The world is enjoying the most extended period of peace in History but also one of the tensest times ever seen. Talk of World War III today sounds like pure gossip until diplomatic relations between some specific countries get severed. When Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet in 2015, five countries in Europe swung into action setting up emergency protocols in case of war. This was just one of the thousands of scares that have set the world on edge in the last decade. It is hard to pin down one particular nation as the next culprit that will send us to war, but everyone alive knows the countries that are most prone to stirring the waters and causing trouble. These 10 are the ones most likely to force diplomatic tensions to the extremes which may send bombs flying one of these fine days.
Israel, the first-born nation after World War II has turned into a total nightmare in the Middle East. The generally accepted notion is that if anyone harms Israel, the U.S. will attack them, but Israel is very busy on its own making enemies with Russia, China, Tukey and Iran which is why they are the most likely nation in the world right now to cause a world war. Thanks to this small country’s close relationship with the U.S. and other powerful European nations, Israel has developed one of the most powerful military and intelligence infrastructures in the world. The primary excuse for the world allowing Israel to stock billions of dollars’ worth of weapons of mass destruction was to defend themselves against terrorist threats and aggressive actions of nations around the gulf including Syria and Hamas. Syria, Hamas, Jordan and the rest of the Arab league have however declared their distaste for Israel and readiness to demolish it if it harms any other middle eastern nation again.
These nations are no longer viable threats to Israel anymore, so their military prowess is only being used to expand economic and political interests. This has led to aggression with almost every nation in the middle east. From Israeli airstrikes hitting wrong targets of countries with powerful allies like Syria to Mossad operatives wreaking havoc abroad as far west as the U.S. All these little actions have made enemies for Israel all around the world. One of these reckless actions could lead to a military confrontation forcing nations to take sides against one another.
2 The USA
Experts Agree that America has moved closer to starting a world war than world peace since 9/11. This statics just grew grimmer in the last decades that has seen the U.S. get involved in more than 20 wars all over the world. NATO is no longer what it used to be either as the increase in nationalistic policies has seen the oval office create enemies in both Brussels and London by cutting funding which is why the newfound unity between Russia, North Korea, and China poses a more significant threat to the U.S. and generally, the whole world. The possibility of an all-out war became evident in the Syrian standoff when the U.S. military attacked President Assad’s chemical weapon stockpiles seeing rockets flying very close to Russian military bases in Syria. Confrontations with Iran and North Korea have also hit their peak in decades forcing the Pentagon to issue red alerts on U.S. military installations all over the world.
The Trump administration started with a promising approach seeking peace with North Korea and even Russia, but things have since become worse. Donald Trump began to an economic war imposing tariffs on almost all of the U.S.’s trading partners. Escalation of tensions with Iran through imposing sanctions despite the existence of a Nuclear disarmament agreement has only made it worse. The U.S. is now in the middle of economic and diplomatic tensions with everyone, including the EU and World War III is only a few paces away from who snaps first.
Iran is one country that no one has really understood because, despite their close affiliation to violence, they have only been involved in one war directly in the last 50 years. However, Iran’s conservative approach to Islam and resistance to the western approach of governance has seen the regime make very many enemies in the west. Their acts of aggression against Saudi Arabia and support for thousands of Rebels accused of terrorism and war crimes has also made them America’s number one enemy in the Middle East. The other issue is Iran’s nuclear weapon stockpiles, which many believe may still exist despite the agreement with the UN to disarm. This unpredictability has seen most countries swallow their pride, including the U.S. and Israel despite frequent provocations from Hezbollah and other Iranian supported Militia in the Middle East.
The UN accuses Iran of being the chief supporter of the Houthi Rebels who have attacked Saudi and U.S. forces in the middle east and toppled the regime in Yemen. Iran is, however, a sensitive nation with strong allies including Russia, China, and now some European countries who consider it the key to striking peace in the Middle East. Iran is not individually able to wage war against any of the great western powers but their strategic location means they could cut off access of any nation to their middle eastern interests creating another global economic crisis which is why any country that attacks Iran may be met by angry retaliation from some mighty nations resulting in a world war.
4 North Korea
North Korea was until 2018, the greatest threat to global peace and maybe still is, considering the conditions that changed that situation are not there anymore. South Korea tried to be the mediator between North Korea and America because the frequent nuclear missiles Kim Jong Un was testing posed a clear threat to North Korea, Japan, and the USA. While the initiation of talks between Trump and Kim Jong Un seemed to be the greatest peace mission in the last century, North Korea, despite being a nation on the brink of economic breakdown, didn’t seem ready to give up nukes.
After the failure of talks, heated exchanges between Pyongyang and Washington resumed, and now in a surprise turn of events, North Korea has become closer to China and Russia. China has also made it clear that it will not support the U.S. threatening North Korea, giving you a glimpse of how fluid the situation is there. If North Korea Nukes Japan, South Korea, or even mainland USA, there will be a bloody retaliation from Washington and who knows how these allies will respond?
Russia is the first country everyone thinks off whenever a world war is mentioned since the end of WWII. When reports of Russia had interfered with U.S. presidential results were released, many people expected fierce retaliation or even worse, a full-blown war, but like all previous stalemates, it was swept under the rag on both sides. They have the largest number of nukes after the US, and they have also proved to be the only nation that doesn’t shy from making NATO angry. Being the arch-enemy of NATO, Russia has provoked many nations causing tensions that have seen them get sanctioned heavily.
While Russia has not challenged any NATO country to war directly, their military support for the Syrian regime despite international condemnation was a clear indicator of their readiness to support their allies by all manse possible. Russia is also actively supporting rebels in Eastern Ukraine, a situation that has seen Europe seek to convince NATO military action but no one seems ready to throw the first punch. NATO’s woes that have seen increased infighting and funding cuts have allowed Russia to continue breaching NATO allies’ territories including destabilizing Ukraine and operating a massive network of spies all over the world.
The rise of the communist party was quite smooth since their focus was primarily economic, and the rest of the world didn’t see China as a threat to anyone. Things have, however, changed as China has invested in one of the most efficient special forces, intelligence, and military installations in the world. The regime still maintains a peaceful approach to conflict, but recently, their border wars with India and territorial confrontations in the South China Sea have become more frequent and a little too close for comfort.
There have been several threats to U.S. destroyers in The South China Sea by Chinese vessels sometimes turning into diplomatic incidences.
China has also found a close ally in Russia as they consider their Isolation by the West and sanctions as unprecedented and aggressive. The ongoing economic wars and accusations of spying and technology theft have made tensions between China and the U.S. tenser than ever before. The slightest trip by any side of the two economic powers will lead to a war that will see the whole world involved.
7 Saudi Arabia
Up until recently, Saudi Arabia was seen as the most neutral nation in the middle east, accommodating all factions of Islam and welcoming westernization, but this is not the case anymore. It is not clear where the kingdom stands in terms of allies and enemies, but the fact is they are spending more and more on weapons from both America and Russia. Saudi Arabia has also stationed itself as the key enemy of Iran automatically becoming the enemy of Russia and China actively attacking Iranian interests, including carrying out air strikes against Iranian-supported rebels in Yemen and Syria.
The regime also actively opposes Israeli operations in the Middle East. As things stand right now, no one can actively attack Saudi Arabia, although Saudis have proved that they are ready to rain fire on anyone that threatens their interests. If the Yemen war or the Syrian conflicts continues for long, Saudis are likely to attack Iran or the other way round. Either way, all countries in the world will take sides leading to an all-out war.
In 2015, Turkey almost started World War III when they shot down 2 Russian fighter jets for allegedly crossing into Turkish air space illegally. NATO went quiet on the incident despite Turkey being a member because U.S. relations with Turkey were not at their best either but this is just a glimpse of how arrogant Turkey can be. Of course, with NATO, an attack on one nation is an attack on all but Turkey is sometimes just too stubborn to be protected by NATO.
Some NATO members, including the US, have themselves had confrontations with Turkey regarding their declaration of Turkish Kurds as terrorists while they fought side by side with American troops to annex the Islamic state. If Turkey repairs its relations with the USA and continues its military action against these strong powers, There will only be two options for NATO. Turkey has also been actively involved in aggressive action against Israel keeping the whole of NATO on edge because they believe that her Reckless actions on sensitive diplomatic territories may soon force NATO to take a side and they may not be very willing to abandon one of their own.
Pakistan has been blamed for everything that threatens global security, from harboring notorious terrorists like Usama bin Laden and Ibrahim Dawood to shooting down Indian fighter jets in the disputed Kashmir region. When the U.S. confronted Pakistan about their Nuclear weapons stockpile and alleged chemical weapons, the government actively declared disinterest in cooperating with the U.S. claiming a right to protect themselves from India which also has Nukes.
Currently, the Pakistani government has repaired its relationship with the US, but they actively provoke India by supporting Extremist terror cells in the disputed Kashmir region. In the most recent confrontation, the two nations almost went to another war after India killed Pakistani Soldiers to which Pakistan responded by shooting down Indian Fighter jets. They are also armed with long-range nuclear missiles, which is why India believes them to be a threat. Any attack on India will spark one of the most fierce responses of any time because India has nukes as well and also the support of NATO.
Syria is now the replacement of North Korea at the top of the most dangerous nations likely to spark a world war. The endowment of the nation with natural resources has attracted powerful allies such as Russia and China. The country, however, harbors the most dangerous terrorist cells in the world, including the Islamic State which has seen U.S. airstrikes directed at it constantly. Western nations also oppose the Syrian government and President Assaf for using chemical weapons on the rebel-held regions of his country.
Syria became the first country after Afghanistan to see the U.S. and Russia fighting for opposite sides within the same border. Israel is also an active enemy of Syria with attacks experienced many times especially over the occupied Golan Heights which the U.S. has openly declared to be Israeli territory, a position that the rest of the world disagrees with. The volatile state in Syria means that one wrong drone coordinate or the slightest provocative action could see nukes flying across continents.