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Offline xetho

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WW3 Inevitable
« on: 02/09/2006 07:08:06 »
Disclaimer: If semi-gibberish, apocolyptic, unscientific rants offend you, don't read this. (unless you intend to comment on it)
I don't intend for readers to support or agree with my views, if you see anything subversive (other than everything), please point it out.
If you have questions or comments, I'll appreciate them.

Due to the steadily increasing violence surrounding resources (1), as populations grow, world war 3 will most likely start in the next few generations. (most likely 250~400yrs; (1) most recently oil, and historically land)
In the future, competition for oil to fuel a countries infrastructure, is a likely cause. (as example, China vs. USA or North Korea) I might be wrong though, it could always be any MPE event large or small. (MPER=Military/Political/Economic/Religious) I think >purely< religious causes are less likely, despite the obvious.

We're currently living in a golden age of science and economic prosperity. The last time something like this happened, it was dubbed a renaissance. The last one ended for different reasons, but if another world war occurred, it would most certainly end ours. The point is, after a golden age, there's a dark age. (history likes to repeat itself) I imagine a kind of "1984" on a smaller scale, with little or no privacy or rights, as the most likely long term post apocolyptic scenario.

I think the odds of WW3 wiping mankind off the face of the earth is slim, and if 99% of people die, 60 million people would still be alive.
Thanks to our understanding of genetics, it wouldn't surprise me the least if the US has already prepared (to some scale) for adapting to a post apocolyptic earth. We know cockroaches are much less susceptible to radiation. I've heard that so much, it's become a cliche. Such a strategy is the only one that makes sense. Fallout shelters only offer a temporary way to escape the worst effects of a total nuclear disaster.

My solution to the problem is invent as fast as possible. If people can create better ways to use old resources, or alternatives to them entirely, maybe there'll be enough time to at least establish people on other planets. But, that's a long shot, and multiple planets would just reduce the consequences of a world war. If I could make the world 1% better technologically, maybe the next dark age could be 100 times less severe.
The other thing to note, is a severe drop in the entire worlds population, without anyone being directly responsible, would delay a world war.
Regardless of that, if an apocolypse is the scenario, it'd always be certain people that survive. The leaders of MPER groups (in that order) are more likely to survive than any regular person. They'd also be the ones most responsible for the final nail in the coffin.

--------
I was tempted to throw in a bunch of articles, or websites that support my reasoning, but it'd just put off people that don't want essays and/or this type of post.
Instead of references, for a laugh, search google for "imdb 1984" - apparently that movie (1984) was really exaggerated; the Muppets just took Manhattan that year.
"If I bet I was crazy; I'd probably win, with those odds"... I originally dreamt this up as an (imaginative) explanation for UFO/Alien sightings. But sadly, I left the best part out.


 

another_someone

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Re: WW3 Inevitable
« Reply #1 on: 02/09/2006 13:58:53 »
I think 250 ~ 400 yrs is grossly optimistic we are talking more like 10 ~ 40 years.

Firstly, just look at history there has never been a period where there was not at least one generation alive that did not remember their country being at war (by that, I don't mean a far off war where only a few soldiers died I am talking about where the ordinary civilian population was caught up in a war, or at least where the war had a significant civilian impact in some other way).  Even today, we see Iraq happening just as the generation that saw Vietnam are leaving the field of decision making to a generation of soldiers and politicians who have not had experience of the true price and limitations of war.

In many ways, apart from proxy wars (such as Vietnam, Korea, Angola), a true world war was only averted in the last 60 years by the policy of MAD.  With the removal of the USSR as the primary enemy to the NATO powers, the policy of MAD is now finished (at least for the time being).

It is wrong to say that there is no place in the world where MAD exists in the case of Taiwan, there is no doubt that the standoff between the USA and China does protect Taiwan, and prevent either side going to full blown war.  At present, China has not expressed any desire to exert significant influence in military matters in the Middle East, thus giving the USA no serious military opposition in that theatre.  The problem is that the Middle East is much closer, geographically, to China than to the USA; and it seems unlikely that the USA will be given free reign there indefinitely, but by the time China does decide to exert influence in the region, the USA will have become too used to considering that it has a God given right to having unopposed military influence in the region.

Africa, too, is an interesting arena.  Although Africa is at present considered politically and militarily less significant to the USA than the Middle East; China is nonetheless building significant financial, and thus political, influence in the region.  There will come a time when the USA will find the Chinese influence in Africa a threat to its own interests Africa cannot be dismissed as an irrelevant corner of the world.

We have at present very few people left in the world who remember the horrors of WWII, and even now they are having to relearn the lessons of Vietnam all over again in Iraq.  War is such a tempting option, for those who have not experienced it first hand and it is one that in the end will always be tried, and tried again.

As for the consequences of 90% of the world's human population being destroyed with the increasing level of mechanisation, there is not really any need to replace those humans with more humans, but rather just a continuation of the trend of replacing human labour with mechanical labour (increasingly, even with intelligent machines).



George
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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Re: WW3 Inevitable
« Reply #2 on: 02/09/2006 15:47:16 »
Whilst I agree that if current trends continue (notably population increase) the breakdown of our high level technical society seems to be inevitable although it must be borne in mind that most people nowadays still live at a much more basic level.

It is clear that a lot of the wasteful activities of western society will have to be changed.

I also do not believe that we will be able to stave off the results of the climate change that we have started with our use of fossil fuels and we will have to learn to live with the consequences, notably a gradual but large increase in sea level over the next few hundred years.  However the fossil record shows that regular changes like this are perfectly normal.

On the whole however I am optimistic because I believe that a species as resouceful and clever as mankind will be able eventually to overcome these problems and that there is a general acceptence that some standards of kindness and consideration for others must be achieved.

The biggest risk as always is fanatical extremism of any kind and this must be avoided it is far better to have a mix of local pragmatism and bumbling democracy and/or benign constitutional dictatorship according the individual country's preferences.

However I do believe it would be wise to seriously consider a general realignment of state boundaries and governments in many parts of the world on locally agreed ethnic grounds and do away with a lot of the artificial boundaries created by colonialism or conquest.  This could seriously reduce the risks of unpleasant civil wars in the future.  The separated states would then be free to associate into groups that they felt happy with under the overall governance of the United Nations.

Learn, create, test and tell
evolution rules in all things
God says so!
« Last Edit: 02/09/2006 15:49:46 by Soul Surfer »
 

Offline xetho

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Re: WW3 Inevitable
« Reply #3 on: 05/09/2006 20:49:12 »
I think modern weaponry is a significant deterrent to large scale war. That's why my time estimate was two to four centuries. People are aware that things get out of hand, and the loser can still inflict a lot of damage.

Countries aren't morally balanced, that is, people have to be mostly "good" or their society crumbles. Given that it's easier to kill than birth and raise children, I think most people alive today are at least 51% good natured. (50% would be a sociopath)
The people in charge can predict the outcome of their actions, day to day. I think that's where morality comes in. Morality prevents wars from starting constantly over trivial accidents and things because people have foresight.

What do you belive will happen during and after WWIII? (best or worse case scenario)
 

Offline bostjan

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Re: WW3 Inevitable
« Reply #4 on: 10/09/2006 02:29:49 »
If WWIII were to start tomorrow, the US would be wiped out, because we have managed to capture the worlds attention.  Thinking we are more powerful, they would try to defeat us first, then fight for superiority amongst themselves.  People may consider themselves 'good-natured,' but they are actually self-preserving beyond all other traits.  Self-preservation helps us survive as a species, ignoring the effects of nationalism and fanatisism, which can become so deeply held that they overcome the instinct of staying alive.

If there is to be a WWIII, it will take a new kind of warfare to get out of it- something worse than the chemical warfare of WWI and the nuclear warfare of WWII.

Just my conjecture, though.
 

another_someone

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Re: WW3 Inevitable
« Reply #5 on: 10/09/2006 03:02:10 »
I think morality has little to do with it, but pragmatism does have much to do with it.  You are right that people do not start wars that they think they are going to lose, which is why serious wars only start when countries misjudge the strength (or at least, the strength of resolve) of their opponent.  Wars usually happen when the established dominant power is on the wane, and while they are used to being able to act without serious opposition, but then takes on an opponent that proves to be a tougher opponent than they were anticipating.

What is clear is that the rising power in the world in China, and that sooner or later, the USA will take on an opponent that has the support of the Chinese, thinking it has taken on a manageable opponent, only to find that it is faced with a greater opponent than it has anticipated.

The Chinese will not have any desire to invade, or destroy, the USA; but such a war could easily bankrupt the USA, as it finds itself ever less able to find the funds to sustain such a war.

It is unlikely that such a war would quickly turn nuclear (despite George Bush's assertion that he is now willing to consider first use of nuclear weapons).  The only real likelihood of the war turning nuclear is if one or other party in the war sees itself as being on the verge of absolute defeat.

Ofcourse, the nuclear option is only viable if one has a clearly defined geographic territory against which to use such a weapon; and if your opponent is not tied to a particular geographic area (as is the case with 'international terrorists'), then one has no target against which one could use such wide area strategic weapons.

In reality, it is more likely that wide area destructive weapons will not be so relevant in future wars, but ever more it will be a war between machines, such a drones and terrestrial robots.  These are already being increasingly used by countries such as the USA and Israel, but even groups such as Hezboula are learning to develop these tools of war (other groups that have not yet developed these tools are still having to make expensive use of humans, such as suicide bombers, which perform the same task as a guided missile, but using humans because of the lack of robotic substitute).  There is no doubt that the Chinese will very easily develop such technologies as they continue to expand their technology base as ever more Western technology is experted to China.



George
 

Offline xetho

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Re: WW3 Inevitable
« Reply #6 on: 17/09/2006 15:31:03 »
Countries don't need robots; ultimately they're just propaganda.
"We're humanitarians, we have the robots kill."
"The army is a cool game, join and play."

Pragmatism is, "people will always be cheaper". Robots will never become more versatile than soldiers.
Espionage, snipers, landmines are supposed to reduce the loss of life. Robots will fall into that group, they're a terror weapon, and will become another black sheep of war.
Nothing about military robotics R&D makes sense, the stuff you hear never adds up to "no soldier required".

quote:
...if your opponent is not tied to a particular geographic area, as is the case with 'international terrorists'. Then one has no target against which one could use wide area strategic weapons.

Here's a great catch phrase, "one-national terrorists"... It's a big stretch of the imagination, but picture the middle east as a big wasteland. If there is an easy way to make it flatter without destroying the oil, someone will do it.
Terrorists always have cultures, ideals and messages. If they don't have all three, there's nothing to make them recognized as "terrorists" by the people they terrorize. Whatever they're called, it's just one of many valid strategies for fighting superior forces.

Weapons of mass destruction are the thought in the back of everyones mind. At what point that solution becomes acceptable, depends on who's thinking.

quote:
...[Robotics] are already being increasingly used by countries such as the USA and Israel, but even groups such as Hezboula are learning to develop these tools of war.
Other groups that have not yet developed [robotics] are still having to make expensive use of humans, such as suicide bombers, which perform the same task as a guided missile, but using humans because of the lack of robotic substitute.

Expensive use of humans? In one way or another, people are born "free".
Japan has the edge in humanoid robotics. They could build a very compact secret army and conquer the world by surprise if they wanted.
They don't fight as much as the US, despite their "cost" being lower and their potential gains greater. (Pearl Harbor 2.0? ~ I hate myself for saying that; I'd welcome my Japanese robot overlords)

There are plenty of effective strategies that don't involve advanced tools.
 

another_someone

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Re: WW3 Inevitable
« Reply #7 on: 17/09/2006 20:37:29 »
quote:
Originally posted by xetho
Pragmatism is, "people will always be cheaper". Robots will never become more versatile than soldiers.
Espionage, snipers, landmines are supposed to reduce the loss of life. Robots will fall into that group, they're a terror weapon, and will become another black sheep of war.
Nothing about military robotics R&D makes sense, the stuff you hear never adds up to "no soldier required".



Sorry, I think you have a very different idea of a robot to that which I have.  You are thinking about something like an android something that completely mimics a human being.  In that context you are correct.

What I am talking about are very specialised robots that do not look or behave anything like humans, but do the job required of them (just look at the way robots have replaced the vast majority of humans on the production lines, and they do the job cheaper, and more reliably, than humans; but they only do the narrow job they were built to do).  Robots include anything from land mines to cruise missiles to drones to bomb disposal robots to fire and forget missiles.  All of these are specialised robots used by the military today, and the roles that robots  play in warfare (as in industry) continues to expand and become ever more sophisticated.

quote:

Weapons of mass destruction are the thought in the back of everyones mind. At what point that solution becomes acceptable, depends on who's thinking.



Whether the solution ever becomes acceptable must first depend upon whether it is even a solution (or, more accurately, whether is is ever perceived as a solution since there are many cases where things are done in warfare that are perceived as a solution, even when their true effect is actually quite the converse).

As I said, the only way a weapon of mass destruction becomes a solution is when there is a mass target against which it can be used.  Ofcourse, there are times when one can imagine a target to be larger than it is (i.e. assign collective responsibility for an act to a large group of people even when most of those people not only had nothing to do with the act, but themselves might abhor the act).  The point is that in such cases, it may be the case that such a weapon might be launched, but it would serve no purpose against a diffuse target that has no central Achilles' heal of a size suitable for a WMD to hit.

quote:

Expensive use of humans? In one way or another, people are born "free".



Nothing is ever free.  Ask a woman who has given 9 months of her life to labour if the child she carries is free.  That child has cost her 9 months, and will cost her (and others who take on the role of rearing that child) a good deal more yet in the years to come, until the child is old enough to contribute to the society that has brought him/her up.

By comparison, a robot can be built in a few days.

quote:

Japan has the edge in humanoid robotics. They could build a very compact secret army and conquer the world by surprise if they wanted.



But again, you are referring to 'humanoid' robots I never introduced, nor intended to introduce, the concept of 'humanoid'.





George
 

Offline xetho

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Re: WW3 Inevitable
« Reply #8 on: 17/09/2006 15:31:03 »
Countries don't need robots; ultimately they're just propaganda.
"We're humanitarians, we have the robots kill."
"The army is a cool game, join and play."

Pragmatism is, "people will always be cheaper". Robots will never become more versatile than soldiers.
Espionage, snipers, landmines are supposed to reduce the loss of life. Robots will fall into that group, they're a terror weapon, and will become another black sheep of war.
Nothing about military robotics R&D makes sense, the stuff you hear never adds up to "no soldier required".

quote:
...if your opponent is not tied to a particular geographic area, as is the case with 'international terrorists'. Then one has no target against which one could use wide area strategic weapons.

Here's a great catch phrase, "one-national terrorists"... It's a big stretch of the imagination, but picture the middle east as a big wasteland. If there is an easy way to make it flatter without destroying the oil, someone will do it.
Terrorists always have cultures, ideals and messages. If they don't have all three, there's nothing to make them recognized as "terrorists" by the people they terrorize. Whatever they're called, it's just one of many valid strategies for fighting superior forces.

Weapons of mass destruction are the thought in the back of everyones mind. At what point that solution becomes acceptable, depends on who's thinking.

quote:
...[Robotics] are already being increasingly used by countries such as the USA and Israel, but even groups such as Hezboula are learning to develop these tools of war.
Other groups that have not yet developed [robotics] are still having to make expensive use of humans, such as suicide bombers, which perform the same task as a guided missile, but using humans because of the lack of robotic substitute.

Expensive use of humans? In one way or another, people are born "free".
Japan has the edge in humanoid robotics. They could build a very compact secret army and conquer the world by surprise if they wanted.
They don't fight as much as the US, despite their "cost" being lower and their potential gains greater. (Pearl Harbor 2.0? ~ I hate myself for saying that; I'd welcome my Japanese robot overlords)

There are plenty of effective strategies that don't involve advanced tools.
 

another_someone

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Re: WW3 Inevitable
« Reply #9 on: 17/09/2006 20:37:29 »
quote:
Originally posted by xetho
Pragmatism is, "people will always be cheaper". Robots will never become more versatile than soldiers.
Espionage, snipers, landmines are supposed to reduce the loss of life. Robots will fall into that group, they're a terror weapon, and will become another black sheep of war.
Nothing about military robotics R&D makes sense, the stuff you hear never adds up to "no soldier required".



Sorry, I think you have a very different idea of a robot to that which I have.  You are thinking about something like an android something that completely mimics a human being.  In that context you are correct.

What I am talking about are very specialised robots that do not look or behave anything like humans, but do the job required of them (just look at the way robots have replaced the vast majority of humans on the production lines, and they do the job cheaper, and more reliably, than humans; but they only do the narrow job they were built to do).  Robots include anything from land mines to cruise missiles to drones to bomb disposal robots to fire and forget missiles.  All of these are specialised robots used by the military today, and the roles that robots  play in warfare (as in industry) continues to expand and become ever more sophisticated.

quote:

Weapons of mass destruction are the thought in the back of everyones mind. At what point that solution becomes acceptable, depends on who's thinking.



Whether the solution ever becomes acceptable must first depend upon whether it is even a solution (or, more accurately, whether is is ever perceived as a solution since there are many cases where things are done in warfare that are perceived as a solution, even when their true effect is actually quite the converse).

As I said, the only way a weapon of mass destruction becomes a solution is when there is a mass target against which it can be used.  Ofcourse, there are times when one can imagine a target to be larger than it is (i.e. assign collective responsibility for an act to a large group of people even when most of those people not only had nothing to do with the act, but themselves might abhor the act).  The point is that in such cases, it may be the case that such a weapon might be launched, but it would serve no purpose against a diffuse target that has no central Achilles' heal of a size suitable for a WMD to hit.

quote:

Expensive use of humans? In one way or another, people are born "free".



Nothing is ever free.  Ask a woman who has given 9 months of her life to labour if the child she carries is free.  That child has cost her 9 months, and will cost her (and others who take on the role of rearing that child) a good deal more yet in the years to come, until the child is old enough to contribute to the society that has brought him/her up.

By comparison, a robot can be built in a few days.

quote:

Japan has the edge in humanoid robotics. They could build a very compact secret army and conquer the world by surprise if they wanted.



But again, you are referring to 'humanoid' robots I never introduced, nor intended to introduce, the concept of 'humanoid'.





George
 

Offline xetho

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Re: WW3 Inevitable
« Reply #10 on: 10/10/2006 00:36:12 »
Yeah sorry, the man-less machine was stuff was just me ranting.
The future mechanized warfare and robotics you talked about will definately work. I know I already said it before, but I think a versatile robotic army from Japan is probably being developed, as a secret weapon if nothing else.

The reason I posted again, is because I thought of something new to add about the nearer future.

Invading other countries that have nuclear arsenals isn't going to happen in the open, conquering one of those nations directly would be impossible without a lot of consequences.
Anyway, I've been wondering how nations will still wage war without invading each other. I think the fighting will happen in the undefended parts of the world, like the Middle East, Africa, Central America, South America, later on in polar regions and oceans. Probably provoked by competition for resources and not so much for the land.

It's kinda stating the obvious in a lot of ways, but I don't think I've heard anybody else say it yet.
 

another_someone

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Re: WW3 Inevitable
« Reply #11 on: 11/10/2006 21:38:07 »
quote:
Originally posted by xetho
Invading other countries that have nuclear arsenals isn't going to happen in the open, conquering one of those nations directly would be impossible without a lot of consequences.
Anyway, I've been wondering how nations will still wage war without invading each other. I think the fighting will happen in the undefended parts of the world, like the Middle East, Africa, Central America, South America, later on in polar regions and oceans. Probably provoked by competition for resources and not so much for the land.



Land has only ever been an issue insofar as it contains resources (including population, where population was considered a resource).

It has to be said that not every war was won with an invasion.  WWI ended with Germany's surrender, but not its occupation (something was was different after WWII).

The main objective of war is to force the capitulation and subservience of the enemy.  In general, invasion is not even desirable (just look at all the problems the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan has brought with it).

The advent of nuclear weapons in a way is like the invention of the castle, it shifts the balance of power from the offensive to the defensive.  Like the invention of the castle, it will change warfare from the blitzkrieg that was so prevalent since WWII, more towards siege warfare, where countries will be blockaded and starved into submission rather than directly invaded.

As you say, those countries that lack nuclear weapons will still be vulnerable to direct attack, and just as in the middle ages the Kings would pass edicts prohibiting their noblemen from building castles without the authority of the King, so too the great powers will try and prevent lesser powers from acquiring nuclear weapons, with mixed results.



George
 

Offline roarer

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Re: WW3 Inevitable
« Reply #12 on: 12/10/2006 03:21:54 »
For another substantial war to occur (as similiar to World WarOne and Two) today..there would have to be two EQUAL  countries in economic, militiary,and political might  which do not see eye to eye...The only countries in this category in existance today...is the USA...and the WHOLE of Europe. And under any analyses...these two are not going to war against each other. Perhaps an economic war...yes??? Years ago...it was the TWO super powers...the USA and the Soviet Union. But now with the collapse of Communism....the ONLY country with this might is the USA. North Korea.....is nowhere near that might of the USA. Should militiary action be taken against North Korea....it would not be the ONLY the USA against it....there would be, I am assuming, a United Nations action which will comprise of many nations.
As to the war WITH/OR ON terrorism...it is not in reality a  militiary war.....but a political one.
 

another_someone

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Re: WW3 Inevitable
« Reply #13 on: 12/10/2006 03:51:40 »
quote:
Originally posted by roarer

For another substantial war to occur (as similiar to World WarOne and Two) today..there would have to be two EQUAL  countries in economic, militiary,and political might  which do not see eye to eye...The only countries in this category in existance today...is the USA...and the WHOLE of Europe. And under any analyses...these two are not going to war against each other. Perhaps an economic war...yes??? Years ago...it was the TWO super powers...the USA and the Soviet Union. But now with the collapse of Communism....the ONLY country with this might is the USA. North Korea.....is nowhere near that might of the USA. Should militiary action be taken against North Korea....it would not be the ONLY the USA against it....there would be, I am assuming, a United Nations action which will comprise of many nations.
As to the war WITH/OR ON terrorism...it is not in reality a  militiary war.....but a political one.



You have overlooked a very important world player, a player that is increasing both in economic and political power, and for the first time is sending troops on a UN mission (to south Lebanon where is it one of the largest contingents), and that country is China.

It is still conceivable that the Russian Federation might yet come head to head with the USA, but in reality the Russian Federation does not have the economic capacity to sustain a long conflict with the USA, and does not look like it will gain that economic capability any time in the near future.



George
 

Offline roarer

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Re: WW3 Inevitable
« Reply #14 on: 13/10/2006 02:13:08 »
AS...when I compared two world ECONOMIC and MILITIARY powers I referred to the USA and the whole of Europe. Both have a CAPITALIST system.In my view that system and their political system...are INTERTWINED. They cannot be separated. You shall never see a substantial war (meaning a world war)between TWO CAPITALIST systems.
China presently is a CAPITALIST system. China would be a player perhaps in starting a world war...should it revert to Communism (as previous). However I cannot see that occuring.
And that is why there is world apprehension at the North Korean actions. North Korea remains Communist even today. Now should North Korea either amalgamate with the South...as similiar to Vietnam..and becomes a capitalist state.....then we can safely say that it would be all over....no more worries.
 

another_someone

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Re: WW3 Inevitable
« Reply #15 on: 13/10/2006 03:50:50 »
quote:
Originally posted by roarer

AS...when I compared two world ECONOMIC and MILITIARY powers I referred to the USA and the whole of Europe. Both have a CAPITALIST system.In my view that system and their political system...are INTERTWINED. They cannot be separated. You shall never see a substantial war (meaning a world war)between TWO CAPITALIST systems.
China presently is a CAPITALIST system. China would be a player perhaps in starting a world war...should it revert to Communism (as previous). However I cannot see that occuring.
And that is why there is world apprehension at the North Korean actions. North Korea remains Communist even today. Now should North Korea either amalgamate with the South...as similiar to Vietnam..and becomes a capitalist state.....then we can safely say that it would be all over....no more worries.



War is not, and never has been, about ideology it is about power.

European powers have all shared ideology in the past, and yet have fought wars amongst themselves on frequent occasions.

The war between China and the USA will not be about ideology.  China is a country whose capabilities are expanding, while the USA is at the zenith of its power, and its power will soon wane.  As the USA will attempt to hold on to its world influence, while China will try to exert its newly acquired power, there will be times when the USA will be reluctant to relinquish its influence in an area that China will feel it has both the right and the capacity to demand it has greater influence, and it is that which will ultimately lead to conflict.

There are four areas in the world where this could happen.  It could be in central Asia (probably the least likely scenario, since the USA has little authority there at present, and it is more likely that China will find itself in conflict with the Russian Federation), it could be in the Middle East (where America has considered that it has strong interests, but China's influence is growing, thus making it a high risk area), it could be in Africa (where, again China's influence is growing, although it is an area that has been historically neglected by most of the rest of the world), or it could be over Taiwan (again, where the USA and Japan have strong historic interests, but where China has always asserted that it intends to annex sooner or later, and by force if necessary).



George
 

Offline roarer

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Re: WW3 Inevitable
« Reply #16 on: 14/10/2006 08:37:37 »
AS.....your response, as usual, was most informative and interesting. However I have one question. When you said quote "war has never been about ideology..but power" end quote...do you mean MILITIARY power..or FINANCIAL power? In my view...in the case of World War One....and Two...I wholly agree with you. However in the present day....in my view...no country...including the few remaining Communist ones (e.g. North Korea and Cuba)..have any intention of militiary  expansion. By way of financial influence/ expansion....well that is another matter.
This view is is amply supported by the history of war  by way of militiary aggression for the purpose of expansion. Since the Vietnam War...in the middle sixtees to the early seventees...until the present.....in a period of some 30 to 40 years....the ONLY intended militiary aggression/expansion of any substance....was the Gulf war in the early ninetees...when Saddam Hussein attacked Kuwait.
« Last Edit: 14/10/2006 08:39:45 by roarer »
 

another_someone

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Re: WW3 Inevitable
« Reply #17 on: 14/10/2006 11:45:56 »
quote:
Originally posted by roarer
AS.....your response, as usual, was most informative and interesting. However I have one question. When you said quote "war has never been about ideology..but power" end quote...do you mean MILITIARY power..or FINANCIAL power?



Both.

Much of the British Empire was built on financial interests.  The British Empire was almost completely built upon the interests of commercial organisations such and the British East India Company, and the wars were there to support that interest.  Even the Spanish interest in its New World colonies was largely a financial interest.  There is a great deal of speculation as to how much of the US interest in the Middle East is idealogical, and how much is in support of its interest in oil.

The issue of Taiwan is without a doubt an idealogical concern for the Chinese.  With regard to the USA, there is no real financial interest that it has any longer in supporting Taiwan as an independent entity, but it would suffer a severe loss of face if it were to allow mainland China to invade Taiwan by force.  It may seek some face saving measure where it can abandon its commitment to an independent Taiwan without losing face, but at present it is not easy to see how this would be achieved.

Then we also have the prospect of China forming strategic defence alliances in the Middle East in order to protect its own ever increasing oil supply including a very plausible alliance with a country such as Iran.  With America having made such a mess of its policy in the Middle East, in particular with regard Iraq, many are seeing Iran as becoming a very important regional power.  It would make sense for both the Russian Federation and China to seek closer ties with Iran, and it would make sense for Iran to seek to bind these  powers in as possible defence allies if it possibly can.  At present China is being very careful to avoid oversees military commitments, although the fact that it has sent troops as part of the peace keeping force in Lebanon is clearly raising its international military profile.

There is no doubt that there are many in the Middle East (by no means all, but enough to be a problem) who see America as the big Satan, and that see China as being a nation with ever-increasing capacity, but not associated with any bad experiences on their part.  They will want to see the Chinese not only as trade partners, but involved with the same kind of intimacy that at present exists primarily for Western companies (i.e. joint oil ventures, military co-operation, etc.).  If companies such as Haliburton become marginalised in the Middle East,  and requests made to close down US military bases, etc.; then how would the USA itself react?

No, I am not suggesting that the USA would simply invade, but it may well try and persuade what allies it has in the region to go to war on its behalf, and then send in troops in support of its ally.  But, a sufficiently confident China might well respond by sending its own troops to support its own local allies, thus leading to direct confrontation between Chinese and American troops.  This would then lead to Chinese and American forces trying to intercept the logistic support that supplies these front line troops (can you really see a situation where a Chinese army, or its allies, are running out of ammunition, and a Chinese munitions ship is steaming up the Persian Gulf, and the American forces would not attack the ship).  This could easily then lead to a Lusitania type incident that brought America and in as a full combatant into WWI.

And, ofcourse, don't forget that America's closest ally in the region, Israel, is also a nuclear power.



George
« Last Edit: 14/10/2006 11:50:40 by another_someone »
 

Offline roarer

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Re: WW3 Inevitable
« Reply #18 on: 15/10/2006 08:35:45 »
Well AS....now that we said what we had to say....there is only TWO questions remaining. To remain with the topic of the post "Is WW3 inevitable"......these questions are;
1) Is WW3 going to occur?
and if so
2) Who would be the TWO major warring countries?
 

another_someone

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Re: WW3 Inevitable
« Reply #19 on: 15/10/2006 14:05:25 »
quote:
Originally posted by roarer

Well AS....now that we said what we had to say....there is only TWO questions remaining. To remain with the topic of the post "Is WW3 inevitable"......these questions are;
1) Is WW3 going to occur?
and if so
2) Who would be the TWO major warring countries?



Wars always have happened, and there is no reason to believe that human (or animal) nature has changed this wars, of every size, will happen.  The only question is when.

For a war to be a world war, it must be undertaken by two countries or alliances of countries that have a worldwide reach.

Ofcourse, what is or is not called a world war can sometimes seem a bit arbitrary.  The Napoleonic wars clearly had a worldwide reach, since both France and Britain (as well as the Dutch, Spanish, and Portuguese, who were all involved in the war) had empires throughout the world, and in the midst of this, Britain also fought the 1812 war with the United States.

By contrast, what we now know as World War One (albeit, it was only referred to as 'The Great War' at the time) had very little action outside of Europe and the North Atlantic.

Wars come in three flavours:

  1. Wars that are not fought because the smaller power immediately realises that it will lose to the bigger power, and so capitulates before a shot is fired
  2. Wars where the major power has a quick victory over the smaller power.
  3. Wars where the power that initiates the war seriously underestimates the response of the defending power, or its allies, and starts a war that it never should have started.  This is the kind of war that can easily escalate to a prolonged and damaging war, and possibly a world war.



Both the officially named 'World Wars' came about because of a miscalculation by the axis powers.

The First World War was caused by Austria invading a small neighbour (in retaliation for its supposed support for a terrorist outrage not unlike the USA's invasion of Afghanistan), but that small neighbour (namely, Serbia) had an alliance with Russia, who had alliances with France, who had a vague alliance with Britain.  There were a number of other miscalculations also, such as the vagueness of the alliance between Britain and France meant that it was not at all clear that Britain would come to Frances aid (although the more serious problem was Britain's alliance with Belgium, which was invaded by Germany), and that Austria and Germany had an alliance with Italy, but Italy also had a secret treaty with France and Britain that gave it cause to break its treaty with Austria and Germany.  All of this gave the Germans and Austrians cause to seriously miscalculate their own strength; although this may have been partly mitigated by their overestimation of Russia's ability to wage war.

The Second World War was similarly a series of miscalculations.  In 1938, Czechoslovakia was helpless against German threats, and even with alliances with France and Britain, both those countries had so run down their military capabilities in the interwar years as to be unable to go to Czechoslovakia's aide, so Czechoslovakia surrendered the Sudatenland without a shot being fired (which left it at a serious strategic disadvantage), and then the remainder of Czechoslovakia was overrun by Germany with very little   Germany then judged that it could achieve the same with Poland (with the assistance of the USSR) that it had achieved with Czechoslovakia, but had underestimated the fact that in the meantime France and Britain had been busy rearming themselves, and although they were still seriously inadequately armed for the coming conflict, they nonetheless thought they were in a strong enough position to risk coming to the aid of Poland (at least, the indirect aid of Poland, since they were not actually able to afford to send military forces into the theatre of war, so merely made a declaration of war in solidarity with Poland, and started to open up a western front).

Japan's entry into the Second World War was more out of desperation than desire, being subject to crippling US sanctions and blockades, it felt that it was already under siege and had to make some effort, however desperate, to break out of that siege.  Certainly, the fact that the European powers were preoccupied with their own wars gave Japan an opening to take territory from the British and French empires.  It is clear that America had totally misjudged Japan's response to its blockade, and although it might be argued that there was no major misjudgement on America's part on Japan's capability to wage war (which was very limited, and if it had not been for the distractions in Europe, Japan would not have even got a foothold in expanding into French and British colonial territories), but they misjudged Japan's desperation, or its reaction to that desperation.

Bear in mind that the Cold War very nearly became a very hot war simply because Khrushchev and Castro misjudged Kennedy's response to the placement of missiles in Cuba, and it was only because Khrushchev was willing to reassess the situation and pull back (despite the fact that this action ultimately cost him his premiership) that prevented World Ward Three happening in 1962.

Since the most significant power with global reach, and thus capable of fighting a world war, is the USA.  It is also more than plain (not least in Iraq) that the USA is still capable of seriously misjudging the consequences of its actions.

The power that most people judge to be the next global power is China.  China is already expanding its commercial interests throughout the globe, and ultimately it will find itself in a position where it will have to support that commercial interest with military alliances.  There is no doubt that as China's international capacity grows, it will have to be at the expense of the interests of the USA.  It is also without doubt that the USA, having gotten used to being able to defend its interests largely unopposed, and it would seem incredible that there would not come a time when America misjudges China's response to the defence of their respective interests.

Ofcourse, it is possible that before that happens, America will get embroiled in a war against an alliance of powers, but what alliance would be of a scale that could effect a world wide conflict?  The only possible alliances I can see happening would be within the Muslim world, but it does not seem at present that most nations in that sphere are yet in a position to make such strategic alliances (they cannot even run OPEC with any real discipline, so what chance of a military alliance).  The only countries that could plausibly develop a meaningful alliance, and keep to it, would be Turkey and Iran (at present Turkey is still westward looking, but increasingly its interests and focus are turning more eastward, and in the medium term closer ties between those two countries would probably make a lot of sense for both of them); but even those two powers combined, while they would be a major regional force, would not have worldwide scope.



George
« Last Edit: 15/10/2006 14:16:01 by another_someone »
 

Offline roarer

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Re: WW3 Inevitable
« Reply #20 on: 16/10/2006 01:11:47 »
Well AS..it seems that you are not assured that there would be a world war..let alone who would be the warring countries. And I am not surprised.
We are discussing this issue....whilst we overlooked a very important aspect of world occurance which may have a deterrent against the commencement of a world war....that of globalisation.
As far as I can understand....globalisation permits countries to INVEST in each other's financial infrastructure. I believe that every country on the planet is involved. Now as I see it.....say for example...the USA has millions of dollars of INVESTMENT in China and vice versa...I would be very much surprised that China and the USA would start a war between them....which would have the potential of destroying millions of dollars of investments in each of those countries. And so forth with other countries.
Now I am not a scientist. I am not a graduate of any University....I am just a Secondary School graduate...and a Clerk by trade..if you can call it a trade.....but that is the way I see it.
 

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Re: WW3 Inevitable
« Reply #21 on: 16/10/2006 02:03:12 »
Clearly I do not share the convictions of many on this page regarding the nature of future disasters. WW3 seems less likely than other scenarios for serious human tough times. I do not see an obvious motive for a major power such as USA, Europe, or China to initiate a nuclear exchange. The logic of MAD still holds as far as I can tell. Possible for a second rate power such as Pakistan, Iran, or North Korea to bring it on by using a nuke and miscalculating the obvious result? Possible, but it seems that many of these nations do crave to join the nuclear club for defensive reasons- to eliminate the possibility that USA will deal with them as it dealt with Iraq.

To me, however, the chance of economic turmoil, famine, mass migrations, etc., as a result of resource depletion or environmental disaster or feverish competition for decreasing resources is a possible recipe for a very tough time. The fact is that we are on course for this to happen, UNLESS we can avoid it through scientific discovery, international cooperation, etc. It is not an unlikely event- it is a certainty unless we figure out how to avoid it. Nuclear war is something that would only happen if someone makes a conscious decision to make it happen.
Okay, what if you put the two together and say, WW3 will happen when competition for scarce resources on a degraded planet combines with a miscalculation and someone hits the red button. But if that's your theory, you are saying that scarce resources and environmental factors will cause WW3.

chris wiegard
 

another_someone

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Re: WW3 Inevitable
« Reply #22 on: 16/10/2006 02:10:47 »
quote:
Originally posted by roarer
Well AS..it seems that you are not assured that there would be a world war..let alone who would be the warring countries. And I am not surprised.



The future is not something we can determine with certainty; we can merely assign probabilities to different scenarios.

quote:

We are discussing this issue....whilst we overlooked a very important aspect of world occurance which may have a deterrent against the commencement of a world war....that of globalisation.
As far as I can understand....globalisation permits countries to INVEST in each other's financial infrastructure. I believe that every country on the planet is involved. Now as I see it.....say for example...the USA has millions of dollars of INVESTMENT in China and vice versa...I would be very much surprised that China and the USA would start a war between them....which would have the potential of destroying millions of dollars of investments in each of those countries. And so forth with other countries.
Now I am not a scientist. I am not a graduate of any University....I am just a Secondary School graduate...and a Clerk by trade..if you can call it a trade.....but that is the way I see it.



Firstly, what I suggested was  the most likely cause of a war between the USA and China is not a case of a deliberate action with a carefully judged cost, but rather a game of brinkmanship that goes too far.  In this scenario, one can easily create a scenario where the country initiating the war would find itself severely damaged by the war (bear in mind that both the first and second world wars bankrupted all of the European powers, yet it did not prevent the European powers from commencing the wars).

You earlier referred to the first Gulf War in defence of Kuwait, but that is a classic case of brinkmanship that went wrong.  Saddam Hussain had judged that if he were to invade Kuwait he would not face any American objections, and that the Americans would see it as a piece of local difficulty that they do not need to get themselves involved in (there are many rumours that certain American officials actually said as much to Saddam Hussain).  This was a misjudgement on the part of Saddam Hussain, and the Americans (with major British support, possibly even originally encouraged by the British) did not regard it as merely a local difficulty that they did not need to involve themselves in.  I have no doubt that if Saddam Hussain had been aware of the US and British reaction before the invasion, that he would never have instigated the invasion.  This is exactly the kind of misunderstanding, or misjudgement, that could start World War Three.

One of the innovations that came into play after the Cuban missile crises was the installation of the hotline between Moscow and Washington precisely to reduce the probability of such misunderstandings happening between the two powers.  Maybe such a hotline between Baghdad and Washington could have averted the first Gulf War.

Secondly, it must not be considered inevitable that the present trend towards ever more open trade will continue.  There are constant accusations of unfair trading between the USA and China, and there continue to be vested interests in both countries that want a more protectionist trade policy.





George
 

another_someone

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Re: WW3 Inevitable
« Reply #23 on: 16/10/2006 02:29:53 »
quote:
Originally posted by VAlibrarian
Clearly I do not share the convictions of many on this page regarding the nature of future disasters. WW3 seems less likely than other scenarios for serious human tough times. I do not see an obvious motive for a major power such as USA, Europe, or China to initiate a nuclear exchange. The logic of MAD still holds as far as I can tell. Possible for a second rate power such as Pakistan, Iran, or North Korea to bring it on by using a nuke and miscalculating the obvious result? Possible, but it seems that many of these nations do crave to join the nuclear club for defensive reasons- to eliminate the possibility that USA will deal with them as it dealt with Iraq.



There are separate issues as to whether WW3 will happen, and whether it will go nuclear.

If one looks at WW2, all the major players had massive stocks of chemical agents, and were fearful that they would be used against civilian populations (leading to a scenario not unlike the nuclear option we have today); but in the end, with a few small exceptions, chemical agents were never used by any of the combatant powers, even in the final hours.

quote:

To me, however, the chance of economic turmoil, famine, mass migrations, etc., as a result of resource depletion or environmental disaster or feverish competition for decreasing resources is a possible recipe for a very tough time.



Absolutely nothing that has not happened in the past (e.g. Irish mass migration during the potato famine).

quote:

The fact is that we are on course for this to happen, UNLESS we can avoid it through scientific discovery, international cooperation, etc.



Science provides no answers to this because the issue is political.

Nor is 'co-operation' the answer the USA still has poor within its own borders, despite a single government being responsible for all the citizens of the USA.  Even if we had a single world government, it would not alter anything excepting that it would create greater distance between the top layers of government and the people being governed (the UN and the WTO are even more undemocratic and unaccountable than most world governments).

quote:

Okay, what if you put the two together and say, WW3 will happen when competition for scarce resources on a degraded planet combines with a miscalculation and someone hits the red button. But if that's your theory, you are saying that scarce resources and environmental factors will cause WW3.



No, I don't believe that genuine scarcity will cause WW3.  Clearly, competition for resources will play a part, but the resources desired will not be particularly scarce, merely that there will be an insatiable appetite for them.

Real scarcity may cause local wars, but if resources are that scarce then it cannot sustain a major war.  There is the old maxim that an army fights on it stomach, and if you cannot feed and resource your army, then you cannot fight a significant war.  This does not prevent the small scale feudal wars that one sees in parts of Africa and poorer parts of Asia, but not the expensive kind of wars that we are talking about here.



George
 

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Re: WW3 Inevitable
« Reply #24 on: 16/10/2006 07:50:19 »
It is perhaps precisely why there is no future prospect of a ANY substantial war..let alone a world war..that the "war on terrorism" was instigated. I do BELIEVE that the "war  on terror" is a myth.....put in place in lieu of the "cold war". By a myth I mean in the best case scenario....it is a beat up....and worst....non-existant and only so....in a limited way in third world countries.Additionally....the term is  contradicatory...as war IS terror. ANY war terrorises people. But of course it depends on who is carrying out the atrocities. For example.....in the Palestinian/Israeli case.....the Palestinians are carrying  quote "terrorist acts"...whilst of course the Isralies are not....in their case they are carrying out a quote "war on terror". However in BOTH cases....the outcome is SIMILIAR...PEOPLE ARE TERRORISED...AND ARE KILLED.
« Last Edit: 16/10/2006 07:54:36 by roarer »
 

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Re: WW3 Inevitable
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