ARE we heading for World War III? I have pondered this disturbing question for a long time after observing the ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham) activities and the exodus of the Syrian population in traumatic conditions. Look at the attacks in Paris on the night of November 13 last year by gunmen and suicide bombers, the incident in which Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik opened fire at a holiday party at the Inland Regional Centre in San Bernardino in the US on December 2 and the latest terrorist attack in Pathankot. These may be called stray but the implications are serious-possibly rewriting global history in favour of a greater conflict. World leaders, even after knowing the suffering the world is passing through, are acting as if the need to resolve the catastrophe is somebody else’s business. So, even after knowing that there are remote possibilities of World War III, as everybody is aware of the repercussions, why is gfiles carrying a cover story on WW III? gfiles’ cover story is an endeavour to comprehend what is happening in the world these days. Our two senior writers, Alam Srinivas and Neeraj Mahajan, have analysed the future scenario.
Mahajan, while explaining the devastation of war, writes, “185 out of a total of 196 countries in the world today are engaged in some form of armed conflict, civil war, insurgency or other forms of violent unrest. Armed conflicts around the world have claimed the lives of more than 180,000 people in 2014.” Russia and the US appear to be in confrontation mode without a direct face-off. In the G20 meeting in Istanbul, President Vladimir Putin of Russia dropped a bombshell. He circulated a list of 40 countries who, in one way or another, were supporting, funding or arming the ISIS. Is the aim to topple the only existing superpower? The answer is not so simple. Global politics has its own dynamics and dimensions. It has elements of ideology, religion, currency or natural resources; it’s like a cocktail.
Srinivas says, “In effect, imagine an America that uses its political, diplomatic, military and corporate clout to wage an overt and covert war not just in Iraq or Syria but across the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Substitute America with Russia, China, or even the ISIS, and one can visualise the character and contour of World War III.”
After observing the devastations of World War I and II, nobody can even visualise a WW III. If it happens, nothing will remain in the world. The era of conventional warfare is gone; one push of the button somewhere will destroy all habitation across the globe. War has its own economic mechanism and the tycoons who are involved in this devastating industry, mint money beyond dreams. Global diplomacy is emerging as a tacit way to achieve currency dominance and capture more and more natural resources while camouflaging it with terror and religion. No doubt, religion is the opiate of the masses. Nobody can now initiate a war but the world is sitting on a spark and it can burst into flame anywhere, anytime. Developing economies will be the biggest losers—not only of natural resources but of human resources too. Everybody in the world has to say a big ‘no’ to war and has to expose those who are determined to take the planet towards ruin.