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News Major conflict in 21st century ?

  1. Dec 18, 2008 #1


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    This is maybe a strange topic, as it is purely opinion and anyone's opinion is as good as any other (although there have been some tentative social studies on the issue which I have lost references if people find them, you're welcome to post them here - that would be interesting).

    Here it goes: what do you think are the chances that during the 21st century, there will be a major military conflict that will affect a large part of the world population (say, WW-III), nuclear or massively conventional, and what do you guess will be the most probable origin of it if you think it is likely ?

    I agree that nobody has a crystal ball :smile:
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 18, 2008 #2
    I have several. It's just that they don't do anything.

    There are about 90 years before us, with many countries having access to nuclear weapons and a total paradigm shift of what "terrorism" is. Yeah, suicide bombers and Kamikaze pilots existed before, but this kind of shows how far some people are willing to take it. The idea that someone will piss someone else off and the back-and-forth starts to escalate until nobody can step in and stop it is reasonable. Look at the Mumbai thing. It's already creating a lot more tension between Pakistan and India. How much longer before they start slaughtering each other?

    I don't remember a 1st world country being at the receiving end of a conflict in a long time. There is no telling what would happen if two 1st or 2nd world countries started war with each other.
  4. Dec 18, 2008 #3


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    There is virtually no chance of a war between major world powers. Iraq, 1991, is about as big as conventional war can get.
  5. Dec 18, 2008 #4
    Apart from the climate war, no indeed. The difference with WO-II is economic globalization. In the old days economies were closed entities within one state or a few states, battling for the better piece of the cake. Nowadays it's unthinkable that General Motors Hongkong finds itself to be in war with General Motors Adelaide or something likewise.
  6. Dec 18, 2008 #5
    We're talking about a hundred years here... A lot can happen between now and 2100. So I wouldn't say the chances are "virtually zero".
  7. Dec 18, 2008 #6


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    At the moment. 90 years is a plenty of time. But I agree that it is unlikely that anything (in terms of major powers being involved) will happen in the near future. In 2030 situation may look different, shift happens.

    There is plenty of local conflicts that can end in local conventional wars, but they will be just local.

    I think there is a huge conflict between poor and rich. This one is unlikely to end with war as the poor don't have means to attack the rich - unless we are talking about terrorist attacks. These are hard to classify as conventional war, but this is kind of a war. (Poor and rich is kind of a generalization - some parts of this conflict may have ideological roots, some can be attributed to faith, nationalism - but to some extent these are all flavors of the same problem; make them fat and they will calm down).

    Conflict that I am most afraid of is the one between India and Pakistan, both sides have nuclear weapons, and with events like Mombai attack situation is not going to get better anytime soon.

    Edit: tchitt beat me and posted similar comments. That's what happens when you start composing a post and then unexpectedly you have to do something else for half an hour.
  8. Dec 18, 2008 #7


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    Still, there is place for conflict between - say - Gasprom and Shell or ExxonMobil (I can be completely off in my selection of names, but you hopefully should be able to get the general idea).
  9. Dec 18, 2008 #8


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    Bad example especially from 1939-1941 !

    I think Borek is closer to the mark. Instead of the USA and Russia going to war over oil in the middle east we will jsut cut out the middle man and have Gasprom and Shell going to war. Since with companies like Blackhawk we have privatised most of the war anyway.
    Now the corporations can just hire their own 'security consultants' and leave the politicians out of it.
  10. Dec 18, 2008 #9
    Europe vs. Middle East?

    Out of time: Radical Islam Taking Over Europe & West

    Radical Muslims In Britain Part 1/5

    What Muslims Want? (ISLAM EXPOSED)


    There are lot of Muslims in Europe, who fail to adapt to the western society, so to speak, and keep seeing the western way of life as evil, and something that should be destroyed. If Europe fails to make them adapt, which may be likely, because the task may be too difficult and may require more understanding about evolution of cultures than we have, and if Europe also fails to shut the doors to East, which may be likely too, because all critique of multiculturalism can be seen as condemnable racism, it could be that at some point "the Muslim problem" grows beyond the critical value in the Europe, and results in dramatic rise of racism and nationalism.

    Could this lead to civil wars in some European countries, or possibly wars between European and Middle East countries too, if Islamic countries start protecting their ethnic minorities in the West?
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  11. Dec 18, 2008 #10


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    Re: Europe vs. Middle East?

    No it will be OK. Because all Chinese restaurants have scores of Chinese army hidden in the basements as part of plot to take over the world. Add in all the unions, anti-nuclear and environmental campaigners, who are all KGB agents remember, and there are more than enough highly trained heavily armed atheists to defeat them.
  12. Dec 18, 2008 #11
    We already know that small groups of radical Muslims can be a serious threat (suicide bombings and all that). It is careless to believe that large masses in Europe would remain harmless.
  13. Dec 18, 2008 #12


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    Muslim terrorists have killed 50 people in the UK.
    Catholic terrorists killed 2000, protestant terrorists 1200.
    I'm not sure if orthodox Jews driving Volvos in North London consitute an official terrorist campaign - but as a cyclist they are pretty scary.

    In the rest of Europe the current winners are ETA (who aren't sure if they are Catholic or Marxist)
  14. Dec 18, 2008 #13
    Anyway, Vanesch, if you want the informed opinion about the chances of an all out war, perhaps check out the publications of one of my teachers, Dutch Prof Rob de Wijk

    http://www.twq.com/04winter/docs/04winter_dewijk.pdf [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  15. Dec 18, 2008 #14
    I'm not a history guru, but am I correct to believe that in the poor pre-nazi Germany Jews were financially in slightly elitistic position? This partially enabled talented speakers to start turning people against Jews then?

    I almost got distracted by the comments which attempted to ridicule my post, but now watching my own post more carefully, I can see that I did not claim that Muslims would pose such threat that they would in the end conquer the entire Europe. I claimed, that they could grow to be such threat, that it will start feeding racism. It could become possible for a talented speakers to start turning people against European Muslims. Those radical Muslims, who want to destroy the western civilization, are pretty optimal target for such movement, right? Hitler succeeded in turning people against rather peaceful Jews, so it doesn't appear to be the most impossible task to turn people against Muslims then.

    For example, it could be that in some country a such party rises into power, which will ban Islam, and throw Muslims out from the country? If you think that's impossible, then fine, I cannot know its possibility for sure, but to me it doesn't seem anymore impossible than wars seem to be impossible either. If that happens, it could be a way to a major conflict.
  16. Dec 18, 2008 #15
    Well, Hitler was trying to conquer all of europe. Invading countries left and right. I don't think the world would've cared much if he was throwing out all of the Jews in Germany.

    Ethnic cleansing has happened since but the sky didn't fall.
  17. Dec 18, 2008 #16
    But it's also careless to associate any Muslim as a potential radical out there to kill people. If we do, then couldn't the same be said about other religions?
  18. Dec 18, 2008 #17
    I predict a rise in terrorism, a rise in propaganda, and a rise in western public tension followed by a muslim holocaust.

    The reason I say this is that I have already noticed a large number of people who I would never expect who have the kill em all attitude, and it almost seams publicly acceptable. Some talk radio stations have this attitude as well, and it is alarming that it is accepted.

    Secondly, we are heading for a depression, and when there is a depression, anything goes.
  19. Dec 18, 2008 #18
    there is too much hydrocarbon within reach of russia, china, europe, and the usa for there not to be a chance of a major conflict. i think the recent russian stomping of georgia is just a taste of the things to come.
  20. Dec 18, 2008 #19
    But a major conflict is a long shot. As we saw with Afghanistan, the Taliban didn't embrace technology and other advancements. Any major conflicts would necessarily be indirectly associated.
  21. Dec 18, 2008 #20


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    We already know that a small number of catholics can be a serious threat (car bombings and all that ). It is careless to believe that the large masses in Boston or New York could remain harmless.
  22. Dec 18, 2008 #21

    True, it is highly unlikely the US and Russia and/or China would go slugging it out in a nuke fight, however that being said there is still a belt of instability from Morocco to Pakistan full of failed states with failed economies. Combining this with religious extremism (which was pushed in large part by Saudi funded maddrassas using our own petro dollars) and rapid population growth that is a recipe for trouble. If any conflicts come it will be between nations that have, by and large, chose the path of modernity (US, Russia, China, EU) and those that didn't (mostly islamic states). That's my theory anyway.
  23. Dec 18, 2008 #22
    A conventional war is not nuclear.
  24. Dec 18, 2008 #23


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    Muslim vs Christian (non-muslim) discord has been around since the two cultures first bumped into each other. It's all just background noise really. It fills in the gaps until something important comes along.

    The next major conflict will start like all it's predecessors. Nations will group together in alliances and as these greater bodies absorb more of the self-interests of their members, eventually they will fall foul of the the interests of a member of a rival bloc and so once again a small spark will lead to a huge conflagration as it has all through history. I'm sure every generation has said 'but we're different now' only to end up travelling the same well beaten path to war.
  25. Dec 18, 2008 #24
    I'm not worried about China declaring war on Germany or something like that, I'm worried about an incident like Pakistan all out attacking India or vice versa sparking a bigger conflict when people start to take sides.
  26. Dec 18, 2008 #25
    I believe he means that people will see muslims as a threat (many already do) which will raise tensions and raise the likelihood of conflict. Racial tension and poor treatment of muslims in european countries are more or less an invitation for terrorist organizations to come stir the pot. If terrorist organizations take action it will only raise tensions further.

    Its sort of like the KKK's long awaited "race war" in America. Except that european muslims have relatively well financed paramilitary groups ready to "intervene" whether they want them to or not. I'm not sure I would assign the idea a very high probability but I wouldn't consider it out of the question either.
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