Illustration of atomic bomb exploding near a major city thumb

Illustration of atomic bomb exploding near a major city thumb

Nobody wants another world war and up until the past decade, many thought the world had matured enough to avoid any new wide scale wars (if accomplished, we’d become the first civilization to eradicate war). Unfortunately, many prominent minds believe we are not only susceptible to war, but that World War III is inevitable – and closer than we may think.

Comparing modern-day to 1914’s pre-WW1 days

World War I soldiers in trenchesIt may surprise you to find that when the days leading to World War I are compared to modern times, the periods are eerily similar. For instance, Britain, like the United States today, was a superpower in decline and no longer able to act as the world’s protector. Germany, like China, was a newly formed economic powerhouse. France, like modern-day Japan, was a close ally of the world’s dominating superpower while watching its own regional power collapse. Most disconcerting however, is the populations’ mindset during the pre-World War I days – nobody saw the biggest war in history coming until it was too late.

Here’s what The Economist magazine said just seven months ago:

“The United States is Britain, the superpower on the wane, unable to guarantee global security. Its main trading partner, China, plays the part of Germany, a new economic power bristling with nationalist indignation and building up its armed forces rapidly. Modern Japan is France, an ally of the retreating hegemon and a declining regional power. The parallels are not exact—China lacks the Kaiser’s territorial ambitions and America’s defense budget is far more impressive than imperial Britain’s—but they are close enough for the world to be on its guard.

Which, by and large, it is not. The most troubling similarity between 1914 and now is complacency. Businesspeople today are like businesspeople then: too busy making money to notice the serpents flickering at the bottom of their trading screens. Politicians are playing with nationalism just as they did 100 years ago. China’s leaders whip up Japanophobia, using it as cover for economic reforms, while Shinzo Abe stirs Japanese nationalism for similar reasons.”

Potential reasons World War III could start today

Experts pose four possible reasons a major world war could start today.

Declining societies use war to prop up their economy

Slums in the United StatesOne scenario sees declining societies attacking rising countries to “keep them down” while using the war machine to spur growth in their own country. This theory ties into an age-old belief that war is good for a country’s economy. This belief however, is only partially true. In a day where all the world’s economies are near collapse, countries often do the unthinkable – they devalue their currency in order to boost the value of their exports. This of course, increases revenue for their country but hurts everyone else who does business with them. This action leads to trade wars and as billionaire investor Jim Rogers famously said, “trade wars always lead to real wars”. This is inevitably true – eventually opponents of the exporters will say “enough” and take action, almost always militarily, to stop the currency devaluation and/or unfair trade practices. The trade war thus, becomes a real war.

The impact to a currency during a war is compounded when a superpower is involved. Recall when the first shots were fired between North and South Korea. The world flocked to the American dollar like never before. As more and more trades are settled in Yuan or Rubles, and not dollars, many believe the currency war may indeed be very close to erupting.

Competition for scarce resources

In 2012, MIT stunned the world when they predicted tightening economic resources would lead to total economic collapse by 2030. Just three years ago they reported that their study…


“… relied on several computer models of economic trends and estimated that if things didn’t change much, and humans continued to consume natural resources apace, the world would run out. Oil will peak before dropping down the other side of the bell curve [AD comment: note that this has already happened), yet demand for food and services would only continue to rise. Real-world data from 1970 to 2000 tracks with the study’s draconian predictions: There is a very clear warning bell being rung here. We are not on a sustainable trajectory.”

Deforestation damage to forrestAs climate change radically alters the resource output for countries around the world, stronger countries may be tempted to “take what they need” – by force if necessary. This becomes more probable if competition for resources takes place in an overpopulated world. In such a case, wars naturally decrease the society’s population. Regardless of how disturbing it may seem to citizens, Governments see the added benefit of depopulation and will lead their county into war accordingly.

War as a distraction from global economic collapse

Europe is already in an economic downturn rated worse than the United States Great Depression. Increasing economic bailouts around the planet stress a country and its people, and almost always result in war. Currently, the United States is struggling to stay afloat, amassing large amounts of debt. In 2015, billionaire hedge fund manager Kyle Bass predicted:

“All too often war is the manifestation of simple economic entropy played to its logical conclusion. We believe that war is an inevitable consequence of the current global economic situation.”

Martin Armstrong, renowned economist and former chairman of Princeton Economics International, concurred and painted an even drearier picture,

“Our greatest problem is the bureaucracy wants a war. They need a distraction for the economic decline that is coming.”

Citizens put a stop to income inequality

Homeless man watches business man pass byIncome inequality, which in simple terms, is the blatant economic looting of the people, is at the highest level in recorded history. What most do not recognize however, is that income inequality is cyclical in nature (it has been for many thousands of years). Inevitably, when income inequality reaches an extreme, and citizens feel their voice has no meaning on the political stage, fairness is brought back in line by revolution – and war.

Paul Tudor Jones, founder of the Tudor Group, told reporters in March 2015,

“The gap between the 1 percent and the rest of America, and between the US and the rest of the world, cannot and will not persist. Historically, these kinds of gaps get closed in one of three ways: by revolution, higher taxes – or wars.”

Noted economist Herbert Gintis wrote in Nature magazine,

“Elites have been known to give power back to the majority, he says, but only under duress, to help restore order after a period of turmoil… Perhaps revolution is the best, if not the only, remedy for severe social stresses.”

Greatest minds on planet say World War III is imminent

Drought in ChinaStill not convinced? Many other prominent scholars, the greatest minds on our planet, predict an impending worldwide war.

New Republic magazine says,

“In the U.S. and Europe, the global downturn has already inspired unsavory, right-wing populist movements. It could also bring about trade wars and intense competition over natural resources… Even a shooting war is possible.”

World renowned economist Nouriel Roubini tweeted,

“Compare 2014 to 1914 when WWI broke out and no one expected it. A black swan in the form of a war between China & Japan?”

Paul Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (under President Ronald Reagan) wrote an article titled “War is Coming” regarding the tensions between the United States and other countries.

Eerily accurate financial and geopolitical forecaster Gerald Celente recently predicted in a YouTube vide, “World War III will start soon”.

Martin Armstrong, investment fund manager, recent wrote an article titled, “Prepare for World War III”.

Larry Edelson, investment advisor and war trends expert, wrote to his readers:

“All part and parcel of the rising war cycles that I’ve been warning you about, conditions that will not abate until at least the year 2020.”

Really? This could happen – now?

It only takes any one of the four potential causes above to trigger a new world war. Currently our planet finds itself in an unusual and unique predicament – we are at risk of war in all four areas. Consider these three modern-day scenarios already in progress:

U.S. – China

The U.S. and China are deeply entrenched in trade and persistently suspicious of each other. In 2015, the U.S. formerly accused China of currency manipulation. The issue has the potential to shake the economies of either country and trigger a much greater conflict in the future.

China flag over BeijingChina – Japan

China has never forgotten the brutal Sino-Japanese War (1945) when Japan invaded China and took control over the disputed East China Sea islands. China recognizes that the islands’ vast oil reserves can fuel their economy for an estimated 45 years. How far will they go to ensure their oil requirements are met during rough economic times?

U.S. – Russia

Russia is desperate – a fact that can easily be seen through their recent provocative military moves (invasion of Ukraine, their stance in Syria/ISIS war). Western powers have threatened Russia with economic sanctions; in response, Russia drafted legislation allowing it to confiscate US and European assets if sanctions were imposed. Tensions are high and many believe a second “cold war” has already taken hold – one that will eventually result in a real war.

World War I actually started with much less risk than we have today

Archduke Franz Ferdinand and wife Sophie before assassinationThe New York Times recently printed a story of a mother retelling to her daughter, the tale of World War I. In child’s terms, here’s the simplified children’s version explaing how WWI was triggered:

“The Austro-Hungarian Empire … had lots of grand palaces in its capital, Vienna, where people danced at fancy balls. It governed parts of a poor corner of Europe called the Balkans where its rule was disliked. One day in 1914, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne and his wife were assassinated in a Balkan city called Sarajevo by a young man, a Bosnian Serb, who wanted the freedom of the south Slavs from imperial rule.

The empire got really angry. It told Serbia to do a bunch of things or face war. The ruler in Vienna was confident because he had a close friend, a rising power called Germany. Serbia also had a good buddy, a country called Russia, which is big. Anyway, Serbia kind of dithered around, so Austria-Hungary went to war against it.

“Then Germany declared war on Russia, whose friend was France, which didn’t like Germany for various reasons. Soon Germany attacked France through Belgium. That made Britain cross. It went to war against Germany. Another empire — a sickly one — called the Ottoman Empire, eventually joined the German and Austro-Hungarian side. Later the United States, a rising power, came in on the British and French team. After a few years, more than 16 million people were dead. The Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman, German and Russian empires collapsed.”

World War I was triggered by a single event – the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie. This event, influenced greatly by the depressed state of societies around the planet, then snowballed into what became one of the greatest wars on Earth.  Many believe the world teeters on the brink of a similar conflict today.

Sources: Washington Post, The Economist, Wikipedia, New Republic magazine, Nature Magazine, Tudor Group, MIT, Salon, New York Times, Global Research

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