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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Five reasons why Russia won’t start World War III

Flickr/World Economic Forum

Flickr/World Economic Forum

The recent events in Eastern Europe involving Russia and Ukraine have spawned, at their most extreme, apocalyptic claims. Here are five reasons why Russia won’t start World War III, or any other war for that matter:

1. The world is MAD. The end of World War II ushered the world into a precarious atomic age that characterized the international atmosphere during the Cold War. Luckily, the Cold War never escalated to nuclear war. Why? Because of mutually assured destruction (or MAD). Russia knows that if it pushes that big red button, we have our own even bigger, redder button to push in retaliation. The odds of a nuclear war with Russia are extremely unlikely.

2. The impact of economic sanctions on the Russian economy is far too crippling for Russia to fund a war. As a part of a globalized world, economic sanctions are more than mere slaps on the wrist. Already the sanctions imposed on Russia have begun to take their toll. The West has yet to attack Russia’s strongest economic assets, but the declining strength of the Russian economy puts Putin far from a position to wage a world war.

3. Putin’s actions demonstrate his longing for Russia’s glory days before the fall of the Soviet Union. His annexation of Crimea is more out of fear than strength. Putin feels threatened by Russia’s changing role in world affairs and is using Crimea to tell the world that Russia still matters.

4. Russia is already seen as the “big bad wolf” of Europe. Though Putin may have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his involvement in the Syrian chemical weapons deal, Russia’s popularity among many Western countries is not very high. The recent suspension of Russia from the G8 group is a symbolic action that demonstrates that Russia will have to face a united front of world powers if it chooses to start a war.

5. There is just too much at stake. War between Ukraine and Russia is one thing; Russia’s military is large enough and strong enough to easily defeat Ukraine. However, if Russia decides to take further aggressive action, it must also contend with surrounding European Union member nations and their potential involvement in the war. Moreover, Russia’s involvement in other international affairs will be affected. For example, the ongoing effort to normalize relations between Iran and the rest of the world will be jeopardized, considering Russia is involved in those efforts. Crimea may have symbolic meaning close to the hearts of Russians, but it isn’t worth risking the domino effect of events that can potentially occur.

So, those of you who feel abnormally unsettled by the recent turn of events can rest easy. While Russia’s actions can’t be brushed aside and should be taken seriously, the chances of this confrontation escalating to a great war are slim — assuming these countries act rationally.

Maral Margossian is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at mmargossian@umass.edu.

Comments
27 Responses to “Five reasons why Russia won’t start World War III”
  1. Rostislav Babiak says:

    Are you people who wrote this insane or are you such Obama bottom suckers that you cannot see that Russia will fight to protect itself from the Zionist led cabal and the Washington Imperialists. Be aware there are many of us in the US who will side with Russia and not a nation led by a looser president who sounds like a crack smoking pimp on a street corner talking smack about Russia. Mr. Putin is a great man.

  2. Genghis Khan says:

    Maral gives the precise reason why there WILL be another world war… “assuming these countries act rationally”.

    1. What’s rational to you, wanting peace, prosperity, trade, and freedom, are not necessarily the goals of other nations.

    2. Imperius Barackus Rex’s “sanctions” are laughable. THE WORLD knows just how weak he is. When the world’s superpower is weak, wars break out.

    3. Nuclear weapons are PRECISELY the reason Putin can do what he wants. Because, unlike Barackus, Putin has the stones to use them.

    4. I have to wonder if Barackus’ comment about “being more flexible after his reelection” was the subtle green light to Putin.

    Ah, to be young and that naïve again.

  3. Steven M Zerbey says:

    That helped a little, now can you give five reasons why United States won’t start World War III?

  4. Jim says:

    Sounds like the final last words of many folks right before the biggest WW in our history, that would be WW2. Sadly, WWIII is coming and from it will emerge a new world leader that will “seemingly” bring peace to the world, solve the middle east crisis, and solve many of the worlds money problems. But his dictatorship will be short lived, seven years and then Mercy and Forgiveness will return and rule for 1000 years, His name is, has all been, and always will be Jesus, The Son of God, also known as the Word as well.

  5. Truth says:

    Russia is well prepared, it is joining alliances with China to backup the sanctions and planning a massive sanction attack on the SA. Putin is a very smart man with strategy and experience he has many countries backing him, China, Iran, Venenzuela, Cuba, North Korea and alot of the World is starting to get tired of Westerners playing police. I will take Putin more seriously.

  6. Truth says:

    This article is wrong, Russia is well prepared, it is joining alliances with China to backup the sanctions and planning a massive sanction attack on the USA. Putin is a very smart man with strategy and experience he has many countries backing him, China, Iran, Venenzuela, Cuba, North Korea and alot of the World is starting to get tired of Westerners playing police.This been well planned I will take Putin more seriously

  7. Reader says:

    Yeah. Those ’5 reasons’ are not only nonsense, but they are demonstrative of a complete lack of understanding of geopolitics. In fact, a few of them are actually reasons why a WW3 scenario can break out between these nations. Russia (Moscow specifically) has the most billionaires on the planet. This is a country that won’t be fucked with.

  8. Hector says:

    what is irrational is to assume that these countries will act rationally.

  9. ...facepalm says:

    WW3? Are you people serious? This little spat over Ukraine is nothing compared to some of the REAL crises and events that nearly started WW3 during the Cold War years. If a world war wasn’t started over Korea, or the Cuban missile crisis, or Vietnam, or any of the other major East-West confrontations of the past, it certainly won’t be started over Putin’s actions in a neighboring country that the West doesn’t really care about anyway.

  10. N. says:

    Rostislav, thanks for showing how bigoted anyone has to be to support Putin…

  11. NativeAmerican says:

    I’m a USA citizen and I can’t stand our presidents decisions or actions, Barack Obama has been running this country into the ground since he went in office. As for our government, I don’t trust them either, pretty sure will be fighting against our own government soon because they continuously lie to us over and over, I love my country but disappointed with the ones running shit.

  12. the last thing says:

    russia scare about usa from since 50 years or more
    is that true that the russian ppl are false not only goverments and putin mafia
    those guys feel economicall crisis and wants to borrow old ZSSR countries untill
    they will join to u.s.a nato and european union
    the truth is that the american can equate with ground russia easy
    and even just nato are enough for that operation
    russian are enemy for us because they are crazy and false
    they are also alone ;) and countries like china korea etc.. will not helps them alot
    because they just are pawns
    america is behind european union + japan and other powerfull countries – russia will never win
    any war with us
    they just dreaming about the power – but they cant….
    because they are false ppl and enememy who wants to have power over the world but they can forget about that
    fortunately we have a big guard on earth U.S.A who trying to keept the worldvide situation stable
    and believe me – nobody can destroy that ;)
    european union and usa should completly isolate that enemy and close them to their borders
    kick-out russian ppl from european countries let them live in they false country
    everybody here for since 50 years know about that the russian leaders , presidents are psycho
    they are not normall they allways lie those kind of ppl should be punished and isolated because they are enemy
    we remember the times at boris jelcyn dictatorships who dying in hospital for lung cancer and was trying to scare peeps over the world that he will hit red button and shoot nuclear bomb – hehehhe forget is this all happens because those traitors scare about u.s.a guards they will never win any world war and even nuclear war because before they try to hit with their dirty nuclear rockets russia will be permamently DELETED from the earth
    putin psycho start gaseous fuel economicall war with european union for since 7 years
    the truth is thats just his psycho-game ;) because in fact he can only harm russia not us ;) believe me
    they will loose a billions of dollars with that fuel-gas war because in fact we seek from they that product
    pay them because is abroad of us and easy
    in fact we can change the gas-fuel distributor easy and russian will loose alot of money from that

    everything with that current crisis situation trigerred by russia could be compared to hitler steps
    the situation is bad because russia do not have money is similiar situation at the beginning of 2 world war
    when the paper for produce money in deutschland was much expensiff than money value ! just with one except ;) that the russian can only dreaming about 3 world war and their success – NOT AT THIS TIME
    and believe to me nobody will allow they at this days to make world shit
    because in fact we are addicted from us the world is diffrent than before 2 world war

  13. Bill says:

    Bring on the war I say. I know the costs are great during the war, but history has shown a great improvement in technology and quality of life in the decades following world wars.
    For example world war 2 brought the world out of the great depression.

  14. teutonic says:

    russia and US arent going to fight the war ,because US is too strong for russia .
    Its a funny comparisons , russians aware of this very well , thats why all these patriotic talks coming out of weakness

  15. I'm Saying says:

    There are outrageous statement here. I read them all. Some of you are more educated about the situation in it’s entirety, some clueless and some in the middle. First I’d like to point out the fact that somebody said Putin has the balls to use nuclear weapons and Obama does not. I guarentee you sir that if there is an nuclear weapon sent in either direction, there will be one to match it. Many will die. Now people disagree if there likely will or will not be World War III.. Chances are it will not go that far. There’s too much at stake. It will change the world entirely and there is no way to predict what the end result would be. With that being said, we are dealing with countries here who have shown that they will do the unthinkable before. Also someone said America the superpower is weak. Do not be mistaken. The USA is still the superpower of the world. Some will argue china, you are wrong. China and Russia, as well as other countries, are just no longer going to bow down to the superpower of the world. That is a huge deal, and a very dangerous situation. Like wild animals pumped up on testosterone and trying to prove themselves to their peers by standing up to the alpha. (Which the alpha normally wins statistically.) Russia is testing boundaries, showing the world that they are no longer afraid and that America isn’t as quick to pull the trigger on a global scale war as most countries have feared for decades. I saw the reference to MAD (mutually assured destruction) and that is the biggest term used in all of this. There will be mutually assured destruction if ww3 breaks out. Possibly and more than likely on a devastation global mass. I read none sense about which countries are taking which sides, which side has more money and so on. This is 2014 and in the event of a current World War One thing matters. Who will press their button first. Nuclear weapons will be used if world war 3 begins, and in my opinion one nuclear weapon used will mean many, many nuclear weapons used. No one can predict what is to come in the following years, and I do not claim to know anything that any of you could research and find out as well.. But I will say the real conversations and agendas of the people in power involved,which certainly goes deeper than you’re average citizen could ever gain knowledge of, are not the same as the cover stories you hear on the news. Big things are happening, global changes are occurring, history is being, and will continue to be made in the next decade, and nobody can say for sure what is to come. All I, and all of you, should be hoping for is for tension to subside (after it is built up some more) before a few people make a global census decision that can not be reversed.

  16. Sociable7 says:

    Some good points. However I do think anything could go. Check out my post on a similar subject?

    If another war was to break out, who will ally who? Are you ready for World War 3? Check out the extensive post on: http://sociable7.wordpress.com/allies-of-2014/

  17. tom horn says:

    Putin is alot smarter than Obama. Russia is not a debtor nation. They can do without Europe and America. They can trade with India ,China,Iran, Brazil, etc. Putin is on Gods side he builds churches, he belives in god ,hes rational,stong, balanced, conservative a leader, hes the best! God bless him!!

  18. I'm scared says:

    To take a completely different logic to the current situation, google “cardinal grand cross”. It is active as I write this message, and it was active during previous serious economic depressions and world wars.

  19. Matthew Frakes says:

    I think most of the comments in here are either extremely naive or just plain ignorant. I believe in God, however I seriously doubt that any astrology or even Jesus himself are gonna help this situation. Putin is a very smart man in some ways , but I think he is in for a big surprise if he thinks he is just going to start taking over land without someone standing up and saying wtf. Obama is also a smart man in some ways, but I think he is naive as well to assume that sanctions will deter Putin in any manor. Maybe this really is the beginning of a global conflict. Maybe WW3 is inevitable.

  20. SBG says:

    Putin may seem to be a smart and strong leader but he is weakening Russia. He lets corruption run rampant, limits free speech and strangles democracy. His actions in Ukraine are driven by fear alone, he is scared that the Russian people will rise up and demand that government serves the people.

    While his annexation of Crimea, with the support of the government directed Russian media, makes him and Russia appear strong at the moment, it will weaken Russia’s economic and geopolitical situation in the medium to long term. Neighbouring ex soviet states will increasingly look to NATO for security to ensure that they do not become victim to Russian aggression. The importers of Russian energy that underpin the economy will, and already are, weaning themselves off Russian supply so that they cannot be held to ransom in the future.

  21. Athan says:

    As of today 27APR 14, Russian doomsday planes have be spotted near Finland. Two Russian Nuclear bombers have been making the rounds near Denmark and The UK. Russian soldiers are advancing on the Eastern Ukrainian border. The US has 700 boots (paratroopers) from the 173rd Airborne in Poland. NATO is preparing for extended “war games” in allied countries. OSCE hostages have been taken and the mayor of the 2nd largest Ukrainian city was shot in the back and you in your infinite wisdom of what, maybe 30 years, of which I guarantee you didn’t put down your Jack Kerouac novel and microbrew beer long enough to enlist. I’m going to drop some wisdom/reality on you: The governments that be (Russia/US) do not give a flying F about the average citizen. They have bunkers, they have food, they are more prepped then the greatest preppers. MAD is only a concern for Joe Public to deal with and when they leave their bunkers they have a “Noah’s Arc” of original, non-GMO seeds to get things rolling again.

    I love college kids. Ah to be so young and completely clueless. Haha! Why do you think that the armed services want 18 yr. olds? Young, dumb and full of (insert rhyming word here).

    But, hey, it was a good fluff piece. I’d rather heard about a puppy being rescued but this will do.

  22. sha Davis says:

    It seems like you people want world war 3. Let me ask you simple minded people one thing???? Do u want to die??? I love my life and my family and Im thinking positive.

  23. Logan says:

    I think russia will try to invade america an thats when we as americans need to stand up an fight kick the president out an shape our own democracy yet russia is not dumb they will not invade a country (hopefully) were everyone bears arms. Murica

  24. Shaquille says:

    We’ll never know if there’s going to be a war world 3 or not, We ALL have to see what happens in the future.
    That’s a possibility it may happen but i will sever USA Military.
    Even though I am From Canada, but what’s the point in starting wars?
    It’s just going to keep on happening in life, some one in another country will talk so much mad shit.
    Sorry for the language.
    But seriously you guys just have to shut up…
    Life goes on.
    People Change.
    Shit happens.

  25. james says:

    Are you serious? Are you all dumb liberal teenagers? Ww2 broke out from germany invading poland. You think if russia invades ukraine ppl will just lol? Your all retarded.

  26. Eyes opened in disbelieve says:

    Its not leaders,but a bigger force,its people beings with one aim and one aim only!its not a care for ones own country or people,but for their brotherhood,their power,their one world order,their utopia,their master…not from present day but long before!

  27. phoenix says:

    Ok pple… Am nt taking sides here, bt jst wnt to mk i1 fact known. NEVER UNDERESTIMATE RUSSIA. These guys r nt jst called sleeping beers fr notin, the fact dat they dnt flex their military might as d US doesn’t mean they r weaklings, they might nt b called the USSR anymr bt still wield dat power nd influence they had bck den. RUSSIA IS A SLEEPING VULCANOE…

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