World War 3: Russia At High Risk Of Attacking NATO Nations In 2017, Foreign Policy Experts Warn

World War 3 fears are rising as global policy experts say that a confrontation between Russia and NATO nations may lead to a wider conflict spreading across the region.

There have been concerns about a large-scale conflict for several months, as Russia has taken an increasingly aggressive stance toward its NATO neighbors including annexing the Crimea region. Now, the Center for Preventive Action is predicting that Vladimir Putin’s aggressive stance is the greatest risk of sparking a global war, the Daily Star reported.

The center’s director, John W. Vessey, said the organization has compiled its list of global threats to inform policymakers as Donald Trump takes office as America’s next president.

“With a new presidential administration assuming office, it is important to help policymakers anticipate and avert potential crises that could arise and threaten US interests,” Vessey said (via the Daily Star). “Our annual survey aims to highlight the most likely sources of instability and conflict around the world so that the government can prioritize its efforts appropriately.”

World War 3: Russia At High Risk Of Attacking NATO Nations In 2017, Foreign Policy Experts Warn
[Image by Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP Images]

At the same time, there are separate World War 3 fears being stoked over Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. American intelligence agencies have determined that it was the Russian government behind hacks of the Democratic National Committee and of Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, in an effort to hurt Clinton and help Donald Trump to be elected president.

In the wake of the revelation, President Barack Obama has vowed to “take action” against the Russian hackers. While exactly what shape that action might take remains unseen — and Obama has said specifically that he would not detail the specifics of the response — it is clear the United States plans to respond in kind to the attacks.

World War 3: Russia At High Risk Of Attacking NATO Nations In 2017, Foreign Policy Experts Warn
[Image by Hassan Ammar/AP Images]

While launching a military strike is seen as a remote possibility at best, some experts believe that Obama can lay a different kind of direct attack on Vladimir Putin. Writing for The Hill, Hannah Thoburn and Benjamin Haddad, research fellows at the Hudson Institute, said the U.S. can release financial information on Russian oligarchs.

“Hundreds of billions of dollars in illicit money has flowed out of Russia in the past years and has found a comfortable home in New York or Miami real estate and Delaware shell companies. Putin himself is said to be worth over $40 billion dollars, much of it stolen from Russian citizens. The president could release directly or through journalists the U.S. government’s knowledge of where this wealth is hidden and how it was accumulated.”

And incoming president Donald Trump has stoked fears of World War 3 on other fronts as well. His hard-line stance toward Iran — including threats to tear up the nuclear deal with the nation — had led to ominous warnings from Iran’s leaders.

“Enemies may want to impose a war on us based on false calculations and only taking into consideration their material capabilities,” Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan said at a news conference (via Reuters).

Despite the threats from Iran, many global experts still see Russia as the greatest geopolitical threat. Just this week, officials in Sweden have reportedly taken steps to prepare for what could be World War 3, the Daily Mail noted.

“Officials in Sweden have been ordered to ensure that they are ready for war as fears of a Russian invasion grow.

“The country’s Civil Contingencies Agency has sent out a letter to all local authorities telling them they must be better equipped to respond to the threat of war.

“It is believed the letter was prompted by Sweden returning to their old Cold War-era ‘Total Defence Strategy.’ “

The report noted that tensions are high among other Baltic NATO members who are also on edge about the possibility of Russia sparking World War 3 with its aggression.

[Featured Image by Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP Images]