World War IV

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The Fourth Rail questions those who would call the war on terrorism World War III. However, it's not because it's not a world war. It's because it's World War IV. World War III was the fight between the capitalist West and the Soviet empire, i.e. the Cold War. I'm not exactly sure what I think of this, but I'm inclined to think he's right.

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"Chord" (my wife) and I recently had this conversation about the nature of war and the changing definition of what constitutes a "nation state". One of the things we are seeing, alongside the globalization of commerce and ideology, is that the definition and the nature of a nation state are changing. A nation state is now less bound by geographical limitation than before, and has more to do with overarching affiliations of different people groups. We see it in the make-up of al Qaeda, and we see it in the European Union.

Another thought is that, ever since the apparent cease-fire of World War II, we (as the world) charged straight into World War III. I agree with aforemention article that we never really stopped warring since 1945. The question was not whether we were at war; the question was *how* that war was going to end. What we consider as World War III, a worldwide nuclear exchange resulting in hundreds of millions of casualty, is only "one of several possible options" (with apologies to Kerry Livgren). As most intelligence analysts now agree, al Qaeda has roots that stretch far before the collapse of Soviet Union, and we did not really see it for what it was until they started destroying embassies, a Naval destroyer, and major skyscrapers. Now it would be interesting to see how *this* war will finish: Will there be an ideological coup d'etat for Islam, resulting in a less free and less Christian America; or will there be a pervasive democratization of Arab nations as the US continues its campaign against terrorism?

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