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Ending WW3

  1. Feb 4, 2008 #1
    Every day, when i get up and listen to news, I see how people are getting killed in other countries. I also see, how other countries are focusing toward Nuc-Weaopons. I just don't get all this. For what reason, world is getting into different direction ? Ending the WW2 USA had to dropped two bombs in japan. That was only way to stop the WW2 at that time.
    I am just curious about how someone will stop WW3 ? Do you all think someone will come up with NEW TYPE OF BUMB?
    In my point of view, i don't think there will be a way to stop WW3.

    How will WW3 end?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 4, 2008 #2

    russ_watters

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    Irrelevant question: Partly because of nuclear wepons, there won't be a WW3.
     
  4. Feb 4, 2008 #3

    BobG

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    There's no reason World War III would have to involve nuclear weapons. A nuclear holocaust would only be a threat if the war were between major powers (like back in the cold war).

    A world war at least as significant as World War I is a realistic possibility in the Middle East where only Israel and Pakistan are likely to currently have nuclear weapons. Having only two nuclear powers means a war in a 'safe, non-nuclear' area can spring up and eventually spread to involve militaries from other continents and also include the one or two countries possessing a means to put an end to the war whenever they feel the need to.

    Even if a world war in the Middle East wound up having nuclear weapons used, it would be more on the level of the World War II rather than an all out nuclear holocaust.

    While possible, I do think a world war in the Middle East would be unlikely since a nearly guaranteed disruption of oil income is a fairly significant deterrent in itself. Maybe not on the level of nuclear anihilation, but strong enough that the surrounding countries tend to pull back right at the verge of jumping in.
     
  5. Feb 4, 2008 #4

    russ_watters

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    I know I'm probably nitpicking a little, but that's kinda how I would define "world war".
    I'm not sure I get your categorization. "World war in the Middle East" is basically a contradiction in terms. WWI and II involved pretty much every major world power at the time. A war limited to middle-eastern countries wouldn't even come close to the amount of military might thrown around in them. Heck, if every country in the middle east went to war with Israel, it still wouldn't equal the amount of force employed in the first Gulf War, which US military policy identifies as a "large regional war".

    There is a US military concept called "total war", which describes the level of commitment of the involved parties (particularly the US...). It is defined as a war effort that requires mobilization of all of the country's excess resources to aid the war effort. Ie, converting car factories into airplane factories like in WWII. A country like Pakistan has a considerable population to throw at a war effort, but it does not have anywhere near the economic power required to wage war on the scale of what the western world did in WWII.

    We are not likely see major powers need to be that committed to a war anytime in the forseeable future.
     
  6. Feb 4, 2008 #5
    I hope you're right, Bob. I think a major flare up in the Middle East that incidentally threatened to cut off the oil supply would see an immediate response by the major powers, each interested in maintaining their own supply. The Saudi's and Iranians, etc would quickly become irrelevant pawns and pushed aside. China is becoming increasingly thirsty for oil, as is India, another nuclear power. Nobody wants to be out on the sidelines when the spigot is cut off. Imagine if China or Russia intervened in an Arab-Israeli war that went nuclear. If the international supply wasn't maintained, the other would feel awfully threatened, and it wouldn't be long at all before people got desperate. Bad things could happen.

    Not that I think it's going to happen. But it's disturbing that the scenario isn't far less possible.
     
  7. Feb 5, 2008 #6

    vanesch

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    I think that is not correct actually. There wasn't any need to drop those bombs - if you want the details, read "the making of the atomic bomb" by Richard Rhodes (great reading in any case!!). In fact, Truman decided to use it, because he wanted to win from Japan before the Russians went in, and the capitulation of Germany made it entirely possible for them to go in at any moment, and they had a huge number of troops ready to go in in the north. In other words, Truman didn't want to be confronted with having to share the victory over Japan with Stalin, and the classical fire bombing air raids on Japanese cities weren't having the hoped-for effect of demoralisation of the Japanese fast enough. Also, Truman wanted to get out some geopolitical advantage of the develloped bomb, and without a demonstration, nobody would take it seriously.

    So, without the bombs, Japan would have lost in any case, but 6 months or a year later, with a massive invasion by the russians. It would indeed have cost the lives of many many US and russian soldiers, Japan would have to be shared with Stalin, and no demo of the new bomb on the international theater would have been possible.
     
  8. Feb 5, 2008 #7

    BobG

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    That's an interesting thought. Instead of a Korean War, we could have had a Japanese War between North Japan and South Japan. We wouldn't have a Reverend Sun Myung Moon or Tongsun Park. We might not even have Nissans and Toyotas.
     
  9. Feb 5, 2008 #8
    A friend of mine, a jarhead, was sitting on a troopship when the bombs were dropped. He would have been in the first wave and they were told to expect 90% casulaties. A lifelong Republican, he always idolized Truman. It depends on your perspective.
     
  10. Feb 5, 2008 #9

    russ_watters

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    I think vanesch's full explanation is pretty clear and accurate. That statement you object to could be reworded as "the war could still have been won without it".
     
  11. Feb 5, 2008 #10

    mheslep

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    Thanks, yes on rereading the OP I see Vanesch was responding to
    and obviously the Allies had conventional means to end the war though with great cost. My above post deleted. I think the statement about Truman though is still bit over stated. Yes the Soviets were a factor. (Russians I know hate being credited with any actions of the former SU). Truman also issued the Potsdam based ultimatum for surrender, which one doesn't do if your only goal is drop the bomb and demonstrate it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2008
  12. Feb 5, 2008 #11
    Why would there a war on scale with the wars between 1914-1927 and 1935-1945? What provoked the two previous wars?
     
  13. Feb 5, 2008 #12

    Evo

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    WWI was started when the Arch Duke Francis Ferdinand was assinated in a motorcade.

    WWII was due to Hitler's invasion of Poland in defiance of the Treaty of Versailles.

    For more details, either find an encyclopedia or find information online.
     
  14. Feb 5, 2008 #13
    That's a starting point.

    That's another starting point.

    Economic disputes generally drive nations toward war; why then after all did the British Navy and Army follow British capitalism all over the world during the 18th and 19th century?
     
  15. Feb 5, 2008 #14

    Evo

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    Uhm, perhaps because the military follow orders from the country's leader, and that British colonization was beneficial to the British?
     
  16. Feb 5, 2008 #15
    I think that terrorism is the future of warfare because then there is no place to counter attack. When all countries have nukes, then terrorism will be a way of war for all nations including superpowers.

    I saw a special on TV about Biowarfare. The show was mostly about a Soviet Bioengineering program aimed at creating the ultimate plagues. People now believe that the project was ended along with the S.U., but experts are still concerned about not only Russia, but China Korea etc.

    Many experts put the risk of Bioterrorism above the risk of Nuclear attack, and consider it a much greater threat. A disease is easier to get into a country than a bomb. It is likely we wouldn't know who was behind such an attack, or if there even is someone behind it. This is invisible terrorism and it scares me more than any other threat facing us today.

    These will be the types of problems with ending WW3. Ultimately it will be near impossible to end terrorism, especially invisible terrorism. The best bet we have at ending WW3 is to eventually unite the world not into a one world government, but into peace agreements and through gaining trust. Meanwhile overpopulation, decreases in food supply, and other issues compound the problem of world peace in the future. It seams to me that bad things in the future are going to happen and WW3 may be an ongoing invisible war that goes undetected.
     
  17. Feb 5, 2008 #16
    There are at least two needs to drop the bomb in your own argument.

    Can you provide a plan the allies may have used to end the war with Japan within two weeks time before dropping the bomb?
     
  18. Feb 5, 2008 #17

    Evo

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    If you know your history, you know that the Japanese were on the verge of surrendering.

    I suggest that you do some studying.
     
  19. Feb 5, 2008 #18
    They were also on the verge of having nukes. They were almost there when the war ended.
     
  20. Feb 5, 2008 #19

    Correct, but no where near an unconditional surrender.
     
  21. Feb 6, 2008 #20

    vanesch

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    Given that the atomic bomb plan was highly secret, even to high-placed military commanders, they had of course plans, and they were in fact executing them. The main idea was to burn out about all Japanese cities, which were also the main support for the Japanese war effort, and to demoralise completely the Japanese. This was in fact working. It was in fact working so much, that orders were issued to the military NOT to damage certain cities which had to be saved to try the bomb onto: a burned-out city wouldn't show the actual damage potential of a nuke (which was unknown at the time!). In fact, some cities were not considered for nuking because they were already too much burned out by conventional fire bombing. The B29/B44 were mainly designed for this continued burning out of Japanese cities.

    In the environment of the emperor, in fact, surrender was being discussed. What blocked was the - to the Japanese inacceptable - clause of "unconditional surrender", which was considered too much of an insult, but even that was being considered by the emperor: he only had a few hard-line military which didn't want to take that insult. There is btw a discussion about this single word, which some think Truman expressly put in. A symbolic "non-unconditional" surrender (which actually took place), such as leaving the emperor in place or something would have been accepted immediately by the Japanese.

    So Japan was in any case totally destroyed in the summer of 1945, and the military estimated that it could hold out at most 6 months or a year. The war would have been over then. But Stalin was ready to go in earlier, and that wouldn't have suited Truman. So if the Americans wanted to claim victory alone over Japan, they had the options:
    - go in with a land invasion, with very high casualty rate
    - drop atomic bombs.

    If the sole aim was to have Japan surrender sooner or later they could:
    - just retract the word "unconditional"
    - or go on bombing classically for a few more months, while the Soviets would do the cleaning up. The victory would then be Stalin's.

    So yes, there were good geopolitical reasons to drop the bombs. But its aim was not, as is often claimed, to stop WWII. It would have stopped in any case.
     
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