I believe, that sometime way in the future, historians will have concluded that World War III had already begun BEFORE this blog was written. You may be wondering what on Earth Marko is smoking, so let me 'splain.
At one time, the concept of war was throwing rocks. It then advanced, in a series of stages to guns, bombs and then nukes. A World War meant that a bunch of countries with aligned interests banded together to fight a different group of countries. Not that the "allies" were in any way friends - they shared a common enemy or enemies and a consortium of sorts got created. In World Wars I and II, the "teams" were obvious. You didn't need a scorecard. Today, that's all changed.
War now consists of AT LEAST 5 components: military, terrorism, financial, trade and economic. (One also need take into account civil war). Each subcomponent has it's own set of allies. Take any country and it will be at some stage of war with any other country, or just about. Here are a few examples of how confusing this new definition of war can be.
China is at war with the United States financially and economically, but not militarily (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6183KG20100209)... yet. The article sited in the previous sentence discusses the Chinese military's desire to punish the U.S. economically!
Russia was opposed to the possibility of U.S. involvement in Iran, but now is not (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/3e54b266-15ae-11df-ad7e-00144feab49a.html). However, Russia is at odds with the U.S. over the addition of the Ukraine to NATO and military war has recently broken out between Russia and Ukraine over delivery of natural gas.
Confused? Let's keep going.
The U.S. is at war militarily against Afghanistan, which is surreptitiously being supported by Pakistan - supposedly a U.S. military ally. Israel is in a virtual state of war with the entire Middle East militarily and from terrorism, but seems fine on the economic, financial and trade front in large part because of its protected status as a U.S. proxy.
Large holders of U.S. Dollars are engaged in a form of financial war with America. They feel cheated by the continual degradation of the greenback and the debasement of their dollar-based wealth. Yesterday, I wrote about the problems with Sovereign debt, especially in the "PIGS" countries of Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain (http://markostake.blogspot.com/2010/02/sovereign-debt-crisis-threatens-to-take.html). If these countries should default, they risk military war with holders of their debt.
There is a precedent. After World War I, the reparations imposed on Germany proved a hurdle that the country could not overcome. The country began debasing its currency, hyper-inflation ensued and then came the rise of Adolf Hitler, which led to World War II.
As you can gather, the matrix of the various elements of "War", as defined by "Marko's Take", is exponential and encompasses virtually the entire planet! Unfortunately, it WILL get worse! Economic, financial and trade war will, with virtual certainty, lead to military war. The question is how every country will align and on which dimensions.
Thus, I argue that we are already well into World War III and that, while it does not appear so yet, it soon will become OBVIOUS. All we can do is hope that sanity somehow prevails and the "Ball of Confusion", known as Earth, does not blow itself to smithereens.
Further compounding things in the U.S. is the fact that we are in the early stages of a CIVIL WAR. The young are pitted against the old via Social Security, the races are boiling over and the "boys club" in Washington, D.C., is at war with ALL OF US!
So, what do YOU think? I think you should TAKE ME ON!