Recent events could spark a global conflict – this is how it may all pan out.
PRESIDENT Trump’s missile attack on the Syrian regime brought the daunting prospect of World War Three even closer.
The whirlwind assault was in response to evidence showing brutal dictator Bashar al-Assad dropped chemical weapons on a rebel-held town.
Evidence suggests that it was from here that regime planes carrying the murderous gas bombs took off, according to the President.
The UK called the deadly riposte — which completely destroyed the base and killed personnel — an “appropriate” response to Assad’s barbaric slaughter of around 100 people, including children.
But in a sign of how fraught with risk the move was, the Pentagon revealed that it had given prior warning to pro-Assad Russian counterparts before the missile strike.
There were fears that such an action, consistently avoided under the Obama administration despite his talk of a “red line” being crossed, may pave the way to conflict between old foes America and Russia.
Whether it was simply a symbolic response to deter the use of chemical weapons, or the beginning of a more protracted effort to remove Assad at the risk of riling Moscow, remains to be seen.
But if a third global conflict does break out, how will it start, what will it look like, and who’s going to win?
If World War Three does kick off how will it start?
There was a time when it seemed like the prospect of war with the likes of Russia and China had disappeared with the end of the Cold War.
But tense relationships between the world’s major military players means that the outbreak of another global conflict is a distinct possibility.
Russia and the US’s involvement in the war in Syria has created a situation where the two nations’ planes are reportedly flying dangerously close to each other on bombing runs.
Strongman Russian leader Vladimir Putin has also deployed warships to the Baltic Sea carrying nuclear-capable missiles.
Russian media claimed the ships were strategically placed to have European cities in their sights.
Putin’s warships also sailed down the English Channel whilst being “man marked every step of the way” by the Royal Navy.
In recent years Russia has engaged in conflicts in Georgia, Syria, and the Ukraine.
They have also recently unveiled their Satan 2 nuclear missile which is thought to be the most powerful warhead ever made.
If World War Three does kick off it seems the Russians will have something to go with it.
Prof. Paul D Miller of the National Defence University in Washington DC — who predicted the invasion of Crimea and the Ukraine conflict — said the Baltic state is next on Russia’s hit list.
But Putin won’t use conventional troops. Instead, he will recreate what happened in Ukraine and stir up ethnic Russians in the country.
“Putin will instigate an ambiguous militarised crisis using deniable proxies, probably in the next two years”, he said.
Professor Nick Bostrom insists that three of the most pressing risks to humanity are pandemic diseases, like Zika or Ebola, extreme climate change and nuclear war.
His fears were outlined in a report launched at the Finnish Embassy in London.
Lead author Sebastian Farquhar explained: “As the Ebola and Zika crises showed, managing pandemics is a global responsibility.
“But too much planning is still national, and little attention is paid to worst-case scenarios including risks from deliberately engineered pathogens.”
The shock presidential election win of brash billionaire Donald Trump led to speculation that his fiery temperament could lead to a global war.
While the President admitted it is “very scary” to have his finger on the nuclear button, he also said he intends to “strengthen and expand” the US’s nuclear capability.
During his election campaign, Trump also slammed America’s NATO allies leading to reports the US could pull of the military alliance which was signed after the Second World War.
Experts have also warned that Trump’s relentless Twitter attacks against his many enemies could spark a conflict countries such as volatile North Korea.
Jeffrey Lewis, a nuclear expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, believes Trump should be banned from Twitter if America gets into an escalating crisis with a nuclear power like North Korea.
He told the Washington Post that Kim Jong-un’s rogue state could easily misinterpret his intentions and start firing off missiles at nearby American allies Japan and South Korea.
“Imagine we’re in a crisis — if he recklessly tweets, people could read these things in the worst possible light,” Lewis said.
North Korea has been carrying out underground nuclear tests for around a decade and is thought to be developing high-tech missiles capable of striking the US.
Why might someone want to start a deadly global war?
A conflict could be deliberately sparked by countries wanting to change the political or hierarchical structure of our world.
President Xi Jinping of China made a connection between military strength and being a global power in his “Chinese dream” speech.
The Chinese premier has envisioned a concept called “Guanjun Guoji Genti” – which centres around the idea of replacing the US as the world’s leading power.
China’s growing economy means it may want to reorder the global system to play to its strengths.
World War Three could be a result of China flexing its muscles to sweep the US aside.
The two nations are involved in a tense stand-off over the South China Sea and Taiwan which could spark a military incident.
A top US historian has also warned that humankind could be sleepwalking its way into Armageddon, warning that Brexit and Donald Trump’s recent victory has seen a collapse of faith in globalisation.
Cyber and space: how events could unfold
Some military experts fear that conflicts such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have exposed the West’s weaknesses to the likes of Moscow and Beijing.
The terrifying thing about a new global conflict is how much more sophisticated and dangerous warfare techniques are now compared to any other time in history.
The war would feature domains that didn’t feature in previous conflicts, namely cyberspace and space itself.
Military satellites are in the Earth’s orbit and more than 80 per cent of Nato’s military communications travel on commercial satellites.
This makes them targets that are arguably as strategically important as airfields or shipyards.
China is said to have incredible anti-satellite capabilities and Russia is also believed to be working on weapons that will target Nato’s space systems.
The US military budgeted $5bn this year for its space war strategy.
Cyber warfare is already well underway as Chinese hacking groups have penetrated a US F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.
The plane was designed to give Western countries a huge advantage on the battlefield a generation ahead.
However after its hacking activity China is now preparing to export its own J-31 plane, which is said to look almost completely identical.
China is also said to have stolen 1.1m fingerprints from the US.
World War Three would involve a high degree of cyber theft and cyber attacks.
Russia used cyber attacks to damage communications in their conflict with Ukraine.
The US has used a Stuxnet digital weapon to damage Iranian nuclear research facilities.
Who would win the war?
This is an impossible question to answer with any certainty, but if you are basing it solely on hardware it would seem the US is in the best position to win.
The US is the only country in possession of fifth-gen fighter jets – 187 F-22s and an F-35 that is not yet out of the testing phase.
Russia is developing one stealth fighter and China is working on four.
In terms of submarines the US Navy has 14 ballistic missile submarines with a combined 280 nuclear missiles.
They also possess four guided missile submarines with 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles each and 54 nuclear attack submarines.
Russia has only 60 submarines but they are said to have outstanding stealth capabilities.
They are also developing a 100-megaton nuclear torpedo.
China has five nuclear attack submarines, 53 diesel attack submarines, and four nuclear ballistic missile submarines to date.
However, the emerging superpower is developing more. source
Watch the Aftermath of The US Strike On Syria Airbase:
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