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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Column: Is World War III a future possibility?

Let’s face it: World War III would suck.

Compared to the devastation caused by the last two world wars, another of the same scale today would be exponentially worse because of the immense development of technology in the last 70 years. That being said, will the world really fall into such chaos again?

Most major countries in the world are fighting ISIS, the radical Islamic state which has been inflicting terrorist attacks on the world, and lately the term “World War III” has been trending. It’s been all over Twitter and was even mentioned by the Pope when he said the Paris attacks were a part of a “piecemeal third world war.”

We need to define what is meant by a world war. Do we mean a war like the last two world wars — with strong industrialized nations fighting each other and wreaking havoc all over the world? That has been unlikely as many of the world’s biggest nations are allies or at least rely on each other for economic reasons. While a number of countries fighting ISIS could be considered a world war in terms of the widespread global participants, it is hardly a world war as we see it.

Recent events, however, have once again stirred up fear of a real global conflict. In late November, Turkey shot down a Russian bomber that was flying in Turkish airspace near the Syrian border. Turkey claims to have warned the bomber several times, while Russia claims there was no warning. However, Turkey’s claims were verified by the U.S.

Russian President Vladimir Putin responded in a national speech: “We’ll remind them again what they did — they will regret it.” Russia has imposed strong sanctions on its trade with Turkey, banning many Turkish food imports and barring Russians from vacationing there, as Turkey was the top holiday spot for Russian tourists. Russia also accused Turkey of having secret relations with ISIS and buying oil from the Islamic State, which Turkey denied and subsequently accused Russia of slander.

Russia is preparing for nuclear war and Turkey is making threats since it has NATO, which includes some of the most powerful countries such as the U.S. and U.K., behind it. Launching a war of this scale would completely destroy cities and even countries. Russia has a nuclear bomb which could wipe out the entire state of New York, over a thousand times bigger than the one in Hiroshima. While the U.S. is in NATO, whether we will actually join Turkey in a war against Russia, and risk our cities, is uncertain.

Have we not learned from our history? Binding alliances are what brought numerous large countries into conflicts they were not a part of and started the first two world wars. What will destroying each other do to help anyone? ISIS should be the enemy that everyone is fighting against, and breaking out in a war with Russia is just going to give them a better stage in which to inflict terror.

Neither Russia nor Turkey can gain from a nuclear war. They will both lose people, cities and trade. Countries in NATO that get involved could also suffer great losses. Nuclear missiles would devastate the environment and may even cause the apocalypse we have always feared. All of this destruction over one downed jet. Russia and Turkey need to get over their pissing match and realize that starting a world war isn’t going to solve their problems.

Follow Apoorva Bhaskara on Twitter.

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