16.05.2024 Author: Taut Bataut

Is the World Heading Towards World War 3?

Is the World Heading Towards World War 3?

With the ever-escalating tensions throughout the world, analysts, observers, and political analysts are anxious about the outbreak of an all-out war around the world. Talks about the possibility of the World War 3 are rife among the people. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist has also announced that the hand of the doomsday clock is closest ever to a global apocalypse – 90 seconds to midnight, amidst rising AI and nuclear threats. This implies that humans are closest to destroying their world due to their geopolitical rivalries. The world has already faced two major global conflicts, World War 1 and World War 2, with 15 million and 70 to 85 million soldiers and civilian deaths respectively.

However, thanks to the political sanity of global leaders, countries, since then, have shown restraint in their rivalries. But some of the contemporary leaders are once again pushing the world towards a new global war. Threat to the US hegemony serves as the most significant reason behind this global apocalypse. The rise of China and Russia on the global scale as the novel superpowers of the world, and the increasing significance of the middle powers in shaping the contours of global politics, has threatened the US-led unipolar world order. The leaders and establishment of the United States assume Russia, and China as their country’s biggest rivals.

To counter the rise of Russia, the United States conspired to admit Ukraine to NATO, threatening the security and sovereignty of the former. This move aggravated Russia and instigated a direct conflict between the former and Ukraine. Despite Russia’s obvious military supremacy over Ukraine, the former demonstrated restraint to avoid the spread of this war. Russia is continuously trying to keep the conflict limited. It iterated its desire to resolve the conflict through negotiations multiple times. Russia and Ukraine reached a peace deal in early 2022. However, NATO and the United States chose to escalate the war that degenerated in Ukraine into a war of attrition. The United States seeks to contain Russia and China through its proxies like Ukraine. For this purpose, it is adopting all possible strategies to prolong the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Although the United States and its NATO allies have rejected this claim, a leaked Pentagon document suggests that some NATO soldiers are fighting in Ukraine – in addition to providing intelligence and weapons.

The Indo-Pacific region is another hot spot of global rivalry in contemporary times. The region is currently known to be one of the most precarious regions in the world due to the strong presence of Chinese and US naval forces. The United States is incessantly arming the regional countries to curtail rising Chinese influence. It provided nuclear-powered submarines to Australia, which pitted the latter directly against China as a US proxy. Moreover, the US’s surging military and defense ties with India are also threatening regional peace, as China perceives this as a threat to its security. Although the United States has repeatedly declared its support for the “One China, two Systems” Policy, it continues to covertly support the separatist Taiwanese leaders. It also keeps taking actions regarding Taiwan, which infuriates China. This further intensifies the chances of regional escalation, which holds the potential to spiral out of control.

The ongoing Israel-Hamas war also holds the potential to engulf more than just Palestine or the Middle East. Israel is continuously and deliberately attempting to expand this war. Its attacks on Iran’s consulate were part of its plans to expand this war into a regional war. However, Iran’s prudent and measured response poured water on its ambitions. Israel and the United States – along with Germany, the UK, and France, are violating and rendering international institutions like ICJ and the United Nations ineffective. This further enhances the probability of failed diplomacy among states. If one keenly observes the start of World War 1, he can conclude that it started with the conflict between two smaller states due to the failure of diplomatic channels and negotiations between them and engulfed almost the whole of the world.

Tensions in the Korean Peninsula have also flared up in recent years. The alliance between South Korea and the United States is strengthening with the passage of time. This has brought Russia and North Korea even closer. On the other hand, the African continent is also struggling with internal chaos and turmoil due to the instability instigated by the former Western colonial powers, especially France. All these circumstances and events show that the world is sleepwalking towards World War 3. Russia and China are attempting to engage the developing world through their inclusive policies and forums like BRICS. However, the current geopolitical intricacies demand the adoption of astute and prudent diplomacy to avoid any uncontainable catastrophe. The West, especially the US establishment, needs to revive its foreign endeavors. Otherwise, a small conflict or misadventure could plunge the world into a predicament undesirable and unpredictable by people around the world.


Taut Bataut – is a researcher and writer that publishes on South Asian geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine  “New Eastern Outlook”

Related articles: