What Would Happen If World War 3 Started?

It seems like in recent years we are living under the cloud of WW3. Here we take detailed look at what would happen if world war 3 started. After all understanding what could happen can help you prepare for the worst.

What Would Happen If World War 3 Started?

World War 3 - Nuclear War and Attack Survival

A third world war today with modern weapons and interconnected economies would be catastrophic on a global scale, likely leading to the deaths of millions in intense fighting across multiple continents. The destructive capacity and range of current military technologies ensures no country would be fully shielded from physical or economic impacts, with global supply chains and systems paralyzed.

This article will attempt to shed light on plausible trigger scenarios that could ignite a 21st century great power conflict as well as analyze the potential use of nuclear and advanced conventional weapons in key regional theaters. We will also model a range of outcomes—from limited to full exchanges—to approximate possible casualty levels and disruptive impacts across military, governmental, economic, and civilian domains globally in hopes providing context around decisions leading towards or away from a third world conflagration.

Triggering Events and Escalation

Experts see miscalculations and unintended consequences from smaller regional conflicts as the most likely triggers for uncontrolled WW3 escalation. Scenarios like an India-Pakistan nuclear exchange precipitating Chinese involvement to secure strategic regional interests or NATO allies disputing increasingly assertive Russian attempts to forcibly retake former Soviet territories could unleash cascading global alliance deployments and homeland attacks.

Any direct kinetic attacks between nuclear-armed rivals risk retaliation on homelands and allied assets via air, naval, and rocket forces – designed to be rapid and overwhelming. These initial strikes and sequential rounds of military escalation could exponentially expand through positive feedback until casualties prompt negotiation efforts or ICBRM salvos threaten terminal societal damage – making de-escalation extremely precarious between both states and unstable automated defense systems.

The opening stages of WW3 would likely involve extensive hacking/disinformation campaigns targeting public morale, critical infrastructure command nodes, supply networks, and enemy communications to sow confusion while sophisticated anti-satellite weapons attempt to blind ISR coverage preceding first strikes. Combat could feature robotic forces coordinating saturated guided missile bombardments and drone swarms operating with near autonomy alongside more classic techniques of economic coercion, naval blockades, and special force units to achieve regional objectives – all constantly threatening to spill over into WMD usage if unchecked conventionally.

Military Confrontations and Strategies

Experts anticipate the Pacific, Baltic States, and Middle East as probable early confrontation zones with clashes between Chinese/US naval forces near Taiwan and islands of strategic interest, Russian pushes into former Soviet states prompting NATO mobilization of ground forces, and flare ups between Middle Eastern rivals dragging in Russian and Western counterparts as proxy supporters or active combatants. Wider conflict could see intensified skirmishes across semi-autonomous zones (Kashmir, Moldova, Korea), cyberattacks disabling infrastructure across NATO countries and the American seaboard, and the militarization of space over information blackouts.

The US retains global force projection supremacy but risks overstretch without adequate Asian ground forces against China/North Korea’s growing regional numerical superiority. Russia prioritizes tactical battlefield nuclear weapons and artillery to offset NATO’s conventional advantage. China could leverage interior lines and its sizeable missile stockpile for attritional campaigns behind non-nuclear AirSea denial systems. Lesser powers like Iran/Saudi Arabia/India/Pakistan eschew prolonged conflict for threatened WMD attacks on population centers. Wildcards involve non-state actors and unpredictable rogue state behaviors during conflict. Alliances constrain options but may fail to endure if vital interests diverge between acceptable losses of sovereign territory versus intolerable homeland damage.

Any WW3 outbreak risks imminent nuclear escalation absent clearly enforced restraint by centralized authority figures early-on. The 2022 Russian nuclear doctrine permits atomic weapon usage in response to existential conventional attacks. NATO has deferred first-use stances to Russia historically. China aspires to no first use principle but reserves ambiguity as policy. With command systems vulnerable, financing vast occupied territories challenging, and asymmetric threats rising, WMD hostilities can determine achievable political aims rapidly. Even without intercontinental launches, battlefield detonations may trigger global agricultural and economic collapse.

Global Impacts and Humanitarian Crisis

Global markets would seize up from instability/destroyed assets/trade flows/financial systems driving severe shortages, inflation, expanded poverty alongside weakened healthcare/sanitation — spurring political unrest and societal breakdowns. Environmentally, climate models indicate even a regional nuclear conflict could trigger decade-long winter from smoke clouds causing agriculture collapses, ecosystem damage and famine far from strife zones.

The number of displaced peoples and refugees from widescale warfighting, infrastructure loss, radiation contamination, societal collapse and desperate poverty could vastly exceed capabilities of intact neighboring countries and exceed hundreds of millions. Camps lack resources spreading disease and unrest. Border buildups spark military confrontations further exacerbating the problem amid dwindling global capacity for mitigation without collective institutions.

Absent intact command authority within combatant nation governments, humanitarian assistance could require robust peacekeeping military interventions, establishment of sanctuary zones, forced disarmament, distribution infrastructure, and operational emergency governance. But this demands levels of agreement among surviving global powers alongside complex logistics that prove historically challenging even without debilitated economies or preexisting rivalries now exacerbated by conflict spillovers into their territory. The scope outpaces recent efforts exponentially.

Political Fallout and Diplomatic Efforts

The political map would be redrawn based on relative survival – either through direct territorial conquest or necessity-driven alliance formations based around common interests in reconstruction. Even without regime change, governments may sacrifice some sovereignty and independence in exchange for needed stability, trade, and humanitarian aid brokered by those emerging less ravaged. The potential power vacuum risks factions, separatists and extremists exploiting disorder for autonomy too.

If conflict is not immediately terminal, back-channel negotiations will likely involve incremental mutual concessions aiming to minimize further losses based on unsustainable cost-benefit tradeoffs rather than solely ethics or historical fairness. Face-saving gestures matter where domestic political legitimacy directly ties to projecting strength. Most agreements constitute temporary rather than durable resolutions given the enormous lingering economic, health and environmental impacts that will persist well after combat operations fully cease, complicating international relations for decades hence.

What Would Happen if World War 3 Started Conclusion

Any World War 3 scenario brings catastrophic loss of life, economic ruin, societal collapse, and immeasurable human suffering – outpacing prior world wars given modern weapons technologies and globe-spanning interdependencies. Even controlled conflict risks unintended escalation into the unthinkable while the subsequent impacts severely challenge postwar global functionality for generations.

Avoiding doomsday necessitates renewed understanding between rival states and Bloc’s. Diplomacy, backed by consistent signaling of resolve plus demonstrable self-restraint during crises can manage tensions. Promoting inclusive institutions, equitable economic growth, and social justice while securing weapons limitations builds foundations for enduring stability. There exist no winners in modern war between major powers – only survivors. Global cooperation preventing even a limited World War 3 thus represents collective human civilization’s most pressing challenge today.

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Written by doc cotton

Meet Doc Cotton, your go-to founder of NowShack and a goto for all things adventurous and outdoorsy. With an unwavering passion for van life and a deep connection to the great outdoors, Doc is your trusted guide to exploring the world off the beaten path.

Doc's journey began with a fascination for the freedom and simplicity that van life offers. From there, it was a natural progression to spend countless hours prepping and converting vans into cozy, mobile homes on wheels. Whether it's turning an old van into a comfortable living space or sharing tips on the best gear for outdoor adventures, Doc has you covered.

But Doc Cotton is not just about life on the road; he's also a dedicated student of survival skills. Always eager to learn and share, Doc's insights into wilderness survival and bushcraft are invaluable for anyone looking to connect with nature on a deeper level.