“An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind”
A quote like this is now more relevant than ever considering that we are part of a world with nuclear technology and weapons. We live in an age of nuclear technology where the strength of a nation is not measured by the army or the defense system it possesses, but simply by the number of nuclear warheads a country owns. Because of the powers of these weapons and their devastating impact, all the countries have somehow ended up being part of a race to gather and develop nuclear weapons before others. But the irony lies in the fact that these weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), have actually helped in promoting world peace and preventing wars. The rise of nuclear is the major reason, along with some
other subsidiary, that has raised the question of the distinct possibility of world war 3, though it is likely to never happen.
The major reason why world war 3 is likely to never happen is the rise of nuclear weapons and what is often referred to as the logic of deterrence. Applying this logic on an international scale, it simply implies that all countries are capable of inflicting damage that is so massive that no country can afford to initiate war. In an event, a war breaks out, the damage from the war would be so devastating, that a war will not happen in the first place. The result would be a “Victory with no survivors” and no one will be victorious in the true sense because of the immense loss of lives and destruction of livelihood. This non-starting of war because of the realization of its devastating consequences is called the logic of deterrence and is the primary reason why we won’t be witnessing another world war.
To understand the other reasons why a world war won’t occur again, we need to go back to the times when the world wars occurred. Imagine that we are in 1920 and the first world war has just ended. We switch on the radio and hear the world leaders talk about wars and glorifying them. Annexing states and increasing geographical territory remain the topmost priority of the states. Monarchies and dictatorships are prevalent forms of the ruling, and democracy is seen as a humorous concept to be laughed upon. People carry no real power and are mere puppets to the decisions of the ruler who sees them as subjects and uses them for personal gains. All countries aim at self-sufficiency and look for aid from other countries only at times of emergency. They try to maintain positive relations only as to avoid wars and conflicts and the concept of ‘globalization’ is not even thought of. There are three super-powers (namely the USA, the British empire and the Soviet Union) competing with each other in all areas, ranging from economic power to political and military power.
It is evident that we have undergone a complete revolution in the past 100 years and the changes that followed have resulted in global peace. We now live in a world where wars are greatly criticized and are seen as an option of last resort (primarily for self-defense). Almost every nation tries its level best to avoid war and minimizing its impact and scales if it occurs. It seems as if the life of a person now has a greater value than it did before.
Ensuring the welfare and prosperity of its citizens is now the primary task of the states. We live in an age of democracy where the governments are “of the people, for the people, and by the people” and the real power lies with the people. The decisions are taken keeping in consideration the betterment of the people and the now the wit of the rulers do not carry much significance. We have even transformed into a unipolar world where the US act as a hegemon. This dominance of one nation in the world helps to avoid a global catastrophe like a world war because of the unparallel power of the nation in respect to others.
Moreover, after the advent of ‘globalization’, the world seems to be more inter-connected and inter-dependent on each other. The nations now care less about self-sufficiency and more about economic profitability in operations. This has resulted in the economic integration of the world and has made the nations more dependent on one another. The countries, now more than ever, cannot afford isolation from the rest of the world which could be a consequence of world war. Nowadays, the states require one another for their smooth functioning and cannot afford anything which hinders their normal working. So, economic integration and lack of self-sufficiency among nations act as another major factor that avoids wars.
Finally, even the establishment and the increasing importance of international forums and organizations like the United Nations, World Bank, World Trade Organisation, International Monetary Fund, etc. have made the world more together. They give nations the platforms to discuss their views, communicate their needs and address their grievances. They help to and avoids misunderstandings and violence and promote global peace.
And even though there is a popular saying that says “Never say never”, I think it is not only plausible, considering the above arguments, but also best for the entire world to hope and believe that another world war is never going to happen.