If we study all the reasons behind a war – social, economic, geopolitical, we find that warmongering has caused the loss of millions of lives and billions of dollars in property. Mistrust among nations, stockpiling of weapons, hidden agendas, the assassination of head of states, paying war indemnity, secret bilateral and tripartite security and defence agreements, boundary disputes and ethnic struggles have resulted in major conflicts among nations. World War 1 began with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by Serbian irredentists with the support of warmongers. Italian fascism, Japanese militarism and Nazi Germany’s aggressive foreign policy assimilated with the racial Aryan supremacy theory triggered World War 2.
The current geopolitical situation of the world is haphazardly globalized and very interdependent in terms of security and trade. The guiding principle in today’s world is Real Politik which states a system of politics or principles based on practical rather than moral or ideological considerations. This theory talks about national interest is the ultimate aim and guiding principle for each country.
Starting with India, one thing the country was sure of was its friendship with Russia right from the Nehruvian era. Russia proved to be a valuable ally during 1971 Indo-Pak war as well as the 1999 Kargil war. USA sided with Pakistan by supplying weapons and the GPS technology which it did not share with India during the war. The change of the USA’s stance against Pakistan was seen when it began struggling against terrorism. The changes in subsequent governments in the U.S. and free market economy of India made the latter an attractive partner and a valuable security ally. India and the U.S. signed trade and nuclear deals to secure the Pacific and Indian ocean rim, both agreed on objectives like LEMOA (Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement) and COMCASA (Communications, Compatibility and Security Agreement) etc. As expected, it created tension between India and Russia.
Russia, for the first time in its history, did a joint military exercise with Pakistan and raised eyebrows in New Delhi. It also hinted at a possible arms deal with Pakistan which never took off, thanks to our diplomacy. The India-Pakistan conflict would incur a huge cost, which we saw during the standoff in 2001-2002. The cost of the standoff for India was 3. 1 billion US dollars and for Pakistan, it was 1. 4 billion US dollars. It’s unlikely that the two would go to war because of the economic hurdles as well as United Nations pressure, but imagine a real war with higher cost and the economic implications it would leave behind, leave alone the social and demographic effects.
Ever changing geopolitics in the subcontinent regarding Sri Lanka and Nepalese issues are all connected with China. China commands a higher position in world affairs as compared to India. Its position in the UN Security Council, World Trade Organisation or regional parties is significantly higher. The crux is that India is a huge market for Chinese products and any disturbance in Indian geopolitics will lead to trade distortion.
Today, every nation is so interdependent in the transboundary business operation that any kind of distortion in any part of the world will shake things up of the global economy. For example, IBM is a US company but the production takes place in China and assembly of chips takes place in Taiwan while the software is developed in India. Imagine China going to war with India over boundary dispute (Doklam issue). China not only loses its huge 84 billion US dollar market but will also distort the U.S. market and USA will intervene. When the USA comes with democracy, western Europe and Canada (it is a package deal) to balance the tilt of power, Russian and North Korean presence will be automated like a charging rhino. So Indo-China war is a big no-no. As far as we know, Russia is an ally of India but Russia is a bigger ally to China and the Communism connection is stronger than ever, so who will Russia support?
Now talking about the Middle East, Israel and Palestine’s never-ending conflict which was started by the British Empire (nothing new) has grown over the years with massive human rights violations. Saudi Arabia has been targeted by fellow Muslim countries on its inability to check Israeli use of hostile force as only Saudi Arabia is capable of leading armed effort to check Israel. The answer lies in American interest in both Israel and Saudi Arabia. Oil companies and business enterprises in Saudi Arabia are motivating factors. Saudi Arabian royalty has been urging Palestinian authorities to negotiate and accept whatever is offered with a take-it-or-leave-it deal. A major war is not possible in the middle east because it will drag big powers in, causing destruction. Being a market-driven economy like Saudi Arabia both Israel and Iran would avoid any kind of conflict and they would hate to lose money.
If you talk about the North Korean problem, until recently, Kim Jong-un has been hostile to world peace but not since the peace deal brokered by the USA between the two Koreas and the USA itself. The Trump government which achieved what the Obama government could not. North Korea’s only motto is unified Korea but the presence of US troops has been a deal breaker in the tense Korean peninsula. Any attempt will drag all the Indian Ocean countries along with USA and UK to war.
In reality, the theory of detente i.e. procuring weapons in equal measure or higher than the opponent so that both are too scared to use the weapon, is at play. World peace is a reality because of the ever-increasing global trade and the integration of people. The world is a family, symbolized by the Sanskrit phrase ‘Vasudeva Kutumbhakam’, comes true in the 21st century because of shared interests not only among states but people to people also.
So, we can comprehend that World War 3 is not only a negative reality but the even slightest chance of it is not possible unless we as a human race wish to fall back to the abyss of the stone age. Unlike a hundred years ago, animosity is sidelined by a global catastrophe like environmental problems, melting ice caps, ever-increasing the temperature of the earth. In today’s world order, militarism is discouraged, conventions disallowing secret treaties among nations and banning the use of chemical and biological weapons, and also producing an exact count of nuclear weapons and WMDs is a must for all countries. The world has woken up to the perils of a global war and countries are doing their best to prevent such an event in the future. It is up to us that we fight and survive together or perish before our time.