Thought and theories about the possible emergence of World War III have been circulating around the world since the conclusion of World War II. There has always seemed to be one event after another that seemed to present the realistic possibility of a third world war that has stimulated conversations, conspiracies and conflicts on a global scale. In most cases, though, these claims have dissolved over time and have not been able to come into fruition or even the realm of realistic possibilities.
That is, of course, until recently when US President Barack Obama began to publicly discuss the international issues and concerns that he has with the country of Syria. What started off as just political conversations has seemed to escalate over the past few months into what could very well become the starting point of World War III.
A Presidential Challenge
President Obama issued a challenge bluntly in September of 2013 to US lawmakers that clearly were still not on his side of this particular issue to approve the plan that he had developed to launch a military strike directly on the country of Syria. Based on official statements that were expressed in speeches and conferences by the President, Syria was a major threat against the international prestige of the United States of America as well.
President Obama took his stand against the politicians and lawmakers that were skeptical about this particular decision by stating that not moving forward with the attack would actually put the credibility of the United States at risk, according to a report confirmed by Reuters. That report also quoted the President as stating that the credibility of America and the US Congress is on the line simply because of the “lip service” that is given to the “notion that these international norms are important.”
How Did It All Begin?
During a recent visit to Sweden, President Obama focused on being able to build a solid case against President Bashar al-Assad of Syria for limited military action. This was primarily based on the chemical weapons attack that occurred on August 21, 2013 for which President Obama directly blamed the governmental forces that are currently active within the country of Syria. This type of attack would basically be a form of punishment directly aimed at the political regime of President Assad for the alleged deadly poisonous gas strike that was executed along with the mobilization of Syrian allies shortly thereafter.
In order to understand the level of urgency that President Obama is exhibiting when it comes to getting this attack and potential war started as soon as possible, you have to fully understand just how bad things have gotten in recent years within the country of Syria.
The Ongoing Warfare in Syria
For close to three years now, there has been an ongoing war of violence and conflict that has existed within the country of Syria. Pro-democracy protesters have been gunned down by Syrian security forces. Within a relatively short period of time, the presence of guns escalated and evolved into the emerging presence of tanks. This type of conflict intensification is what led to the uniting of protestors, which results in resolutions that were developed against Syria by the United Nations which led to the first big attack against the Syrian government by the Free Syrian army. That conflict has only grown and become much worse over time to the extent now where over 100,000 people have lost their lives because of it.
Many critics have been overly skeptical about the belief that the conflict in Syria will grow and cause World War III to erupt primarily because of the limited significance that this war has on a global scale. When it comes to the main reason why the United States and Russian governments are so concerned with this particular issue, it appears that it may have more to do with the condition of their international alliances.
A Potential Alliance with Russia
As is the case is with the past two World Wars that were both recorded during the 20th century, President Obama reached out to another world power for additional support when it came to his proposed idea of an attack on Syria.
For instance, he reached out to President Vladimir Putin of Russia, hoping that he would provide a substantial amount of support when it came to this proposed attack against President Assad and Syria. Even though it may have seemed as if he had plenty of time to have a change of heart, he did not take that opportunity to do so and continued to seek this support. Based on news reports that were released around the same time, it appeared as if President Putin was somewhat in agreement with President Obama. However, there were several stipulations that he openly acknowledged that stood in the way.
Even though President Putin was able to openly admit the significant rippling effect that an international compromise based on a Syrian attack would cause on a global scale, he also admitted that he was not in complete disagreement with the idea of offering backup support from Russia to the US through military action against Syria. However, since he was preparing to host an international summit consisting of world leaders at the time, the Russian President also took the time to remind President Obama that to go through with any type of action against Syria without the authorization and support of the United Nations (UN) is not legal whatsoever.
A Potential Alliance with France
France, a country that has been a major ally with the United States in the previous two world wars as well, has also made a clear stand on this issue by supporting the US President’s decision to strike against Syria as soon as possible. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Prime Minister of France, has stated several times in recent interviews that he feels the same way as President Obama does when it comes to the international threats and risks that will be created if such an attack is not executed in a timely fashion.
According to one report released by Reuters in September, Prime Minister Ayrault was quoted as saying that refusing to act in this manner would endanger “peace and security” within the entire area. He went on to say that there would no longer be any type of credibility for the international commitments that were formed against the non-proliferation of global weapons of mass destruction in that case, according to Al Arabiya.
How Has Syria Responded?
What exactly has been the response of the Syrian government to these proposed actions? Recent reports and interviews with top officials of this country’s government have clearly proven that they are fully prepared to move forward with a retaliation and counterattack should the need for one arise in the near future even though doing so would clearly create a foundation for the future development and initiation of World War III.
Faisal Muqdad, the deputy foreign minister of Syria, stated that the Syrian regime is fully prepared to respond in this way to any type of attack that is issued by the United States and has vowed to not change this position regardless of the consequences that it may cause. This potential intervention would be used as an official counter attack which would more than likely escalate into the third World War. Deputy Foreign Minister Muqdad was quoted as saying that this decision was made by the Syrian government based on the simple principle that “no Syrian can sacrifice the independence of his country,” according to AFP. Even though he did not explain any details about the specific measures that will be taken against the United States government during the interview with AFP, he did reluctantly state that his country had “taken every measure to retaliate against…an aggression.”
The Necessary Precautions
Even though the official US attack has still not been authorized by the United States government or supported officially by the United Nations as of yet, this delay has not prevented the Syrian government from taking the necessary precautions to make sure that they are prepared for action in the near future. The Syrian regime has actually already begun mobilizing its allies just in case the potential strike really does take place. While President Obama continues to work hard on his end to lobby Congress into backing this type of aggressive intervention through warfare and the parliament of France continues to debate about which side of the issue they would like to place their country’s government, it is clear that the Syrian government is already taking the steps necessary to retaliate and defend themselves regardless of the outcome.
The Complication of Plans
It is important to keep in mind that the intervention of the United States into Syria was discussed long before the chemical weapons in Syria were even used. Therefore, the true issue clearly deals more with the condition of the alliances and how the Syrian government may possibly be compromising it. A destabilized region at the border of Israel is a major concern for Israel and the United States a swell. Keep in mind that Russia has been an ally of Syria for quite some time now. There have been many other countries throughout the Middle East that have tried to work out deals and alternative plans with each other when it comes to natural gases and energy sanctions. The continuous conflict that is taking place within Syria complicates all of these plans, so nipping it in the bud theoretically seems to be the most effective option that remains.
Will World War III Actually Occur?
Even though it may seem as if there will definitely be a third World War that erupts due to the continuous conflict that is taking place within Syria and President Obama’s determination to do something about it, the odds are that it will not advance to that point. It is clear that a third World War is not probable. However, reports have confirmed that the eruption of this war is definitely possible.
As mentioned earlier, Syrian government officials have already stated that they do not have a problem with getting the ball of World War III rolling as a course of retaliation and a solid counterattack against the United States. Therefore, if and when President Obama is able to get the backing support and approval that he needs to move forward with this type of international attack, there is a strong possibility that a major war could erupt as a result of these actions. Many people may consider Syria as being a microscopic concern when compared to the major world power of the United States, but it is more important to take into consideration the alliances that Syria has been able to establish throughout history with three other major world powers – China, Iran and Russia. If either one of those three world powers decides to get involved by supporting a Syrian retaliation, the chances of a third World War will exponentially increase.
The Bottom Line
Does this necessarily mean that the entire world should erupt into a global panic? Should the citizens and soldiers of Syria and the United States become prepared and start planning for another global war to erupt in the near future? At this point, it is still too early to determine what the next step should be primarily because nothing solid has been confirmed or approved as of yet. As mentioned earlier, President Obama is still trying to get Congress the approval that he needs to move forward with this attack against Syria. Even if Congress decides to go with it, the US government will still need to receive approval from the United Nations to make this type of move.
Therefore, it is possible that this Syrian conflict may cause World War III to occur. On the other hand, it is also very possible that the conflict will continue within Syria alone without any intervention from the United States or any other government or world power for that matter. The world will just have to wait and see what happens.