Saturday, August 30, 2008

Let's talk about World War III

It is time to seriously contemplate World War III. The most important elements are already in place. Just as so many experts on the Caucasus have predicted, the region has become a power keg and the main source of great-power rivalry.

Obviously, disagreements between great powers go far beyond this region and, in fact, conflicts and war in the Caucasus are rather insignificant in their grand games and calculations. Yet the United States, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and Russia all have important symbolic stakes there - there are promises to local players and fears that abandoning them might hurt reputation and global standing.

Paradoxically, the chances of a major, global armed conflict have increased since the probability of a large-scale nuclear war has declined to zero, in all practical terms. No one fears that the world will be annihilated, and thus the world is now deemed reasonably safe for a conventional war.

Let us try to imagine how World War III might start. Dr Nikolai Sokov in AsiaTimes online.