Predictions for 2015 have already become quite dreary, with some experts declaring that World War 3 is inevitable even if the Ukraine war, Vladimir Putin, and Russian nuclear weapons are not included as part of the equation. Although Cold War 2 does seem to have started already, it's hoped that an economic war, and not nuclear war, will be the only fallout.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, Ron Paul believes that a "reckless" Congress has essentially declared war on Vladimir Putin and Russia based upon the recently passed U.S. House Resolution 758. The U.S. Senate followed up by passing the Ukraine Freedom Support Act, which authorizes President Obama to give Ukraine lethal aid at a cost of $350 million over three years. Before this legislation was even passed, government-funded Russian media was warning that giving lethal aid to Ukraine could lead to World War 3 if President Obama acts on it. As of this publishing, President Obama has not made a decision on enacting the Ukraine Freedom Act, although the clock is ticking since the bill gave the President 60 days for his administration to draw up documents describing how it would be enacted.
Back in April, British journalist Edward Lucas claimed the events in Ukraine may have been the trigger point for World War 3.
"We are soon to face a bleak choice. We can chose to surrender any responsibility we have to protect Ukraine and the Baltic states -- almost certainly Putin's next target -- from further Russian incursion. Or we can mount a last-ditch attempt to deter Russia from furthering its imperial ambitions. If we do choose to resist Putin, we will risk a terrifying military escalation, which I do not think it an exaggeration to say could bring us to the brink of nuclear war. Putin knows that. And he believes we will choose surrender... If the West does stand up to Russia, Putin will put its nuclear forces on alert, all the while decrying our 'aggressive behavior.'"
"There have been many cases, not that serious, but pretty close, where human intervention with a few-minutes choice has prevented a nuclear war... It may not be a high probability each time, but when you play a game like that, with low probability risks of disaster over and over again, you're going to lose. And now, especially in the crisis over Ukraine, and so-called missile-defense systems near the borders of Russia, it's a threatening situation."
Albert Einstein also once made an interesting quote that pertains to the frightening possibility of a Russian nuclear war.
"I know not with what weapons World War 3 will be fought, but World War 4 will be fought with sticks and stones."
"The terrorists are getting money from selling oil too. Oil is produced in territory controlled by the terrorists, who sell it at dumping prices, produce it and transport it. But someone buys this oil, resells it, and makes a profit from it, not thinking about the fact that they are thus financing terrorists who could come sooner or later to their own soil and sow destruction in their own countries."
Because of this history, Paul Dibb, an intelligence chief during the Cold War and former head of strategy at the Australian Defense Department, claims that Putin's KGB background is reason enough to not trust the Russian leader.
"He's KGB trained. He's a former KGB colonel. He's not going to blink. He's a man trained in the perfect lie."
"If Putin is too too stubborn to acknowledge that his career is over, and the only way to get him out of the Kremlin is feet-first, with a bullet hole in the back of his head -- that would also be okay with us... For instance, if the next time Putin's flying back to Moscow from yet another visit with his good friends in Cuba, or Venezuela, or Iran, his airplane gets blasted out of the sky by some murky para-military group that somehow, inexplicably, got its hands on a surface-to-air missile."
But Pope Francis famously claimed earlier this year that World War 3 had already started, although not in the fashion that everyone expected. It's possible the world's superpowers may choose to wage international war using economics and a series of proxy wars where countries take sides. Economists believe these sanctions by the European Union and the United States could cost Russia $100 to $200 billion a year and already Russia's economy is beginning to implode.
Although the world is largely focused on the Ukraine war, Vladimir Putin recently deployed Russian troops in order to make a claim on Arctic oil and has already officially filed documents to make claim of the waters and land. But just this week, Denmark formally claimed the North Pole as their own and Russia has already run an invasion simulation of Denmark. Such an event would trigger World War 3 since Denmark is a NATO member, and an "attack on one is an attack on all."
The reason that Vladimir Putin may be willing to risk World War 3 over Arctic oil is because some experts believe that usable world oil reserves will be gone by 2060. Although Lockheed Martin's fusion reactor sounds like an interesting solution to the oil problem, oil will still be the focus for years to come. Some experts have described the disputed Arctic region as a second Middle East, since oil and gas reserves are thought to represent between 17 and 30 percent of the global total.
The importance of oil cannot be overstated since the recent downfall of the Russian ruble is said to not only be linked to sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, but also the falling price of crude oil. When it comes to 2015 predictions, the good news is that Russia's economic woes is claimed to be a reason that Vladimir Putin cannot afford to take a strong stand with the Ukrainian separatists, and it may even curtail their plans to upgrade the Russian nuclear arsenal (which recently beat the U.S. nuclear weapons in numbers, if not technology).
Unfortunately, the worst of the 2015 predictions claim that economic warfare may set the foundation for declaring World War 3 regardless of the issue that is at stake. Billionaire hedge fund manager Kyle Bass writes that basic economic cycles will be the stepping stones leading toward World War 3.
"Trillions of dollars of debts will be restructured and millions of financially prudent savers will lose large percentages of their real purchasing power at exactly the wrong time in their lives. Again, the world will not end, but the social fabric of the profligate nations will be stretched and in some cases torn. Sadly, looking back through economic history, all too often war is the manifestation of simple economic entropy played to its logical conclusion. We believe that war is an inevitable consequence of the current global economic situation."
"Since the 1980s, I've been studying the so-called 'cycles of war' -- the natural rhythms that predispose societies to descend into chaos, into hatred, into civil and even international war... And based on what I'm seeing, the implications could be absolutely huge."
For example, investment funds manager Martin Armstrong wrote, "Our greatest problem is the bureaucracy wants a war. This will distract everyone from the NSA and justify what they have been doing. They need a distraction for the economic decline that is coming." Recently, an article by the Centre for Research on Globalisation claimed,"Washington isn't out to help the Ukrainian people; it's solely using Ukraine as a launching-pad for WW III against Russia."
The Oxford University's Quarterly Journal of Economics notes that an international war can be traced back into time and is generally a struggle over limited resources.
"In his classic, A Study of War, Wright (1942) devotes a chapter to the relationship between war and resources. Another classic reference, Statistics of Deadly Quarrels by Richardson (1960), extensively discusses economic causes of war, including the control of 'sources of essential commodities.'... In Resource Wars (2001), Klare argues that following the end of the Cold War, control of valuable natural resources has become increasingly important, and these resources will become a primary motivation for wars in the future."
The U.S. also stands to lose something if the Russian ruble tumbles and affects world markets. Although Russia is currently suffering, 2015 predictions for the U.S. economy still have the federal deficit projected to be around half a trillion dollars next year. Currently at over $18 trillion, the U.S. gross public debt as a percentage of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is over 100 percent, and economists have theorized that any country which reaches this threshold may eventually face severe repercussions. Experts have warned that if the US federal debt gets high enough, the interest payments alone could outpace defense spending and require the US government to both decrease spending and increase taxes dramatically. Russia, on the other hand, only as about $234 billion in debt, although China is a little over $5.1 trillion.
Once again, some 2015 predictions claim oil may play a large role in determining the outcome of Cold War 2. The United States is now the world's largest oil exporter due to the fracking of shale oil. If World War 3 were to occur, the U.S. oil reserves are said to be at record high levels. A recent report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration claims the "U.S. proved reserves of crude oil and lease condensate increased for the fifth year in a row in 2013, and exceeded 36 billion barrels for the first time since 1975."
In the end, it's hoped these predictions for 2015 may fail to come to pass. But if history is any example, then it's best to be prepared for the worst. What do you think?