With the world retracing its steps back to the pre-Covid era, subdued conflicts around the globe have resurfaced. With the rising global instability comes the terror of bigger confrontations in one of these hotspots that could lead to a potential World War III.
The participation of Superpowers in proxy wars has created major hotspots around the world that are already on the brink of catastrophe, requiring the slightest of instigations to wage brutal wars against each other.
It won’t be wrong to say that we live in one of the most unstable times ever for the human race. There is a prospect war at every frontier and a cold war almost in every continent – be it Israel-Iran, U.S.-China, India-Pakistan, India-China, etc. The list can go on and on. It’s not just the widespread conflicts that can lead to the outbreak of something undesirably huge, but also how rapidly advancing technology is changing the way countries go at wars.
If you think that World War III would involve millions of soldiers fighting with guns and grenades, then let us give you a clearer picture: If World War III occurs, it would not be with tanks and guns, but with drones and laser cannons. To outdate the conventional physical version of warfare, concepts like bio- and cyber-warfare are already crippling nations bit by bit. In fact, the global diplomatic fabric is already clenched in the grip of several messy wars. While claims that China used coronavirus as a bio-warfare weapon to gain an economic hold on the entire world might be a far-fetched idea without any evidence for now, the pandemic sure has planted the seeds of ideas about how a single virus can amputate masses beyond imagination.You will find more infographics at Statista
However, we are not talking about how World War III might roll out, but which countries or the regions of the world are hotspots and potential breeding ground for conflicts that could spiral into World War III. These are the countries that find one foot of theirs always in the battleground.
5 Places That Are Potential World War III Hotspots
South China Sea
The superpower of the world US and the fastest emerging superpower China are against each other on almost every front. From immigration and investment restrictions to the trade war, tension is only ramping up between the two giants. Consequently, the two countries are rapidly increasing their military activities in the South China Sea.
China is not only briskly rising to dethrone the US as the economic and technological superpower, but also has a strong alliance with countries like Russia and Pakistan, which are on the opposite front of America. To cope up with the increasing power of China, the US also maintains strong diplomatic relations with South Korea and Japan in the region.
This isn’t all. China has also constructed multiple artificial islands in the South China Sea, not really to prepare for a war against its rivals like the US but to exert military pressure and dominance on the Southeast Asian countries. Nonetheless, the move is already agitating the US-led western power block.
Watch: Why the South China Sea militarisation has peaked?
Another one of the most sensitive geographical regions of the world has to be the middle-east with the rising superpower Israel surrounded by hostile nations on all sides. Iran overtly supports Israel’s opposers like Gaza, Syria, and Lebanon due to which the world witnesses very frequent violent conflicts between the two countries.
Moreover, after the erosion of the Iran Nuclear Deal under the presidency of Donald Trump, the middle-east nation sped up its nuclear ambitions with 2,442.9 kg of uranium enrichment as of November 2020. The nuclear operations of Iran have also been widely condemned by Israel. All these details also make this region highly prone to a massive war.
Watch: How Israel plans to attack Iran?
So, if a war occurs in the Korean Peninsula, the major parties against each other would be the US and South Korea on one side and North Korea on the other. Military tensions aren’t anything new in the Yellow Sea. North Korea often conducts missile tests in the Korean peninsula and is aggressively working on its nuclear ambitions.
The authoritarian country has already developed enough nuclear weapons to go to an all-out war. Thanks to the military superiority of South Korea and its ally United States, the Kim-Jong-Un led country hasn’t yet taken any destructive leap forward. North Korea currently has enough enrichment to develop 30-60 nuclear weapons and is sitting on a stack of 20-30 warheads.
Watch: How the US-North Korea tensions can breed a Nuclear War?
The Persian Gulf has been witnessing unrest and looming possibilities of war for decades now. The region is brimming with small and big wars since time immemorial. However, with the US waging an economic war against Iran and Saudi Arabia exhibiting zero mercy on Yemen, situations only appear to be getting worse with each passing year in the Persian Gulf.
Notorious terrorist activities show no sign of pardoning Syria of its endless ill fate while Turks, Kurds, and Iraqis. Syrians perpetually live on the edge and amid a massive military conflict. Superpowers US, Russia, and China are allies and enemies of various parties in the Persian Gulf. Hence, any unprecedented war can turn out to be disastrous one for the entire world. Most of the nations in the Persian Gulf do not own any nuclear weapon so far. However, Iran is close to developing weapons of mass destruction as stated above. Likewise, Syria was reported to be associated with North Korea for the development of a plutonium reactor for weapons enrichment.
Watch: West Asia’s Proxy wars are getting messier by the day
The conflict between the significant Asian nations India and Pakistan isn’t showing any sign of long-term rectification. And the biggest of all the reasons is the long-disputed region of Kashmir. The differences between the once unified nations have only increased under the current Indian governance especially after the abrogation of Article 370 in the Kashmir territory.
Furthermore, the involvement of China makes this territorial conflict between India and Pakistan a potential World War III hotspot. There are increasing economic, infrastructural, and diplomatic tie-ups between Pakistan and China and also India and the US. Therefore, a war between the two neighboring nuclear power nations can take a dramatic turn involving superpowers and allies.
Watch: Why has Kashmir turned into a hotspot?