World War III
World War III (WWIII or Third World War) denotes a successor to World War II (1939–1945) that would be on a global scale, with common speculation that it would be likely nuclear and devastating in nature. The term has also sometimes been used, perhaps most notably by Buckminster Fuller, to refer to the Cold War which existed between the communist and capitalist economies of various nations, especially the Soviet Union and the United States.
- In their loss of purpose, in their abandonment even of the themes they most sincerely espoused, Britain, France, and most of all, because of their immense power and impartiality, the United States, allowed conditions to be gradually built up which led to the very climax they dreaded most. They have only to repeat the same well-meaning, short-sighted behaviour towards the new problems which in singular resemblance confront us today to bring about a third convulsion from which none may live to tell the tale.
- The only way to win the next world war is to prevent it.
- I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
- Albert Einstein, in an interview with Alfred Werner, Liberal Judaism 16 (April-May 1949), Einstein Archive 30-1104, as sourced in The New Quotable Einstein by Alice Calaprice (2005), p. 173
- Differing versions of such a statement are attributed to conversations as early as 1948 (e.g. The Rotarian, 72 (6), June 1948, p. 9: "I don't know. But I can tell you what they'll use in the fourth. They'll use rocks!"). Another variant ("I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones") is attributed to an unidentified letter to Harry S. Truman in "The culture of Einstein" by Alex Johnson, MSNBC, (18 April 2005). However, prior to 1948 very similar quotes were attributed in various articles to an unnamed army lieutenant, as discussed at Quote Investigator : "The Futuristic Weapons of WW3 Are Unknown, But WW4 Will Be Fought With Stones and Spears". The earliest found was from “Quote and Unquote: Raising ‘Alarmist’ Cry Brings a Winchell Reply” by Walter Winchell, in the Wisconsin State Journal (23 September 1946), p. 6, Col. 3. In this article Winchell wrote:
Joe Laitin reports that reporters at Bikini were questioning an army lieutenant about what weapons would be used in the next war.
“I dunno,” he said, “but in the war after the next war, sure as Hell, they’ll be using spears!”
- It seems plausible, therefore, that Einstein may have been quoting or paraphrasing an expression which he had heard or read elsewhere.
- Models grew to astonishing levels of complexity, fuelled by the desire to create an accurate simulation of conﬂict, a scientiﬁc understanding of a quite literal war machine. The father of systems analysis, RAND researcher Ed Paxson, was symptomatic of this with the minutiae of his obsession in planning for World War III:
His dream was to quantify every single factor of a strategic bombing campaign – the cost, weight, and payload of each bomber, its distance from the target, how it shouldﬂy in formation with other bombers and their ﬁghting escorts, their exact routing patterns, the refueling procedures, the rate of attrition, the probability that something might go wrong in each step along the way, the weight and inaccuracy of the bomb, the vulnerability of the target, the bomb’s ‘kill probability,’ the routing of the planes back to their bases, the fuel consumed, and all extraneous phenomena such as the weather – and put them all into a single mathematic equation.
- Fred Kaplan, The Wizards of Armageddon, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1984, p. 87; as qtd. in Antoine Bosquet, “Cyberneticizing the American War Machine: Science and Computers in the Cold War”, p. 91
- Recently I said and now I repeat, we are going through World War III but in instalments. There are economic systems that must make war in order to survive. Accordingly, arms are manufactured and sold and, with that, the balance sheets of economies that sacrifice man at the feet of the idol of money are clearly rendered healthy. And no thought is given to hungry children in refugee camps; no thought is given to the forcibly displaced; no thought is given to destroyed homes; no thought is given, finally, to so many destroyed lives. How much suffering, how much destruction, how much grief. Today, dear brothers and sisters, in all parts of the earth, in all nations, in every heart and in grassroots movements, the cry wells up for peace: War no more!
- We cannot have another world war. War is the wrong word. We should ban the term ‘World War III’ and say instead apocalypse or holocaust.
- Golo Mann, in Hamburg’s Die Zeit (30 August 1985); also in The Watchtower (15 February 1986)
- Imagine the surprise to China’s leaders that in order to achieve global domination, instead of starting World War III, they simply had to cut some checks.
- The Joker: Do you know how many times we've come close to world war three over a flock of geese on a computer screen?
- The Soviet Union, unlike previous aspirants to hegemony, is animated by a new fanatic faith, antithetical to our own, and seeks to impose its absolute authority over the rest of the world… With the development of increasingly terrifying weapons of mass destruction, every individual faces the ever-present possibility of annihilation should the conflict enter the phase of total war
- The understanding that a third world war could be the end of civilization should restrain us from taking extreme steps on the international arena that are highly dangerous for modern civilization
- Now, once in a while, I get a letter from some impatient person asking, why don't we just get it over with? Why don't we issue an ultimatum, make all-out war, drop the atomic bomb? For most Americans, the answer is quite simple: We are not made that way. We are a moral people. Peace is our goal, with justice and freedom. We cannot, of our own free will, violate the very principles that we are striving to defend. The whole purpose of what we are doing is to prevent World War III. Starting a war is no way to make peace. But if anyone still thinks that just this once, bad means can bring good ends, then let me remind you of this. We are living in the eighth year of the atomic age. We are not the only nation that is learning to unleash the power of the atom. A Third World War might dig he grave not only of our communist opponents but also of our own society, our world as well as theirs. Starting an atomic war is totally unthinkable for rational men.
- What we should do is focus on ISIS. We should not be focusing on Syria. You’re going to end up in World War III over Syria if we listen to Hillary Clinton. You’re not fighting Syria any more, you’re fighting Syria, Russia and Iran, all right? Russia is a nuclear country, but a country where the nukes work as opposed to other countries that talk.
- Montenegro is a tiny country with very strong people. … They’re very aggressive people. They may get aggressive, and, congratulations, you’re in World War III
- We shall decide some time in 1943 or 1944 whether to plant the seeds of World War III. That war will be certain if we allow Prussia to rearm either materially or psychologically. That war will be probable in case we double-cross Russia. . . . Unless the Western democracies and Russia come to a satisfactory understanding before the war ends, I very much fear that World War III will be inevitable.
- Henry Wallace, Time, "Foreign News: World War III?", (Mar. 22, 1943), as qtd. in Becky Little, "We've Been Talking About World War III Since Before Pearl Harbor", History.com, (Dec 7, 2018).
- Memorandum For: The President... The drone assassination in Iraq of Iranian Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani... That Iran will retaliate at a time and place of its choosing is a near certainty. And escalation into World War III is no longer just a remote possibility.