Here’s a macabre exercise, which could be intellectually stimulating:
Consider that France and Germany are slapping around Greece, and Greece reacted with a strong nationalistic response. (Today, Greece may rescind its own referendum on the bailout, but maybe not.)
How might historians in the future look back on today and consider this the trigger that started WWIII?
What would be the tipping point that moves from Euro protection to outright war? There are always “tipping points” that exasperate nationalism and war mongers; some are convenient ‘window dressing’ to justify actions already desired: the archduke’s assassination, the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
+ Germany has a strong history of war, and France a history of collaboration.
+ Many society’s economies are in crisis, a very common trigger for warfare and revolution.
+ If Greece pushes back against the Europeans, they will be pushed out of the EU. Such a splintering of unity based on nationalism is ripe for war.
+ Tipping points also trigger long-standing agreements between countries to enter into war for support of aggressors or victims.
+ A European war would present unique opportunities for Arab and Persian societies to try to enrich their own nationalist interests by attacking their suddenly-vulnerable enemies.
+ The U.S. and China (And by the way, Mr. Cain, China has been a nuclear superpower for about five decades) would be drawn in. The U.S. has traditionally been the strongest European ally, but recently the EU has turned to China for financial help because it currently has a stronger economy than the U.S. has. The relationship between the U.S. and China in WWIII might, at best, be like the relationship between America and Soviet Russia in WWII (and that was not very good), or at worst, might pit them against each other as enemies.
+ Would Barack Obama be re-elected under the campaign slogan, “He kept us out of war”? (http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/woodrowwilson)
War is a reasonable thing to think about. Although we might want to believe civilization has evolved beyond war, it has not. Remember that WWI was not numbered when it started about a century ago; it was just called “The Great War” and “The War to End All Wars.” We started numbering our world wars when the next one occurred a couple decades later.
I hate war and wish civilization would evolve. Since we haven’t evolved, however, consider our moment in history right now. In timelines throughout our history, events like today’s have led to war, and quickly (a year or two). The number of countries involved in today’s actions would make it inevitable that such war would immediately become worldwide.
WHAT DO YOU THINK MIGHT BE A SCENARIO IN TODAY’S EVENTS THAT FUTURE HISTORIANS (IN PERHAPS 2025) COULD POINT TO AS THE START OF WWIII (IF WWIII OCCURS)?