Path to World War III


By Bashir Kabir

To those familiar with the events that escalated into both World War 1 and 2, the recent action of Russia’s Putin invading the sovereignty of the republic of Ukraine rang a bell or similitude of the initial events leading down to a global scale conflict.

Sometime in June 1914 a prince and archduke of the Austrian throne was assassinated by a Serbian nationalist. Austria-Hungary was no longer the formidable power it used to be in central Europe, but it was determined to not be disrespected like that. It used to be rivaled by the declining Ottoman Empire and the Russian federation.

Austria-Hungary miscalculated the Serbian strength and a tendency of an alliance with Russia. An ultimatum with a humiliating concession was given to Serbia. Austria Hungary resolved to take military measures the defying Serbia when it started shelling Belgrade, the country’s capital.

Russia came into the Serbian defense and mobilized at the Austro-Hungarian borders. Germany belonging to the ‘Triple Alliance’ consisting of the central powers of Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Ottoman Turkey mobilized to attack France (a member of the ‘Triple Entente’ consisting of England, France, and the already involved Russia).

England did not join the war until Germany invaded Belgium on its way to attack France. The US and others remained neutral also for a certain time before they too were eventually involved for one reason or the other.

By the end of the war, more than 20 million died. The Ottoman Empire was finally dismantled down to the Turkish size it is today while France and England divided among themselves the ottoman territories of, Egypt, Gaza, Iraq, Jordan, and elsewhere.

Austria Hungary was consequently broken down into the Balkan states and Germany was tied by the humiliating Treaty of Versailles which was harsh enough to spark the next war.

Barely thirty years later, a dictator with a radicalized nationalistic interest of expansion agenda harboring strong abhorrence for the punishment vested on his country, decided to restore past glories and started invading neighboring countries. That was none other than the infamous Adolf Hitler, the ruler of Germany who invaded Poland in October 1939.

Again Europe split into the ‘axis’ countries consisting of (Germany, Italy and Japan) against the ‘allied’ countries initially consisting England, France, Russia, the US and later more.

By 1945 the war consumed more than 80 million across the world and ended with the defeat of Germany (again) and her allies. The Jewish holocaust was the focus of the war.

Also, some important post-war political restructuring took place in the entire world which included but not restricted to the creation of the Israeli nation. This move would spark another touch of conflict in the Middle East that will last for more than 70 years in the region.

The political reformation of remodeling the League of Nations into NATO and the Cold War that resulted was the most significant post world war II outcome.

Russia that was always on the side of ‘good’ became a villain whose communist ideology had to be fought across the world. The war between communist Russia and the capitalist West (with the US at the head of it all) was fought in different theatres including Afghanistan (the 70s war of liberation), Vietnam and Korea.

Both previous world wars were sparked by the political interest of a particular European power and later spilled to awaken other seemingly non related sleeping conflicts across the world. The result sent repercussions all over the world from Cameroon in west Africa to the Falklands in south America to Tsingtao in the east.

a pattern that can be linked with the current happenings in the Ukraine is observable. A power (Austria Hungary in 1914, Germany in 1939 and Russia now) attempting to exert influence unto a lesser powerful neighboring country (Serbia in 1914, Poland in 1939s and Ukraine now) to exert its superiority in the region (as in the case of Austria Hungary, Germany and Russian).

The probability of the Ukrainian invasion by Russia consequently culminating into World War 3 is very much likely if history is anything to go by. The West is already into preparation for a long standing conflict as a result of stopping Russian aggression in the former Soviet Union satellite regions.

However, the conflict in the Caucus is not where it will stop if things go out of control. The Chinese-Taiwanese, Iran-Saudi, Israeli-Arab, North-South Korea, and other underlying conflicts have the tendency of flaring out in the event of a fully engaged war between the US, Russia and the West.

Economic and cyber warfare will bring down many economies to their knees. Supply chain disruption will lead to commodity scarcity and the subsequent price hike. Countries like Nigeria that heavily depend on imported goods (commodity economy) will suffer in that regard.

Despite all the bad things the war can come along with, the worst that can happen is the use of a nuclear weapon by any of the warring parties. More than a comfortable number of countries have reached a certain extent of nuclear proliferation. The use of the weapon in the war is unimaginable in terms of global consequences from food security, healthcare, economy and whatnot.

Bashir Kabir is a commentator in a wide range of subjects including politics, history, economy, corruption, governance, science and tech, society and many more. Contact him on 09071592002

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