World War III
, or the
Third World War
successor to World War II
(1939–1945) which would be on a
global scale, with common speculation that it would likely be
and devastating in nature.
This war is anticipated and planned for by military and civil
authorities, and explored in fiction
countries. Concepts ranged from limited use of atomic weapons, to
destruction of the planet
With the development of the arms race
collapse of the Soviet Union
and end of the Cold War, an
war between the United States
and the Soviet Union was considered plausible. The Doomsday Clock
has served as a symbol of
historic World War III close calls since the Truman Doctrine
went into effect in 1947.
The Cuban Missile Crisis
1962 is generally thought to be the historical point at which the
risk of World War III was closest. On June 12 to June 26, 1999 Russian and NATO forces
had a standoff over the Pristina Airport in Kosovo.
this time one British general said "I'm not going to start the
Third World War for you".
Difficulty in determining a "World War"
The English term "World War
" has only seen
widespread use during one conflict—World War II. The German
biologist and philosopher Ernst
wrote this shortly after the start of World War
This is the first known instance of the term First World
, which previously had been dated to 1931 for the earliest
usage. The term was used again near the end of the war. English
journalist Charles A. Repington (1858–1925) wrote:
Known as The Great War in the 1920s, it ignored the Napoleonic wars
as having the dubious honour
of being the first to be called the "Great War" although it, like
the Cold War
, was a collection of coalition
conflicts, and not a single
continuous conflict as was the Second World War.
It may take years before another major conflict could be arguably
recognized as a World War III. Serious wars before and after the
first two world wars, even those closely associated with them, are
not now treated as part of the larger conflict. These include the
Balkan Wars from 1912 to 1913 and the
Polish-Soviet War from 1919 to
1921, the Japanese invasion of Manchuria
and later China, the Spanish Civil
War, the Italian invasions of Ethiopia and Albania, the 1938
German annexation of Austria (Anschluss),
and the subsequent occupation of Czechoslovakia.
Therefore, the specific event where a
future World War III begins may only be determined
analysts and historians have suggested the Cold War can be
identified as World War III because it was fought on a global scale
by proxy combatants of the United States
and later NATO, and the
Union and Warsaw Pact
In a 2006 interview, then-U.S.
President George W. Bush
labeled the ongoing War on
as "World War III".
World War III is also a common theme in popular culture
. A vast apocalyptic and
post-apocalyptic science fiction
literature exists describing
the postulated execution and aftermath of World War III, several
notable movies have been made based on World War III, and it is the
topic of various comics, video games, songs, magazines, radio
programs, newspapers, websites and billboards.
- BBC News
- Naton in his World War IV: The Long Struggle Against
- On the July 10 edition of Fox News' The Big Story, host John
Gibson interviewed Michael Ledeen, resident scholar at the American
Enterprise Institute (AEI), and said "some are calling the global
war on terror something else, something more like World War III."
But Ledeen responded, "It's more like World War IV because there
was a Cold War, which was certainly a world war." Ledeen added,
"Probably the start of it [World War IV] was the Iranian revolution
of 1979." Similarly, on the May 24 edition of CNBC's Kudlow and
Company, host Lawrence Kudlow, discussing a book by former deputy
Under-secretary of Defense Jed Babbin, said "World War IV is the
terror war, and war with China would be World War V.", Mediamatters.org
- A little more than a month after the September 11
attacks, Eliot Cohen, the director of strategic
studies at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International
Studies at Johns Hopkins University, declared in the Wall Street
Journal that the struggle against terrorism was more than a
law-enforcement operation, and would require military conflict
beyond the invasion of Afghanistan. Cohen, like Marenches,
considered World War III to be history. "A less palatable but more
accurate name is World War IV," he wrote. "The Cold War was World
War III, which reminds us that not all global conflicts entail the
movement of multi-million-man armies, or conventional front lines
on a map." Macleans.ca
- Bush likens 'war on terror' to WWIII. 06/05/2006.