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If there is a war, what will it be like?(8 posts)

If there is a war, what will it be like?ColnagoFE
Feb 12, 2003 7:53 AM
I mean WWIII would be like nothing we've ever seen in a war before. Would there be 2 "sides" like WWII Allied/Axis? And if so, who would be on what side? What about north Korea? How do they fit into all of this?
Many sides, shifting alliances, no real 'fronts' andOldEdScott
Feb 12, 2003 8:02 AM
no clear cut winners, hence no clear cut end. Welcome to the 21st Century.
The official term is "assymetric warfare,"sn69
Feb 12, 2003 8:24 AM
which loosely translates to UGLY.
why not?mohair_chair
Feb 12, 2003 8:31 AM
Why would WWIII be nothing like we've ever seen in a war before? Nukes have been used before. Chemical and biological weapons have been used before. Planes, tanks, etc., have all been used before. Unless we start using laser weapons, it's just more of the same.

If anything, warfare today is more lethal and less deadly than ever before. That sounds like a contradiction, but it isn't. Rather than carpet bombing cities like we did in WWII, killing thousands and putting hundreds of airmen at risk to destroy a target, now a single pilot can drop a single guided missile or bomb to accomplish the same thing. Or maybe we leave the pilot out and use a cruise missle or pilotless drone instead.

I don't think there ever will be a WWIII, unless you want to bundle together a series of actions over years into a single conflict, such as the Thirty Years War, or the Hundred Years War. The days of large set piece battles are gone. The days of army on army surprise attacks are gone. The days of large scale battles with maneuvering armies are gone. The future is smaller scale operations with mostly elite troops, such as Afghanistan.

One thing is for sure. If there is a WWIII, the USA will be on one side. There is no way we'll ever sit out another large scale conflict. Some people say our next war will be with China, but I doubt it.
missing the pointOldEdScott
Feb 12, 2003 8:56 AM
World War III, if it comes to that, will involve countries, non-countries, countries destablized to become havens for non-countries... the precision weaponry you mention may be used by us, sure, but other forces in the conflict will use less elegant tactics.

We may see a good preview when we attack Iraq (a country) and suffer retaliation from Qaeda (a non-country), and see possible destabilization of other now-friendly Arab countries into havens for extra-national groups and forces involved in a global war withour boundaries using, at best, non-conventional weapons and tactics (my prose is starting to sound like a DMSO manual).

It will be weird, and there will be a fog of war like none before, despite our modern technology and sophisticated intelligence.
and that's different how?mohair_chair
Feb 12, 2003 9:23 AM
Sounds like the exact situation we are currently in, and pretty close to what I was saying. There won't be a "next big war." There may only be a series of small ones. From the US standpoint, only elite troops will be involved, highly trained and equipped to pursue and kill terrorists and soldiers without nations.

Terrorists have always been and always will be, so I don't feel like much has changed, except that the US will never allow another terrorist haven like Afghanistan or Libya or Lebanon to exist. And whether we attack Iraq or not, Al Qaeda will try to attack us. To call it "retalitation" only legitimizes their cause.
Link:OldEdScott
Feb 12, 2003 9:25 AM
http://forum.ra.utk.edu/1999summer/asymmetric.htm
It dependsSteveS
Feb 12, 2003 10:58 AM
A lot of what will happen will depend upon what extent the Islamic world wants to be involved in terroristic activities. Certainly Pakistan without Musharraf (sp?) would be a likely prospect along with the Chechens and whomever is roaming around the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. Iran's Islamic government has a very good chance of facing a revolution that might change that country's tack. If the Islamic world wants to support widespread terrorism, then the groups included will be wider.

A fairly intelligent Chinese friend of mine suggested months ago that the new alliance will include China,India and Russia allied to the U.S. Obviously, neither he nor I think China will be the target for war with America. China has a Muslim population of Uighurs that as far as I know, have thus far been quiescent. But, less Musharraf, a rabidly aggressive Pakistan is a threat to India and China.

Time will tell. Looks to me like how it plays out depends upon the extent of Islamic extremism and though they can certainly have 'victories' like 9/11, they can't win the war.