nah, he was making a point, not being literally true. WW3 would set back civilisation back quite a bit, sure, but we lose the ability to fight world wars long before we are reduce to stick and stones.
True, but given that most other armed forces in the region are not any more impressive, and sheer numbers counts for a lot from a defensive perspective, they are not a nation to be easily trifled with.

When Einstein gave the quote, nuclear weapons were a new technology, there was a genuine fear that a war with the US and USSR on opposite sides would eventually culminate in the launch of nuclear missiles before either side would surrender. I believe was being literal, he truly believed that WW3 would use nuclear weapons, and it would be an apocalyptic event. While perhaps not literately using sticks and stones, any war which wipes out all major cities, centres for technology, industrial production, and would kill 100's of millions, possible billions of people, would definitely cast humanity back to a primitive age. The radiation would not allow survivors to simply rebuild devastated areas immediately. In a world where small pockets of people are cut of from each other, no internet, no cellular networks, no complete highway networks, no oil refineries for fueling cars, buses, planes, airports destroyed, the isolation is a major factor. Supplies would dwindle without the means to reproduce them, tanks would run out of gas, there wouldn't be a steady supply of bullets for assault weapons. While perhaps not literately sticks and stones, swords and axes would be coming back as primary weapons, bows and arrows. I think that is the sort of devastation Einstein feared when he made his famous quote.
 

Kolby Jack

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Apr 29, 2011
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Mobax said:
Kolby Jack said:
Nah. World War 2 left an unignorable, unforgettable, horrific impact on the world, and it was followed by the Cold War, in which multiple generations of people lived through constant threats of total annihilation. Then comes the information age, where billions of people all over the world are suddenly able to talk to one another at a capacity which grows exponentially each day. It's easy to see today that the younger generations are already fed up with the bullshit still left over from wars past and want to move forward, forgive and forget. The two biggest points of tension are the Middle East with Iran and the Pacific with China and it's neighbors. Iran's oppressive regime is living on borrowed time, their military sucks and they have almost NO allies. China is economically tangled with the US to the point that neither really wants to do anything to each other, and their biggest ally, North Korea, is so backwards and insane that even China hates them at this point.

I'm not naive enough to say that we're on the fast track to world peace or that we're moving past violent conflict, because clearly we aren't. But huge, grandiose wars fueled by bigotry and propoganda with death tolls in the multiple millions aren't going to happen. Anyone who thinks so is just so cynical that they've become blind to the positive trends made by people in the modern world. And that's just sad.
1. Iran is not a regime on borrowed time, their newly elected president is much more moderate, and perhaps will open the way for a more productive relationship with the western world.
2. Iran has the 8th largest number of active soldiers in the world, and the 6th highest number of reservists. Granted they don't have the same level of tech and funding as the US or China, but their military definitely does not "suck"
3. Iran has support in the int'l community, it is a trading partner with China, India, Germany, South Korea, Japan, France, Russia and Italy. And Iran is also growing it's relations with South Africa, Turkey, and Pakistan. Plus it's a founding member of OPEC. So Iran is a pretty serious player on the world's stage, and to say they have no allies is ignorant at best.
1. The president has little real power. He's mostly just a public face, so yes, while the new president may be making some positive diplomatic strokes, he's not going to be able to actually change anything unless the Ayatollah allows him to, and the Ayatollah is the same guy who has been running things for decades.
2. Personnel numbers don't really mean jack without resources to provide them with. Iran's military is woefully out of date in almost every respect. The US alone would absolutely crush them on both sea and in the air, and Israel at least would crush them in the air making a ground war kind of pointless.
3. Iran has some support in the form of sales of weapons, but China and Russia aren't stupid. They are under NO obligation to help defend Iran, especially if they make the first move. As for the rest of those, Some of those are NATO countries, and the others are far bigger friends of the US than they ever will be of Iran.
 

Pseudoboss

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Will it? Yes, eventually we're going to have enough stupidity (or genious) in one place that it's inevitable.
When? That's a different story. It might be tomorrow, there are certainly slights that some countries can do that would set the US into a murder frenzy today. It might happen a decade from now, or even later. At some point someone's going to get pissed enough to flip a table and shit will go down.
How? That's even harder to decide, it could be because of the economy, it could be because of a brilliant speaker capable of laying spectacular amounts of blame. It might be because of a digital error, corporate manipulation, deciding who owns a portion of the moon or a specific asteroid for all we know.
 

Thaluikhain

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Mobax said:
When Einstein gave the quote, nuclear weapons were a new technology, there was a genuine fear that a war with the US and USSR on opposite sides would eventually culminate in the launch of nuclear missiles before either side would surrender. I believe was being literal, he truly believed that WW3 would use nuclear weapons, and it would be an apocalyptic event. While perhaps not literately using sticks and stones, any war which wipes out all major cities, centres for technology, industrial production, and would kill 100's of millions, possible billions of people, would definitely cast humanity back to a primitive age. The radiation would not allow survivors to simply rebuild devastated areas immediately. In a world where small pockets of people are cut of from each other, no internet, no cellular networks, no complete highway networks, no oil refineries for fueling cars, buses, planes, airports destroyed, the isolation is a major factor. Supplies would dwindle without the means to reproduce them, tanks would run out of gas, there wouldn't be a steady supply of bullets for assault weapons. While perhaps not literately sticks and stones, swords and axes would be coming back as primary weapons, bows and arrows. I think that is the sort of devastation Einstein feared when he made his famous quote.
Firstly, a nuclear war may dial the clock back a few centuries, it'd not go that far back. You'd still have limited development in the areas affected, which wouldn't be everywhere.

Secondly, my point was, assuming that sort of regression, humans can't fight world wars anymore until they develop far beyond it again. If an axe is the cutting edge of military technology, you aren't able to fight people on the other side of the world.
 

Slayer_2

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With nuclear weapons, symmetrical warfare between two nuclear nations is very unlikely. It would almost certainly result in missiles being launched, and no one wants that, so it won't happen... hopefully. That being said, the majority of the population of the world is in third world counties that may not have nukes. So if several of those countries went against each other, it could be termed a world war without missiles being launched.
 

Thaluikhain

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Slayer_2 said:
That being said, the majority of the population of the world is in third world counties that may not have nukes. So if several of those countries went against each other, it could be termed a world war without missiles being launched.
That's a point, yeah, does a world war actually have to be between the mightiest powers of the day?

Though, generally those nations don't have much logistical capacity. Otherwise I guess you could call the recent Iraq war a world war, as nations all over the globe sent troops.
 

captainballsack

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I don't think there will be.

~Power of positive thinking~

(the tildes are meant to represent my arms going squiggly)

OT: I think so much time has passed since WW1/WW2 that any large scale war we do have will manifest entirely differently. I don't think we'll ever have a world war on the scale of those two (or at least with as many causalities), but I think we're definitely going to have some large conflicts occurring in the future.

I think what made WW1 and WW2 so big was the fact that both sides were relatively even (to an extent). I don't think we'll ever get that again, therefore I just don't think a war on that scale could exist in the current state of the world. Any conflicts the western world is brought into I think would be very one-sided. Still though, Rome went to shit - who knows what could happen?
 

Adventurer2626

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I think if there is, it will be the last gasp of the "old guard" of generals hankering for the glory days of explosions and bullet rain, not realizing that the game has changed and there are less bloody and more efficient ways of defeating adversaries. Once again, allies will get pulled into conflict by the rabid dogs they profess to support. There will be all the blood, carnage, human cost and monetary loss you would come to expect. Then most of the countries will just get sick of it. We'll have a global version of what to the U.S.A. with Vietnam. They'll be tired, broke, and bloodied with epically low political support from their people and just limp home. The few zealots left with the will to fight will kill each other off or get squashed by a concerted effort of the nations that just want it to stop. No one will have gained anything and everyone will have lost something. A few minor brushfires will pop up as they always do but there will be no more fuel to burn up and they will just fizzle out. Begrudgingly, all the surviving parties will put up with each other for the time being, until the balance is restored. Then when human ambition and powerlust rise again, they'll look back at the shit show that was WW3 and think "Well that didn't work. Let's try something else that's less costly to gain power and glory." National armies will evaporate and an ecosystem of small, private security forces will pop up to do government and business dirty work. Power struggles will be fought with web viruses and media propaganda. Information and coin will become the weapons of choice for those that seek planetary dominance.

Unless some dipshit pushes the big red button and scares everyone else into firing their nukes too because that's what our "Nuclear Warfare for Dummies" manual tells us to do. Nuke em faster and harder than you get. Good ol' human logic. ;)
 

teisjm

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I felt like i sortof got how born-after-ww2 people felt durring the cold war, a short while back when tension between USA and Russia went up over Snowden, Syria, Putins treatment of homosexuallity.
Both countries have the capacity to to anihilate the world as we know it, and seems to acts politically with a very cartman-ish Respect my Authoritah! attitude.
If the two went at each other, i don't think either side would give a shit about the rest of the world. They already proved that with the proxy wars, and a seemingly general apathy for anyone outside their countries as long as serves their own agenda.
Heck, they hardly seem care about the people they're supposed to lead inside their own countries.

As for the quote, i know it's no meant to be taken literally, but i find it stupid.
If military technology post WW3 is at a sticks and stones stage, theres not gonna be a world war.
 

Korolev

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No one can predict the future. As things are right now, it's extremely unlikely. There is the possibility of a mistake - for example, Russia or the US mistakenly thinking the other has launched when they haven't - but that's pretty rare and although tensions are high between Russia and the US, they aren't nearly as high as they were during the Cold War.

In the future, if other nations gain technological parity with the US, or if the US falls or becomes isolationist, or if the EU disintegrates or if some technology is found to negate nuclear weapons (or at least, convince leaders that a nuclear war would not result in annihilation) then there might be a WWIII. But looking at the current situation, that looks unlikely.

If there was a WWIII, it would be over resources that are essential to national survival. Any war between the major powers (US, Russia, China) would be disastrous for all involved and would pretty much guarantee national destruction - so for a war to break out between those powers, resources would have to be so scarce as to make national survival WITHOUT war impossible. They'll only go to war if they feel they have to - none of the nuclear powers want to really fight. They spend a lot of time ensuring that they don't fight each other.

Of course, WWIII may still occur if something bizarre occurs. No one can predict the future. 100 years from now, maybe there will be a new set of superpowers and those will go to war with each other. Maybe 100 years from now nuclear weapons are obsolete, which would really make things interesting. Who knows?
 

Thaluikhain

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teisjm said:
If the two went at each other, i don't think either side would give a shit about the rest of the world. They already proved that with the proxy wars, and a seemingly general apathy for anyone outside their countries as long as serves their own agenda.
During the Cold War, the Soviets had a doctrine of "Sharing the Pain". They'd target neutral and even allied nations with missiles, because after WW3 is over, they have suddenly become massively vulnerable to attack from nations previously only minor players, or that found it convenient to be allied to them.

They also had submarines that would stay out of WW3, surface a year later, launch spy satellites into orbit to find out what was building rebuilt and hit it again.

...

Cap is asking me a question in French. Great.
 

DSK-

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There will eventually be another so-called "World War". You can thank human ignorance for it. Remember the second invasion of Iraq? When I was in school and news of the invasion was heard one of my friends stated something along the lines of "Excellent. This will be a good war" to which I just looked at him in utter derision and exclaimed "There is no such thing as a 'good war'. Don't ever say such a thing again".

It's akin to a hot tap. If you get told not to touch hot water from a tap you won't take that to heart unless you actually put your hand under it and realise that it hurts and pull it away. The reason for the harshness of my reply was the fact that I had numerous family members in the armed forces in the 20th century; my adoptive grandfather was in the royal navy, and was present on quite a few horrific Russian convoy escorts, my German grandfather was at Stalingrad and was a POW until the end of the war, my great uncle was a merchant seaman who got torpedoed and sunk 3/4 times, my father and uncle were in the army, another uncle was in the navy and so on.

In a few generations' time the population will more inclined to be ignorant of such matters - and you can't really blame anyone for it, it's just human nature. Sure, such world-changing events will be recorded in history books and made common knowledge but they don't hit home. Until it's too late, of course :(.
 

Thaluikhain

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DSK- said:
There will eventually be another so-called "World War". You can thank human ignorance for it. Remember the second invasion of Iraq? When I was in school and news of the invasion was heard one of my friends stated something along the lines of "Excellent. This will be a good war" to which I just looked at him in utter derision and exclaimed "There is no such thing as a 'good war'. Don't ever say such a thing again".

It's akin to a hot tap. If you get told not to touch hot water from a tap you won't take that to heart unless you actually put your hand under it and realise that it hurts and pull it away. The reason for the harshness of my reply was the fact that I had numerous family members in the armed forces in the 20th century; my adoptive grandfather was in the royal navy, and was present on quite a few horrific Russian convoy escorts, my German grandfather was at Stalingrad and was a POW until the end of the war, my great uncle was a merchant seaman who got torpedoed and sunk 3/4 times, my father and uncle were in the army, another uncle was in the navy and so on.

In a few generations' time the population will more inclined to be ignorant of such matters - and you can't really blame anyone for it, it's just human nature. Sure, such world-changing events will be recorded in history books and made common knowledge but they don't hit home. Until it's too late, of course :(.
Sounds reasonably, yeah.

Already WW2 is becoming less of a thing that happened, and more of a thing that movies and games are made about, no more real than zombies.
 

6037084

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Of course there will be a WW3, let's be real human nature hasn't changed AT ALL for thousands of years.
All we need is someone who has enough balls or is crazy enough to do something stupid.
 

A BigCup of Tea

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ScorpionPrince said:
Kolby Jack said:
Nah. World War 2 left an unignorable, unforgettable, horrific impact on the world, and it was followed by the Cold War, in which multiple generations of people lived through constant threats of total annihilation. Then comes the information age, where billions of people all over the world are suddenly able to talk to one another at a capacity which grows exponentially each day. It's easy to see today that the younger generations are already fed up with the bullshit still left over from wars past and want to move forward, forgive and forget. The two biggest points of tension are the Middle East with Iran and the Pacific with China and it's neighbors. Iran's oppressive regime is living on borrowed time, their military sucks and they have almost NO allies. China is economically tangled with the US to the point that neither really wants to do anything to each other, and their biggest ally, North Korea, is so backwards and insane that even China hates them at this point.

I'm not naive enough to say that we're on the fast track to world peace or that we're moving past violent conflict, because clearly we aren't. But huge, grandiose wars fueled by bigotry and propoganda with death tolls in the multiple millions aren't going to happen. Anyone who thinks so is just so cynical that they've become blind to the positive trends made by people in the modern world. And that's just sad.
Wow, I couldn't agree more with what you said, that was very well worded. I'm curious though, do you think a civilisation can have advanced enough technology to prevent violent conflicts?
i am also in agreement with the above post but instead of wondering if we can have advanced tech to prevent violent conflicts i think advance tech will lead to conflicts
 

gh0ti

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I remember reading a book called 'Why the West rules - For Now', where the author dredges up a quote along the lines of "a major war is impossible due to the interconnectedness of global trade and infrastructure etc."

He appears to be using this to reinforce the view that WW3 is impossible, but turns it around by revealing that this quote - and the sentiment it embodies - was expressed in 1913.

Having said that, I concur with those who feel a conventional third world war is near-impossible. It really would be too expensive and nobody would benefit. As one example, losing a modern aircraft carrier in combat would be economically ruinous for most of the nations who have them and even the US would struggle to make good such losses. Furthermore, expanding our militaries is a far costlier and more complex operation than it was in the early twentieth century, when a soldier could get by with a bolt-action rifle and a couple of months of training.

Sad to say, but if things ever get that bad, the missiles will fly before major armies square up. In which case, I would hope not to survive.