Since the end of World War II in 1945 there have been hundreds of destructive wars all over the World, but thankfully there hasn’t been a full on International conflict between the World’s great powers.

Could this happen again? If so where could it happen?

The World has come perilously close to an outbreak of a third World War. Most notably during the Korean War of the early 1950′s and the Cuban missile crisis in 1963, but fortunately the voices of reason won and war was avoided.

In the future there could certainly be potential flashpoints that could spiral out of control.

The Middle East remains a region which could explode at some point in the future. As does the Korean peninsula. Would China support the North in the way that the USA would support the South? Probably not, but we don’t know.

Natural disasters and overpopulation could in the future cause major World conflict. Countries and people may find themselves competing ever more bitterly for increasingly scarce resources. Most worryingly for the control of water sources if the World population continues to rise unchecked.

For a truly epic international conflict deserving of the epithet World War III it would have to be between the major world powers. There is currently a power struggle underway in the world. The struggle to master the balance of power is what caused the outbreak of World War I in the early 20th century.

The economic rise of Germany in the late 19th century challenged the dominance of Britain and its Empire. There are clear historical parallels with contemporary USA and China. This rivalry if not kept in check by their own governments and a stronger United Nations is probably the most likely cause of a major international conflict.

Nothing is inevitable with something as complicated as the course of the World development, but history so often moves in cycles. It is usually underlying economic interests supported by a political structure which cause wars.

Major wars are seldom caused by culture or ideology. They can be used as reasons, but they are very rarely the main reasons.

Our World is now far more closely connected than at any time in its history. Shared interests and values overlap so we are far better prepared and able to avoid conflict.

We can only hope that far into the distant future common sense will prevail and the World will focus its energies on creating a better, happier, healthier and safer place for its people. Not blindly chasing economic growth at all cost.

If the people and the governments of the World unite and strive for a good noble cause then there will hopefully never be a World War III for us, our children, our children’s children to have to live through. Hope for a better future is everywhere.