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Charles's avatar

Do you think there will be another war on the scale of WWI or WWII in the next 50 years?

Asked by Charles (4815points) April 19th, 2012

Something along the line of several countries vs. several countries?

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5 Answers

Qingu's avatar

Nah.

Maybe in outer space.

jca's avatar

Hopefully not.

tedd's avatar

Unlikely.

There were actually several wars that would probably have qualified as “World Wars” that took place before World War 1. The Seven Years War is the most prominent I can think of. The reason we’ve not seen a major conflict since the end of World War 2 is the advent/existence/co-armament of nuclear weapons. For all the damage nuclear bombs could do to our planet, nuclear deterrent has actually made our planet the most peaceful it’s ever been for the last 50 years.

If a global war did break out, you could expect it would not be at all similar to the World Wars or any previous global wars, because of the existence of nuclear weapons. Even if both sides stuck to conventional weapons (for whatever reason), as soon as one side was losing there would be no reason for them not to pull out the nukes.

It’s also worth noting that the technological advantage held by the major nations (in particular the US) is so incredible, that it’s unlikely a conventional war would last that long either. Using a single aircraft carrier task force and a handful of land based aircraft, the US was able to completely annihilate the Libyan air force, and destroy over 70% of it’s armor in less than a day. The largest hang up was waiting on other UN nation-forces to “catch-up” and do their missions. While Libya is hardly a match for the US or Russia, they were easily in the top 20 in the world. The US has 11 carrier task forces (more than the rest of the world combined), and could pull another 20–30 out of the mothball fleet. And this is just naval dominance, not even starting on the other branches of the military. Most strategists believe the US could win an all out war with the entirety of Europe in a pretty short time frame.

Qingu's avatar

I think another point is that wars of attrition are no longer favorable to fight, largely because of nuclear weapons. WW2 was basically the last war of attrition. We killed millions of people in airstrikes in WW2; we held almost nothing back, as soon as we got nukes we used them.

If someone tried that kind of shit today they would be nuked off the face of the planet in a counterstrike.

YoKoolAid's avatar

The U.S meets Russia in the arctic for Cold War II: The Battle for Arctic Resources

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