There is a stabilizing factor in play: Russia. It's similar to the three-sided cold war stalemate, except that Russia plays the part China did last time. The one who sits it out, ends up on top.
Are we on the brink of another world war?
That assumes it remains a cold war and doesn't turn hot, in which case Russia along with most everyone else would likely get dragged in.
Slimboy, you raise some interesting points, and perhaps it is only a matter of time, unless some real changes are made in the dynamics.
When you look back at WW1 it is obvious that the stage was long set for action, in fact some Historians have said they are surprised it did not all kick off before 1914, in 1911 say.
We are in a similar situation here, the players are all on the stage, the "Set" is perfect, even the "prompter" is in place in case some forget their lines, all it needs is for the Director to shout "Action !"
I hope it doesn't happen, War never solved anything, and left the human race diminished and worse off than before the war.
I hope Diplomacy, and common sense, prevents any kind of war.
I think war is inevitable , it's all about big buisness and the winner take all , the real scary thing is that today they have such powerful weapons , the nuclear ones could irradiate the whole planet those idiots in power did all sorts of sick crazy things with them to begin with , they tried to blow up the van allen belt even while thinking the whole atmophere could catch fire . absolute complete lack of any common sense or morallity behind anything these freaks with the finger on the button have. I don't doubt that there are other weapons not known of that are extremely deadly .
Some random comment:
(Quote): Europe enjoyed an even longer period without a continent-wide war in the nineteenth century, starting from the end of the Napoleonic wars in 1815. That came to an abrupt end in 1914 of course. Which demonstrates the dismal truth about peaceful periods in human history, that they inevitably come to an end with a bang not a whimper. (unquote)
Well, OK! within the context of "continent-wide" war, you could say that. But that did not mean peace. What about for example, the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71?
and, just using wikipedia references we have this list of 19th C disturbances in Europe.
- 809 Polish-Austrian War
- 1815-1817 Second Serbian Uprising
- 1817-1864 Russian conquest of the Caucasus
- 1821-1832 Greek War of Independence
- 1821 Wallachian uprising of 1821
- 1823 French invasion of Spain
- 1826-1828 Russo-Persian War
- 1827 War of the Malcontents
- 1828-1829 Russo-Turkish War
- 1828-1834 Liberal Wars
- 1830 Ten Days Campaign (following the Belgian Revolt)
- 1830-1831 November Uprising
- 1831 Canut revolts
- 1831-1832 Great Bosnian uprising
- 1831-1836 Tithe War
- 1832 War in the Vendée and Chouannerie of 1832
- 1832 June Rebellion
- 1833-1839 First Carlist War
- 1833-1839 Albanian Revolts of 1833-1839
- 1843-1844 Albanian Revolt of 1843-1844
- 1846 Galician slaughter
- 1846-1849 Second Carlist War
- 1847 Albanian Revolt of 1847
- 1847 Sonderbund War
- 1848-1849 Hungarian Revolution and War of Independence
- 1848-1851 First Schleswig War
- 1848-1866 Wars of Italian Independence
- 1853-1856 Crimean War
- 1854 Epirus Revolt of 1854
- 1858 Mahtra War
- 1863-1864 January Uprising
- 1864 Second Schleswig War
- 1866 Austro-Prussian War
- 1866-1869 Cretan Revolt
- 1867 Fenian Rising
- 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War
- 1872-1876 Third Carlist War
- 1873-1874 Cantonal Revolution
- 1877-1878 Russo-Turkish War
- 1878 Epirus Revolt of 1878
- 1885 Serbo-Bulgarian War
- 1893-1896 Cod War of 1893
- 1897 Greco-Turkish War
And an illustration of one of the above conflicts:
I doubt very much that there will be a war over this issue. I suggest you have to see this issue in the context of Obama's policy of 'pivoting to Asia' and the USA as an existing hegemon, marshalling the nations it controls to cause trouble.
However, in a future post I will explain why this territorial dispute is an issue. But note also that it divides the allies of the USA as much as it causes problems for China. South Korea and Taiwan are both opposed to Japan on this territorial issue. It also involves Russia. The island named Sakhalin to the north of Japan is also a disputed territory.
The background to all these disputes is very complex, but centre around the re-balancing of world affairs during the 19th C when European imperialism reached its peak (so the crises we have now are the embers of that period as the last "European" power of significance (the USA) (IMHO, Russia is more Asian than European- though I admit its arguable) attempts to maintain "European" control of the world.
For the moment, I'd like to focus on the island of Sakhalin. It came under Russian control as part of Russia's conquest of Siberia, mainly in the 18th C. (you will recall this extended as far as Alaska-later sold to the USA, without a democratic vote-grin).
In the late 19th C the Japanese elites made a decision to permit western influence. They quickly adapted (modernised) and by the turn of the 20th C found itself in conflict with Russia over control of Manchuria (Picking over the carcass of Imperial China). In 1805 war broke out between Russia and Japan. In a surprise attack (no declaration of war) Japan neutralised the Russian Eastern fleet and then a second. In the treaty of Portsmouth, Russia ceded half of Sakhalin to Japan.
In 1945, in the lightning, and very powerful attack on Japanese held Manchuria, Russia (now the USSR) decisively defeated the Japanese Army. From August 9, soviet forces sped over a landmass the size of Europe, including the Korean Peninsula. Only a last minute request from the USA, prevented Russia conquering all of Korea. Why the Russians agreed to the American request is something of a mystery. In the resulting peace negotiations Russia took back the half of Sakhalin previously ceded to Japan. From cold war days, (with some support from the USA) Japan has been asking for Russia to give it back.
I forgot to post this forgotten memento of the Russian Far-East campaign in 1945. It claims to image US and Russian (Soviet) sailors celebrating the end of the WW2. Where? - In Alaska of all places.
The Franco-Prussian war was a tiny conflict compared with either the Napoleonic wars or the First World War. It had historic political significance in marking the birth of the German state, but compared to the major upheavals that bracketed either end of the 'long nineteenth century' (1789-1914) it was a mere footnote.
The congress system of the nineteenth century was a success at preserving peace in Europe as has been the later European Union, and thus far, the peace the congress system established actually lasted longer! People tend to forget that when they invoke the European Union as some sort of unprecedented peace producing enterprise in European history.
There will be war, but not in the normal sense of the word. New terminology: Economic (and currency) warfare, which has already begun. In the New World, money talks. China (and the Far East) has the upper hand because of economy and mentality. Russia has an advantage because of its energy reserves. The UK and Europe are already feeling the pinch = double and triple dip recession. How will the US fare in the "battle"? Their economy is twice as big as China, but shrinking. If they do not adapt, they will go the same way as Europe, which is downhill fast.
It seems that americans want wars. The military industrial complex is ravenous for wars. It NEEDS war.