History | Citizenship | PSHE

WW3 is NOT going to happen, experts say

Should we calm down about armageddon? The threat of World War 3 is causing a huge global wave of anxiety. But nearly all sensible opinions agree it is vanishingly improbable. The bombs are still falling. The tanks are still churning through the mud. Every day, more soldiers - and civilians - are dying.  Fighting in Ukraine has become a grim new normality. But now some fear that the violence could spread.  Yesterday, UK foreign secretary Liz Truss called for Britain and other Western nations to send warplanes to Ukraine. Russia has responded with fury, cutting off gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria. “NATO, in essence, is engaged in a war with Russia,” said Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.  Some believe a third world war is closer than ever before. But many experts say these fears are exaggerated. Here are their six key reasons:  Stop catastrophising. Humans have a tendency to focus on the worst case scenario, say psychologists. In most cases, our fears are unfounded. Last month, forecasters put the risk of a full-scale nuclear war starting in 2022 at 0.35%.  Empty threats. Bluster and threats are a part of human nature. Sergei Lavrov’s threats are “utter nonsense” and “bravado”, says one British minister.  Premature predictions. World War Three has been forecast before. In 1950, one poll even found that more than half of Americans thought it had already begun.  Failing forces. So far, Russia’s army has lost 15,000 troops, 2,000 armoured vehicles, 530 tanks and its Black Sea flagship. Russia does not have the resources for a world war.   Absent allies. When the UN proposed a resolution condemning the invasion, only five countries voted against it. One was Russia itself. Most of the world is united against Russia.  Mutually assured destruction.  In the nuclear age, world leaders will think twice before starting a global conflict. As one journalist says: “Nobody in power wants to be the cause of armageddon”.  Should we calm down about armageddon? All talk?  Yes: World War Three is highly unlikely. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is not going according to plan. It cannot afford to take on the rest of the world too. Peace will prevail.     No: There is no sign of the end of this conflict. In the past week, the tension between East and West has been mounting again. We must prepare for the possibility of a global war. Or… There is no point in worrying about something we cannot control. It is a waste of time and energy to obsess over the likelihood of a catastrophe. Fear will not change the eventual outcome.       KeywordsGas supplies - The EU and Ukraine have accused Russia of using its energy supplies to try and blackmail countries supporting Ukraine. 

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