Is World War III about to Start ... by Accident ?

Daily Mail (London), January 3, 2014 | Go to article overview

Is World War III about to Start ... by Accident ?


Byline: by Max Hastings

PERHAPS it is possible -- and how nice it would be to believe this -- that war between the greatest nations on earth has been abolished.

The cost and the threat of nuclear escalation is so horrendous that reason argues that nothing remotely resembling the 20th century's vast global clashes can ever happen again.

Assuredly, there can be no more Dunkirks or D-Days, because no Western nation -- even the United States -- can deploy a mass army.

If conflict does come, it will be waged with the high-tech weapons of our own time: warplanes manned and unmanned, missiles, cyber-attack weapons and the many instruments of destruction guided from space satellites.

But this would not make a great power conflict any less catastrophic. And this is why a shiver will have run through the leaderships of Asia and of the Western powers this week when China's ambassador to London argued that Japan risks 'a serious threat to global peace' by 'rekindling' the bellicose attitude that hastened the expansion of World War II into a global conflict.

He even compared Japan today to Lord Voldemort, the arch villain in the Harry Potter novels.

This comes just a few weeks after China -- with absolutely no warning -- declared hundreds of thousands of square miles of airspace above the East China Sea as its own Air Defence Zone.

This includes the eight tiny uninhabited pimples, called the Senkaku Islands by Japan and Diaoyu by China.

Taiwan also has a claim to the islands -- nationalised by Japan from private sellers in 2012, much to the anger of China.

The United States responded to this bitter dispute between Tokyo and Beijing by dispatching two USAAF B-52s bombers to overfly the islands, emphasising its commitment to the right of free navigation.

Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, declared gravely that China had started 'a whole new game'. His government threatened to shoot down any Chinese drones that appeared over the Senkakus. Beijing responded that this would be an act of war.

Nobody, including the Chinese, wants armed conflict. Indeed, an analyst for the International Institute Of Strategic Studies has said that China 'aims to push rather than break limits'.

Yet the tensions between Tokyo, Washington and Beijing have been increasing for years.

For the moment, China, the U.S. and Japan still maintain courtesies between governments. Most crucially, Beijing holds trillions of dollars of U.S. debt.

BUT many of history's wars have been triggered by miscalculations while nations have been testing each other's strengths. Indeed, there is a profound fear in Washington, in Tokyo, and maybe also in Beijing, that one day something unspeakably ghastly could happen by mistake.

Remember that in 1914 before the outbreak of World War I, Britain and Germany were each other's largest trading partners. Professor Peter Dutton, of the U.S. Naval War College, has warned of the growing tensions, saying: 'China's challenge to existing maritime norms is creating hairline fractures in the global order.'

This comment followed an authoritative Washington defence guru who said that, whatever short-term bother terror groups such as Al Qaeda might cause, 'in the middle-long term, there will only be one main concern of the U.S. armed forces, and that is China. China is reshaping the military order in Asia, and is doing so at our expense'.

China has an ever-growing fleet of missile-armed warships -- thought to number around 80, as well as nearly 300 amphibious assault ships -- including fast-attack craft specifically designed as 'carrier-killers', to engage the U.S. Navy's behemoths.

In response, the huge U.S. Andersen air force base on the Pacific Ocean island of Guam has become host to a [pounds sterling]10 billion reinforcement programme.

As a result, its hangars now hold B-2 and B-52 bombers, air-to-surface and cruise missiles, Global Hawk drones, F-15 and F-22 fighters, the latter just a 20-minute flight from the Taiwan Strait. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Is World War III about to Start ... by Accident ?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.