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World War Iii

In: Historical Events

Submitted By Kitumbaya87
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World War III





Part 1: Introduction and Summary

The article by Roger Cohen is a conversation between a naïve daughter and a loving mother who is trying to explain a complex global phenomenon. It is a chilling comparison of the circumstances that led to the World War 1 and the position that the world is finding itself in 2015. The position in this case is that active military and political groupings on a tiny diplomatic issue historically has led to full scale wars that have led to millions dead. Cohen uses a dummy approach to explain to a reader who has not read into the history of the wars and the American factor in the situation. In a short dialogue he touches on all factors that lead to geopolitical confrontations and patterns of international relations that create a global conflict. This article is important because it touches on the delicate matter of war, survival of empires and the peace thereafter. This section gives a summary of the article.

According to this dialogue, the genesis of the past world wars comes about when an empire is threatened because of long standing quarrels, tensions and dissatisfactions among people. Small triggers could lead to bigger than necessary reactions and thus, political and military actions. Subsequently, allies and foes join sides and thus create an international relations vacuum which means that war is inevitable. Cohen compares the Austro-Hungarian situation to the Syria of 2015 in terms of political allegiance and strong views on its survival by the two global super powers. An angry Russia and a calculating west may put the world in jeopardy. However, as a person with a keen eye on political history and phenomenon, the projection of the present issue and subsequent prediction of a potential World War Three may be an overreaction.

In conclusion, the article gives a stark comparison of the World War 1 and a potential World War 3. With a myriad of assumptions and matchups by Cohen, one can easily see an Armageddon and wrath of war as early as Christmas 2015. This is obviously not true because the political situation in the world is not as brittle and weak as it was during the 1900’s

Part 2: Analysis

An analysis is the process whereby one breaks down a subject that is not only complex but diverse into small components for ease of understanding.[1] In this New York Times column by Roger Cohen, there is a very sensitive historical account given in a simplified manner. The mechanisms that led to the WWI were very similar to what the present world is experiencing. Almost all countries that were having tensions within each other are at it again but on a different platform. The entry of Russia and its allies to the Bashir al-Assad’s conflict is similar to what happened when Vienna gave the Balkan’s a warning of extermination.[2] In international relations, as many pundits agree, there are no permanent friends or enemies, but only permanent interests.[3] He also compares the assassination of Franz-Ferdinand the apparent heir of the Austro-Hungarian Empire with the shooting down of the Russian fighter jet in turkey. The question whether this may trigger a global confrontation is a wait and see affair. This section gives a critique of Cohen’s article and provides and in-depth analysis on the circumstances that may or may not lead to a full blown World War III. This paper is important to foreign policy because it touches on sensitive socio-political engagements of countries and their military standpoints.

The daughter-mother conversation in this article has a symbolic representation of a global phenomenon that is unfolding. An expert’s opinion tries to shed light to an inquisitive public that is concerned about the developments in the world today.[4] From the article, the origin of the world war 1is exactly as the article puts it across. It was an unpredictable state of affairs where one trigger created a ripple effect on countries and states that had vested interests in the areas involved. It became a contest between two groups of friends fighting for nothing but political and economic mileage. At this point, the conversation indicates that the world’s politics were at their infancy stage and few countries had their own socio-political and developmental structures in place. This situation created a soft spot for the absorption of these little countries to their superpower friends’ affairs and fight wars they never understood.[5]

The second issue emanating from the article is that the only empire in this day and age is America. One area of concern that arises from its global politics is that it’s getting weaker than it was before. The conversation indicates that the power of America no longer dictates the direction of politics in some countries because of economic and social aspects. The Russians and its allies dare the US and bomb Syria with clusters bombs by passing through areas which are supposed to be foreign owned. However, the article tends to display the downing of the Russian jet in turkey as one of those many triggers that may provoke a pattern of ripples which subsequently lead to a larger confrontation.

Just as there was Germany in World War 1, there is Iran in this day and age. According to the issue, it is the role that Iran plays as being a potential rouge nation that may take slightest opportunity to develop nuclear bombs. Being a carefully created league of nations to protect the interest of the superpowers, a small tension may escalate a myriad of reactions which may lead to a world war.

This article may be well documented and simplified for all to see the potential world war in the near future but is has too many assumptions. First, the WWI happened during colonial times and the world operated on an imperial situation.[6] Some countries such as Britain and France had direct control of over 50 countries. This control was almost dictatorial and their action automatically led to these colonies joining the wars. Unlike today when the world is liberalized and autonomous, only few countries may be willing to join the war. Secondly, the article falls short to mention the influence and role of the middle and rising economies in East Asia, Europe and parts of Africa. These are fully functional that are neutral in terms of military and political involvement in the Middle East conflicts.[7] However, as Cohen concludes the article, he mentions that everything is totally now but leaves the reader in a dilemma on what the sentiment means.

In conclusion, this article talks on the potential eruption of the world war III because of the tense moments that the world is experiencing today. The author provided a stark comparison of the happenings in the Middle East to what happened in Europe during the early 1900s. Although the article gives a verdict on how the wars are triggered and the potential treatment of the wars, it employs too many assumptions. It is an objective article because of its place in the general analysis of the global politics today.

[1] Merriam-webster, (2015). Analysis definition. Retrieved 25 December 2015 from (webpage)

[2] Riel, D. (2015). Rick Santorum: World War III Has Started ,2015, Retrieved 10 December 2015 from, [website]
[3] David, P. (2015) , ‘Is ISIS trying to start World War III?’, CNBC, 3 Dec 2015, [newspaper]
[4] Yapp. M. E (2015).Anglo-Iranian Relations during World War 1, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Vol. 49, No. 3, 2011, p. 590-591 [scholarly article]
[5] Yapp. Ibid.
[6] Bell. P.H (2011). Twelve Turning Points of the Second World War, New Haven, Yale University Press [book]

[7] David, B. [2015] ‘Is ISIS trying to start World War III?’, CNBC, 3 Dec 2015, (accessed 10 December 2015)

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