Could the war on terror ever be called World War III?

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  1. cam8510 profile image91
    cam8510posted 8 years ago

    Could the war on terror ever be called World War III?

    The Wikipedia definition of World War is "a war involving many or most of the world's most powerful and populous countries. World wars span multiple countries on multiple continents, with battles fought in multiple theatres." 

    Radical Islamic terrorist organizations have carried out attacks in North America, Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia and South America.  I have not found an occurrence of Islamic terrorism in Antarctica.

    Since terrorist organizations are not countries, can the conflict be called a World War even though their attacks have been carried out on six of seven continents?

  2. Genna East profile image82
    Genna Eastposted 8 years ago

    Interesting question, Chris.  I think that a world war such as I and II presupposes that the nations under attack are all actively and visibly fighting back, and taking part in an overt global conflict.   I also think that the seeds for WW III were sown decades ago, and have been growing ever since.   Have a good weekend.

    1. cam8510 profile image91
      cam8510posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Genna, It seems that at the present time, this would not be called a world war because of what you have said, i.e. many nations in a consolidated effort.  Thanks.

  3. bradmasterOCcal profile image50
    bradmasterOCcalposted 8 years ago

    According to that definition, any war where the UN participated in the war, would be a World War.

    The last war that the US Congress, constitutionally declared a war was WWII. The rest have been police actions.

    IRAQ was a war twice, as it was against a country. Then after Saddam Hussein it became terrorism.

    The War on Terrorism is more like the War on Drugs, as the source of terror, and the source of drugs comes from different places. Generically, it could be deemed a war on crime.

    The source of terrorism seems to be focused on religion, and the differences of the different religions killing for God. WWI, and WWII weren't about religion, they were about power.

    WWIII according to your definition would have no means to know when it was over, much like the Crusades.

    1. cam8510 profile image91
      cam8510posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Interesting input, bradmasterOCcal, especially the last paragraph.  I suppose if we defined it by the specific source of terrorism it might be easier to declare victory at some point.  Otherwise, any act of terror would be a continuation of the war.

    2. Genna East profile image82
      Genna Eastposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      I  think this terrorism is about power masquerading as religion; hence the crazy extremist interpretation of Islam which many Muslims don't adhere to, and why ISIS is trying to gain dominance over other Muslims, etc.  Hitler used religious prejudice.

    3. cam8510 profile image91
      cam8510posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Genna, religion is only a thin veneer covering the real motivation behind terrorism.  I believe you are correct that power, power and wealth, are behind all of this terror.  This has been the true motivating factor of change throughout history.

    4. bradmasterOCcal profile image50
      bradmasterOCcalposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      What would they want with this power?
      Money, their own country?
      You could be right, I just can't think of what they are actually after through this terrorism

    5. cam8510 profile image91
      cam8510posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      I don't think any terrorist group has introduced anything new to the world.  They simply want power/wealth as ends in themselves.  It is what motivated Hitler, Kruschev, Alexander, Rome and Greece and has been the driving force behind colonialism.

    6. Genna East profile image82
      Genna Eastposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Chris, you have explained this perfectly!  And  "thin veneer" is spot on.  One of the key strategies of ISIS is to get the world to distrust/hate all Muslims -- for obvious reasons.  As if we were
      all that shallow and ignorant.

  4. Shyron E Shenko profile image68
    Shyron E Shenkoposted 8 years ago

    The terrorist killing for God would be a religious war, but may turn into WWIII. I don't think ISIS believe in God. I do think that misery loves company and these sickos want a lot of company.
    Blessings always Chris

    1. cam8510 profile image91
      cam8510posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      This kind of aggression/brutality can have only one source and it has nothing to do with loyalty to god or religion.  The only thing in history that has provided this much energy behind military strength is the self ambition of those at the top.

  5. tsmog profile image84
    tsmogposted 8 years ago

    Absolutely not! Technically 'War' is being used as a noun. That means it must be between nations, states, or within. Yes, as a verb like the war on terrorism or drugs it is world wide. Also, is how does one define a world war. WWI was a world war, but it was not global. WWII was global.

    Pondering asks with Syria being a civil 'war' what of the U.S. backing the rebels and Russia backing Syria's government. Some say that is a proxy war. Is that speculatively at a world scale? Much fodder for debate and discussion today.

    What of terror and terrorism. Terrorism began when history began and many remember the unfolding stories resulting with raping and pillaging. It spread fear. Today, terrorism both infers and and refers to being a 'tactic' used against a civilian population for a political gain as the objective. However, it is not to be confused with guerrilla warfare like in WWII with the French Resistance fighters. It's aim is toward a formal armed force.

    1. cam8510 profile image91
      cam8510posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Tim, I knew technical definitions would arise and you've mentioned a few. If ISIS consolidated its land holdings and established a government, they could be considered a nation. With their global terrorist attacks, WWIII might  apply. Your thoughts?

    2. tsmog profile image84
      tsmogposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Oopps on technical stuff:-) I have been studying the middle east 'conflict(S)' - 6mths.With out study it is really convoluted. ISIS is unique because they seek domination of all Muslims & the rest are infidels. They are political not religious.

  6. Old-Empresario profile image71
    Old-Empresarioposted 8 years ago

    Calling it World War III implies that it is connected with World Wars I and II, which were wars centered on Germany and her allies. The War on Terror is a misnomer in many ways and sounds too much like a marketing slogan. First; wars are declared on countries, not on abstract nouns. So you can't have a war on terror. Second; terror or terrorism means many things. What we're talking about here specifically is terrorism based on Islamic extremism. So I would call all of this the Islamic Insurrection rather than the War on Terror.

    1. cam8510 profile image91
      cam8510posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Would it be necessary for any future war to be connected with Germany and her allies in order for it to be called a world war?  Just a clarifying question.   

      I agree that the term "War on Terror" sounds like a marketing slogan.   Good comments.

  7. Nick Bishop profile image57
    Nick Bishopposted 8 years ago

    Yes I believe it can be called a 'world war' simply because it involves all nations and IS and AQ have global feach hitting targets around the world.

    To me it started in 2001 when the twin towers were hit, however, AQ hit targets in Africa before and bombed the twin towers before in a car park bomb, everyone forgets that.

    1. cam8510 profile image91
      cam8510posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Nick, If we stick with the Wiki definition, I believe this has the potential to be a world war.  I don't feel we are there yet because the response by the principle nations has not been overwhelming.  But it should be a world war, in my opinion.

  8. Ericdierker profile image46
    Ericdierkerposted 8 years ago

    I just figure it this way Chris: My world is and always has been at war with morons. As old Ben Franklyn wrote; A fool is still a fool the mere fact that you gather them by the multitudes only aggravates the situation.
    This has got to be my world against their world. I don't know much about geography but I do know...
    We did not invite this. In fact we even denied this. I never knew she meant this as a world view but my mom always said that if it them or us let it be my father's world not theirs.
    That is pretty global. My wife stands beside me, not because she is dedicated to me but because she is my wife. Let this be a world war please.

    1. cam8510 profile image91
      cam8510posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Eric, I love the Old Ben quote.  I'm not saying I've never been a fool, but hopefully not that kind of fool, not the kind that wants to dominate and destroy.  It is freedom I love, and in the end, I am convinced, freedom will overcome.

    2. Ericdierker profile image46
      Ericdierkerposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      A few hundred years and counting!

  9. lawrence01 profile image65
    lawrence01posted 8 years ago

    I think it could, but we'd have to get everyone using the dictionary definition of the words in the same way!
    You've put the dictionary definition here which is great but when you get the media, the military and the politicians together you get three different interpretations of the same definition!
    The media has already started using that term with regard to Isis, partly to build unity but also partly to sell their goods (news is a commodity, and nothing sells it better than war!). The Military sees the need for security and 'boots on the ground' (and a bigger budget) but the politicians think "how the heck can I do this and get re-elected" almost all politicians who've been in charge of a Democracy during a war got booted out not long after!

    1. cam8510 profile image91
      cam8510posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      A universal definition would be difficult to draft. Curiosity was my original motivation for the question. Calling it a world war might have an economic impact with WWIII happy meals and a film or two.  Now I'm getting cynical so I'll shut up smile

    2. lawrence01 profile image65
      lawrence01posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      What I was trying to say is for something like the terrorist threat we need more than what a conventional war gets with soldiers etc! We need to think of what we replace their ideology with!
      Something that wins the hearts and minds!


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