World War 3
For years, people have wondered when, if ever, the next great war will be. Since the last two world wars, we have had many conflicts around the world. The most prominent of these being the Cold War, which put the world in constant fear of a nuclear apocolypse. Yet, despite all the nuclear testing and stockpiling, it never really translated into more than proxy conflicts in isolated countries like Afghanistan. Hence it is today appropriately named the "Cold War".
There have been conflicts which could have possibly escalated into a global war. The Korean war and the Vietnam war are two examples. The Soviets and the Chinese backed one side while the Americans and their allies backed the other. At one point, the Chinese directly got involved during the Korean war to push NATO south and are arguably one of the main reasons for the North-South divide that exists to this day in the Korean Peninsula. However, despite all this, it never really escalated to a global war. But today, we are finally at a stage where the world is dreading the possibility of a third, and possibly final, world war.
The world is seeing multiple hotspots at the same time that could escalate into a global war. The Chinese are putting constant pressure on Taiwan. First, they went after Hong Kong. The protests were crushed, pro Beijing politicians were promoted to power and any autonomy that Hong Kong had seems to be ending. Since then, China put its eyes on Taiwan. They have sent multiple threatening signals. This includes sending a record number of jets in to the air defence zone of Taiwan. Taiwan has on the other hand been drumming up support from its allies and preparing its military to defend the island. They recently even revealed the presence of some US military personel on the island.
Another war front that has been heating up is the Saudi-Iran proxy conflict. while the two countries are not in as tense relations today as they were before, Iran's proxies still threaten the Gulf state and it's allies. the Saudis are still waging their war in Yemen, despite the famine and mounting international pressure for a peaceful solution. The Houthis continue to launch rocket attacks into the Saudi kingdom, but recently they have increased their targets significantly. The Houthis attacked Abu Dhabi which led to three civilian casualties amongst the South Asian diaspora working there. This is a significant escalation with huge ramifications on a global stage. UAE is crucial for international trade and has earned itself a reputation of being a safe and attractive country for both tourists and foreign workers. Both of these things could be at risk now that the Houthis are directly targeting the UAE.
Finally, we come to the most intense flashpoint. This is the Ukraine-Russia border in Europe. Russia has ammased over 100,000 troops and Western countries are warning of an imminent Russian invasion into Ukraine. NATO countries are flooding Ukraine with military equipment, medical aid and all kinds of supplies to prepare for what they see as inevitable. Many countries have already stationed their troops in strategic locations. The US is considering sending thousands of troops to the region. If there is anything that could trigger World War 3, it's this.
In conclusion, we seem to be rushing towards a global conflict that could break out at any moment. In case of a war where US & its allies fight China and Russia's allies, there will be two wild cards: India and Pakistan. Currently, Pakistan has strong relations with China while India is seen as an American ally against China. However, these two countries have a history of being on opposite ends. During the Cold war, India was officially non aligned but had stronger ties with the Soviet Union. Pakistan was firmly backed by the US. Any global conflict is likely to see war break out between these two countries as well, and only time can tell how that will play out. Nuclear weapons are the greatest threat to humanity in any potential world war, and all major players today have them.