Is World War III Inevitable? We Asked, You Answered - OZY | A Modern Media Company

Is World War III Inevitable? We Asked, You Answered

Is World War III Inevitable? We Asked, You Answered

By OZY Editors


Because the first two were a pretty big deal.

By OZY Editors

OZY's electrifying TV show serves up provocative questions each week.OZY's electrifying TV show serves up provocative questions each week. We want to hear your thoughts:

Last week, we asked: Is World War III inevitable? You answered, and here are your thoughts, edited for clarity.

Amanda Parks

I think it’s inevitable, whether next year or 50 years from now. Humans are, by nature, a violent species, and there are too many of us to ever come to complete consensus. I love Star Trek, but it’s a dream, a lovely fantasy.

Taj Drock

I think it will never happen. The world is so interconnected because of globalization that a world war would be disastrous. It would have far-reaching and unintended effects on many nations’ food and energy supplies. Basically, we depend on each other too much to go to war. Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail.

We need something to slow the population growth. A war or a pandemic will do just fine.

Tim Kemhus

Danial Hallock, Salt Lake City

It depends on what we mean by “world war.” If we’re talking about any of the four power blocs (Russia, China, the European Union, the United States) dropping bombs on one another in a zero-sum conflict, then that isn’t something I would expect to see in the next 100-plus years. The national headlines have been running amok with the fallout of the 2016 U.S. presidential election and Russia’s hacking of it. Prior to the election, I wrote an essay about how such a deliberate attack on a nation’s sovereignty could lead to a world war. 

But far more likely is an escalation of cyber attacks between nations, focusing on positive-sum conflicts that steal cryptocurrencies and intellectual property, or zero-sum conflicts that don’t have a particularly high risk of causing nuclear war (i.e., spreading propaganda). In this context, a world war is already underway but, in spite of our personal involvement, we are very rarely affected by it.

Carlie Colburn, Honolulu

Certainly a BIG possibility. Every nation that has nuclear capabilities has given a single person the capability to launch an attack on another nation using nuclear weapons. Do you sleep soundly thinking about our own nation and our president, Donald Trump, having such power? I sure as hell don’t!

Tim Kemhus

We need something to slow the population growth. A war or a pandemic will do just fine.

Zoe Harris, Nespelem, Washington

Nothing is certain but death and taxes. We cannot accept the inevitability of war.


Sylvia de Freitas

[Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s been trying to get us into war with Iran for years. Trump will encourage his sorties and face-offs into Syria. Iran decides to push back, hard, and we’re dragged into it. Turkey and Russia jump in on Iran’s side, and maybe the Saudis are on our side. Meanwhile, Iran’s good friend in the other hemisphere, North Korea, decides to help out Iran from their end. Wars have started for less.

Jonathan Flick, New Haven, Connecticut

World War III has already started. It’s not obvious. That’s the point. The distractions that we feel enabled to face are distractions from what is actually happening. I know that sounds whack, but really. World War III won’t be punctuated by a big “boom.” It is a pervasive socioeconomic undermining of those “tuned in” to false truths. 

Michael Frizzell, Cape Coral, Florida

It all depends. Do we want nationalism or to move toward a global society where we all respect each other? Eventually, humans are going to have to leave this planet. Perhaps we should all start working toward that goal, because the sun will one day engulf the whole planet, wiping us out, if we are even still here then.

Salimm Mohammed

I think it is inevitable, probably within the next three years. Our president is arousing anger over in Asia (North Korea), the Middle East (recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital), South America (threatening to use military force in Venezuela) … the list just goes on and on. God bless humankind.

Rebecca Butterworth, Portland, Oregon

No. Regional wars will continue, but I do not foresee a global conflagration. Besides, the war theater will be the internet anyway.

James Williams

History tells us it is inevitable. The Bible tells us it is inevitable, but we can’t put a place and time on it. The hearts of men are a ticking time bomb!

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