Jump to content
IGNORED

Are we on the brink of World War III?


RH
 Share

WW III  

52 members have voted

  1. 1. Are we on the brink of World War III?

    • Yes
      12
    • No
      40


Recommended Posts

Member · Posted

Unless you've kept your head under the sand, I'm sure you're well aware that Russia has invaded Ukraine and last night they even attacked Kiev.   I won't pretend to understand the motivations of dictators or how strong the spines are of NATO, other European nations and the rest of the world.  Nor do I have any serious, real clue of how involved China might be.

Regardless, having a sovereign nation the size of Russia invade another sovereign nation like Ukraine is a BIG deal.  Not to mention, there will certainly be reverberations through the energy industry and whether we like it or not, those who control our natural energy resources have strong control of the world.

I know there's an "International Politics and News" thread, so I'm not entirely interested in discussion Ukrainian and Russian relations but what I am curious to know is if you all feel that this invasion will be the start of WW III, or not.  I honestly don't know but regardless, I want. you to try to vote, even if it's a gut-choice.  That's why there's no "I don't know" option. (Voter names are no public on this one.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Member · Posted
3 minutes ago, Kguillemette said:

I vote no. I sure hope not anyway. I don't think anything of signifigant consequence will happen to Russia in response to this regardless just like when they annexed Crimea.

I'd say that I'm legit 50/50 on this one, but following my own suggestion, I am voting "No".  On the one hand, I don't think Europe wants that, at any cost, and even if it were truly "necessary", I just don't feel like they have the resolve to go to war.  I'd say the same for the US plus I think the "that's not our fight" sentiment is to strong in the US as a matter of fact and not as a matter of personal opinion.

But, optimism that war isn't going to happen is also a bit of a facade.  WW II ended over 75 years ago, and even though the US has engaged in some ugly conflicts, nothing has shaken the world like that in a really, really long time and collectively, it's easy to remain in denial.  Considering the alliances and the nations as play, I could see this escalating to a global theatre, especially if NATO get's excessively involved, possibly Turkey and then China saddles up with Russia.  I sure don't hope for that but it does feel plausible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Member · Posted

No WW3.

Europe already knows the extent of Russias expansionist goals. They just want to reclaim former Soviet territory, but they will not touch any countries that are already in NATO. Because NATO would respond militarily.

Europe will make empty threats to Russia over Ukraine, but won’t actually do anything if Russia invades. They don’t want to piss off Russia because they are dependent on Russian natural gas for energy security. Also Ukraine is not in NATO so they have no obligations to protect them. They are just virtue signaling.

Russia is a nuclear superpower, so US will never fight them directly, it would quickly escalate to nuclear war, which means everyone loses. Instead, we would only have proxy wars, economic wars and cyber wars. Economic war is no longer effective because after Crimea, Russia built up economic resilience so that they will not be hurt by  future sanctions. Cyber warfare is as much a risk to US as it is to Russia.

Unfortunately, Ukraine isn’t strategically important enough to US or Europe to warrant fighting for. I think we will just let Russia have them. Ukraine will probably surrender as fighting Russia would be suicide for the Ukrainians.

Also, I think little would actually change in the lives of the Ukrainians under Russian military control. There lives would quickly go back to normal after the invasion is finished. The only difference is that Russia would kick NATO forces out of the country.

China may see this as an opportunity to move for Taiwan while US is distracted. But unlike Ukraine, US would respond to threats against Taiwan because Taiwan is strategically important. But since China is not interested in a direct confrontation with the US, they would de-escalate any moves towards taking Taiwan at the first indication that the US is making an intervention. 
 

China is interested in taking global superpower status from the US. But they know they can’t do it by winning a fighting war. They are instead planning to play the long game and win over several decades by slowly increasing their influence and by having economic superiority.

  • Like 2
  • Agree 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Member · Posted
22 minutes ago, phart010 said:

@fcgamer  @OptOut how you guys holding up in Taiwan? I heard there were some flight exercises recently 

Same as normal over here.

I voted yes on the poll, only because I think there is massive POTENTIAL for significant escalation of this conflict, depending on how long it drags on for, and depending on Russia's next move.

If anyone thinks Vladimir Putin's ambitions end with Ukraine, we are going to have to see about that. Big possibility he pushes into Moldova, and he will ABSOLUTELY begin piling pressure on Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia to exert political and economic pressure on these countries too.

I'm not saying this is the start of WWIII, but it's the closest we've come since the Cuban missile crisis, IMO.

  • Like 2
  • Agree 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

i also voted yes. As the title states, we ARE on the brink of WW3. It still may or may not happen, but this is an edge on the cliff. Like @OptOutsaid, it IS the closest we've been in decades. 

This is a huge deal worldwide. It will have major repercussions on many near-future geopolitical actions, the China/Taiwan situation especially.

  • Agree 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Member · Posted
6 minutes ago, OptOut said:

I'm not saying this is the start of WWIII, but it's the closest we've come since the Cuban missile crisis, IMO.

I can agree to that.  I'll also say that my armchair opinion is that this is not about a restoration about Russia to the old state of the USSR, or something close to it.  I definitely feel that's a facade.  Keep in mind, Russia is ran by corrupt oligarchs.  They may have a sense of national/cultural pride but when your focus is on greed for wealth and control, you're not going to risk any of that for "country".

My assumption is that this is 100% destabilizing the region and gaining further control of Europes needed natural resources.  Furthermore, Ukraine is a very resource-rich country, which makes complete sense why these mafiosos would want to take over the nation.  There's a reasonable argument to state that this isn't our fight, so we need to stay out of it, whether you're Western European or American.  However, these actions when left unchecked give further permission to engage in similar actions in the future (might Putin continue to invade further south to exploit oil resources?)

I'm not saying I believe in the worst possible outcomes like that, but it's all plausible.  Greed leads people to make some insane choices and when it's left unchecked, those actions only escalate.

  • Agree 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Member · Posted
5 minutes ago, twiztor said:

i also voted yes. As the title states, we ARE on the brink of WW3. It still may or may not happen, but this is an edge on the cliff. Like @OptOutsaid, it IS the closest we've been in decades. 

This is a huge deal worldwide. It will have major repercussions on many near-future geopolitical actions, the China/Taiwan situation especially.

While I agree that China will be watching the Western response to the Ukraine situation very closely, I don't think this puts us onto a path of open conflict between Taiwan and China just yet.

China is just incomparably more interconnected to the global economy and the US than Russia is, there is no way on Earth they could afford to be afflicted with the same sort of sanctions we are currently seeing applied to Russia.

Of course if the entire world really does slide into full blown conflict, at that point all bets are off, and we would likely see China making moves on their targets in the Asia-Pacific region.

 

However, as things stand we are no where near that outcome just yet. Even if there was direct military intervention by Western powers in Ukraine/Eastern Europe, China almost certainly WOULDN'T get involved with any conflict, or start their own over on this side of the sphere. They aren't ready for that yet, they do things on their own timescale.

  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Member · Posted
3 minutes ago, RH said:

I can agree to that.  I'll also say that my armchair opinion is that this is not about a restoration about Russia to the old state of the USSR, or something close to it.  I definitely feel that's a facade.  Keep in mind, Russia is ran by corrupt oligarchs.  They may have a sense of national/cultural pride but when your focus is on greed for wealth and control, you're not going to risk any of that for "country".

My assumption is that this is 100% destabilizing the region and gaining further control of Europes needed natural resources.  Furthermore, Ukraine is a very resource-rich country, which makes complete sense why these mafiosos would want to take over the nation.  There's a reasonable argument to state that this isn't our fight, so we need to stay out of it, whether you're Western European or American.  However, these actions when left unchecked give further permission to engage in similar actions in the future (might Putin continue to invade further south to exploit oil resources?)

I'm not saying I believe in the worst possible outcomes like that, but it's all plausible.  Greed leads people to make some insane choices and when it's left unchecked, those actions only escalate.

The pattern of behaviour Russia has been engaging in has been clear as far back as the annexation of Georgia all the way back in 2008.

Russia, largely due to their own actions, have been cut off from the wider global economy for some time now, and need to secure resources and docile and subservient puppet states around their borders, if they want any chance of resisting their further decline into economic and political irrelevance.

It's really only their tough-guy posturing and the bullying of their neighbours that actually keeps them in the global spotlight, their days as a superpower are LONG behind them. 

UNFORTUNATELY, they do also still have an active and immense nuclear arsenal, which obviously deters any direct action to stem their rampant aggression.

But they are playing a dangerous game that may well blow up in their face. Conventional wisdom says nuclear armed combatants don't fight each other, but it's been a LONG 70+ years for that logic to go untested, and we are starting to outlive the generation that actually saw these weapons dropped with their own eyes... It's a long time to have an itch on a trigger just waiting to be scratched.

 

  • Like 1
  • Agree 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Member · Posted

I will say if we see all out, global war I am semi-optimistic that atomic warfare might stay out of this.  We've had to discuss and work around the notion "mutual destruction" for decades.  Even if the US were to go to war with Russia and China, I have to believe that there would be back channel calls to Washington/Moscow/Beijing reiterating, we may do everything we can to win, but if no one fires a nuke, neither will the others.  I think we all understand that losing a war is bad regardless of which side you are on, but if we go into full-out nuclear war nothing will be left except the Southern Hemisphere, and even then the climate would be so rekt how livable will it be in those places?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Member · Posted
18 minutes ago, RH said:

I will say if we see all out, global war I am semi-optimistic that atomic warfare might stay out of this.  We've had to discuss and work around the notion "mutual destruction" for decades.  Even if the US were to go to war with Russia and China, I have to believe that there would be back channel calls to Washington/Moscow/Beijing reiterating, we may do everything we can to win, but if no one fires a nuke, neither will the others.  I think we all understand that losing a war is bad regardless of which side you are on, but if we go into full-out nuclear war nothing will be left except the Southern Hemisphere, and even then the climate would be so rekt how livable will it be in those places?

I want to agree and I THINK that would be the rationale of all sane actors going into any such conflict at the beginning.

However, total war is just that. Total. The FULL industrial, economic, political and civil might of nations against nations. We have only ever seen TWO total wars in all the history of hundreds of thousands years of human conflict on this Earth, and they were by far the most bloody and barbarous humanity have ever seen.

In such a situation, the urge, no, the DEMAND to use absolutely every single possible force at our disposal would be overwhelming. There really is no way that a full scale total war scenario between Russia and NATO doesn't turn into a nuclear war.

The only way we could avoid that is if one side (let's be honest here, it would have to be Russia) backed down before taking it to the TOTAL war level.

 

That's why this situation is so difficult and dangerous. We know Putin is willing to flagrantly disregard international law and common humanity for the sake of his own and Russia's desires. We also know that he has not yet met much in the way of resistance, outside of economic sanctions which become less and less effective the longer Russia is detached from the global economy. And, we ALSO know he will push his luck for absolutely as long as he possibly can in order to gain as much as possible from the situation. He's going for absolute broke at this point.

 

The only thing we can hope is that he DOES stop at Ukraine, and that the suffering of the Ukrainian people is all the world has to pay for appeasing Putin's greed and bloodlust. Ukraine may be no match for Russia alone, but holding that much territory won't be easy either. Unfortunately we could be seeing the beginning of a humanitarian crisis that makes Syria look like hors d'oeuvres. 😨

Edited by OptOut
  • Agree 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Member · Posted
11 minutes ago, OptOut said:

I want to agree and I THINK that would be the rationale of all sane actors going into any such conflict at the beginning.

However, total war is just that. Total. The FULL industrial, economic, political and civil might of nations against nations. We have only ever seen TWO total wars in all the history of hundreds of thousands years of human conflict on this Earth, and they were by far the most bloody and barbarous humanity have ever seen.

In such a situation, the urge, no, the DEMAND to use absolutely every single possible force at our disposal would be overwhelming. There really is no way that a full scale total war scenario between Russia and NATO doesn't turn into a nuclear war.

The only way we could avoid that is if one side (let's be honest here, it would have to be Russia) backed down before taking it to the TOTAL war level.

 

That's why this situation is so difficult and dangerous. We know Putin is willing to flagrantly disregard international law and common humanity for the sake of his own and Russia's desires. We also know that he has not yet met much in the way of resistance, outside of economic sanctions which become less and less effective the longer Russia is detached from the global economy. And, we ALSO know he will push his luck for absolutely as long as he possibly can in order to gain as much as possible from the situation. He's going for absolute broke at this point.

The only thing we can hope is that he DOES stop at Ukraine, and that the suffering of the Ukrainian people is all the world has to pay for appeasing Putin's greed and bloodlust. Ukraine may be no match for Russia alone, but holding that much territory won't be easy either. Unfortunately we could be seeing the beginning of a humanitarian crisis that makes Syria look like hors d'oeuvres. 😨

I mostly agree.  The TL;DR of my earlier analysis on this, though, is that as you put it, Russia is largely isolated from the global economy.  Putin wants, badly, for significant regions of the world (e.g. Europe) to have to rely on Russia.  Once he does that, his global control will grow rapidly, and immeasurably.  This is why Europe is damned-if-they-do damned-if-they don't.  If they stand up to Russia, it's about to get super-nasty.  If they don't, they're not just ignoring the actions of a dictator that's next door, but they are handing Putin a seat back at the table of super powers (beyond just owning nuclear arms.) He's going to have his hand around the throat of Europe for their energy needs.  Again, this is why if he gets away with it, I could see it as quite plausible that he (or his successor in 10 years, or whenever he dies) moving to try and control a sizable portion of oil in the Middle East.  It sounds crazy, but if he gets away with it in Ukraine, who's to say in 10-20 years Russia won't hedge it's bets that it can seize more resources of which the world is dependent upon.  Nothing.  And we'll go along with it because that was we did in the past (future... past?) with Ukraine because we're all scared of nuclear war.

Edited by RH
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Member · Posted
4 minutes ago, RH said:

I mostly agree.  The TL;DR of my earlier analysis on this, though, is that as you put it, Russia is largely isolated from the global economy.  Putin wants, badly, for significant regions of the world (e.g. Europe) to have to rely on Russia.  Once he does that, his global control will grow rapidly, and immeasurably.  This is why Europe is damned-if-they-do damned-if-they don't.  If they stand up to Russia, it's about to get super-nasty.  If they don't, they're not just ignoring the actions of a dictator that's next door, but they are handing Putin a seat back at the table of super powers (beyond just owning nuclear arms.). He's going to his hand around the throat of Europe for their energy needs.  Again, this is why if he gets away with it, I could see it as quite plausible that he (or his successor in 10 years, or whenever he dies) moving to try and control a sizable portion of oil in the Middle East.  It sounds crazy, but if he gets away with it in Ukraine, who's to say in 10-20 years Russia won't hedge it's bets that it can seize more resources of which the world is dependent upon.  Nothing.  And we'll go along with it because that was we did in the past (future... past?) with Ukraine because we're all scared of nuclear war.

I agree that European optimism, complacency and over-reliance on the military protection of the USA have massively played into Russia's ability to exert hard power in Asia-minor and Eastern Europe.

Germany, especially, has grown the EU up around them like a giant economic and political security blanket, nestled in the protective bosom of NATO, without taking forward thinking positions on their own and Europe's behalf with regards to both energy security and military spending.

Relying almost entirely on Russia for their natural gas supplies in order to keep their lights and heaters running through the winter has been a MASSIVE geopolitical misstep for Germany, and it is built upon the Liberal presupposition that history ended when the Berlin wall fell and that real-politik was no longer a political consideration.

They have also let their military whither into basically nothing, again supposing that they would always have the military and economic might of others to fall back on (much as Japan has, incidentally).

However, as this century will only undoubtedly futher demonstrate, as resources run scarce and the environment turns against us, history very much did NOT end in 1989.

Russia understands this, as do their neighbours. China understands it, as do theirs. I think the USA has had no choice but to keep up with this line of thinking as well, although two decades of misadventures in the middle East have really done them no favours in keeping pace with their fellow belligerents...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Member · Posted

No, we are not. Putin will stop with Ukraine, in one way or another. 

As for the situation with China, at the minute they have larger things on their mind, after finishing up the Olympics. They will watch Western response for sure, but it's apples to oranges. 

Even if they did start moving some troops, the West (America) would shut it down quickly. Rolling tanks across a field in winter time is easier than launching an amphibious attack. China will not bomb us, if they destroy Hsinchu, the chip factories will be destroyed...

I'd be more concerned about a miscalculation from a trigger-happy pilot, honestly.

  • Agree 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Member · Posted

I don't get why Russia is invading (or at least trying to) invade Ukraine.  I mean, how exactly do they hope to come out ahead on something like this?  AFAIK Ukraine wasn't even bothering no one so it looks to me like Russia/Putin is just being a big bully 😞  Just like when that North Korean guy was threatening to nuke Guam of all places...what the heck did little ol' Guam ever do to anybody? 😞 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Member · Posted
2 hours ago, RH said:

I will say if we see all out, global war I am semi-optimistic that atomic warfare might stay out of this.  

We've not had nukes used for anything other than tests since 1945...I'd like to think not even the North Korea guy is crazy enough to actually use them on anyone but it's been almost 80 years...just how much longer will our luck hold out? 😞 

  • Agree 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Member · Posted
16 minutes ago, Estil said:

I don't get why Russia is invading (or at least trying to) invade Ukraine.  I mean, how exactly do they hope to come out ahead on something like this?  AFAIK Ukraine wasn't even bothering no one so it looks to me like Russia/Putin is just being a big bully 😞  Just like when that North Korean guy was threatening to nuke Guam of all places...what the heck did little ol' Guam ever do to anybody? 😞 

My belief is that as aggressive as this invasion appears, Russia is acting defensively. They don’t intend to show aggression to the West and the West doesn’t intend to show any aggression to Russia.
 

But superpowers are always militarily positioned for the worst case scenario. So the US, via NATO forces keeps some bases in Ukraine to keep an eye on Russia. They also keep some missiles positioned just in case they need them for leverage. It’s only about 200 miles from the Ukraine border to Russias capital, Moscow.

Basically the US/NATO want to have Russia feeling vulnerable as part of geopolitical strategy. Russia doesn’t like having NATO forces so close to their capital. They would prefer for Ukraine to be a neutral buffer zone to increase the distance between Moscow and opposing forces. However, these negotiations to remove NATO forces from Ukraine have not been going anywhere. So the next best thing for Russia to do is to take military control of Ukraine and kick NATO out.

It sucks because I don’t believe that either Russia or the West actually intend to harm each other, but this military positioning strategy is nonetheless being pursued and people will die as a result.

My two cents. I think Ukraine will be taken and life goes back to normal. US doesn’t actually care about the Ukrainian people, they just see this as a loss of a base. It’s possible Russia does something with some smaller countries adjacent to Ukraine if the opportunity presents itself, but definitely they will not touch Poland. That would mean war with the West.

Also, they might shuffle around in the Caucus countries, but as long as that region is unstable then it equally serves their goal of achieving a buffer zone around the Russian border

  • Agree 1
  • Disagree 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, phart010 said:

No WW3.

Europe already knows the extent of Russias expansionist goals. They just want to reclaim former Soviet territory, but they will not touch any countries that are already in NATO. Because NATO would respond militarily.

Europe will make empty threats to Russia over Ukraine, but won’t actually do anything if Russia invades. They don’t want to piss off Russia because they are dependent on Russian natural gas for energy security. Also Ukraine is not in NATO so they have no obligations to protect them. They are just virtue signaling.

Russia is a nuclear superpower, so US will never fight them directly, it would quickly escalate to nuclear war, which means everyone loses. Instead, we would only have proxy wars, economic wars and cyber wars. Economic war is no longer effective because after Crimea, Russia built up economic resilience so that they will not be hurt by  future sanctions. Cyber warfare is as much a risk to US as it is to Russia.

Unfortunately, Ukraine isn’t strategically important enough to US or Europe to warrant fighting for. I think we will just let Russia have them. Ukraine will probably surrender as fighting Russia would be suicide for the Ukrainians.

Also, I think little would actually change in the lives of the Ukrainians under Russian military control. There lives would quickly go back to normal after the invasion is finished. The only difference is that Russia would kick NATO forces out of the country.

China may see this as an opportunity to move for Taiwan while US is distracted. But unlike Ukraine, US would respond to threats against Taiwan because Taiwan is strategically important. But since China is not interested in a direct confrontation with the US, they would de-escalate any moves towards taking Taiwan at the first indication that the US is making an intervention. 
 

China is interested in taking global superpower status from the US. But they know they can’t do it by winning a fighting war. They are instead planning to play the long game and win over several decades by slowly increasing their influence and by having economic superiority.

This sounds smart and I agree with pretty much all of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...