Perspective on World War 3 and the Draft

Kids in Grade 6 are freaking out about the potential for World War 3. Kids in Grade 9 are freaking out about a possible draft.

I was told by my kids that these issues were raised by other kids in school. I have straightened out my children but I just want to tell people in general that World War 3 and the US draft will obviously not happen.

A World War 3 situation involving the USA would require some opposing nations to be under the delusion that they could win such a conflict.

A draft will not happen because the US can beat Iran with just more economic sanctions and any military action can be performed with less than 10% of existing US forces.

The only real World War 3 threats to the USA is the nuclear weapons of Russia (a few thousand nuclear weapons) and the nuclear weapons of China (about 150 nukes.) Russia and China could not stand up to the US military in a conventional war. However, Russia and China would make damage the US so that it would not be worth it for the US to attack Russia or China.

Iran does not have a military that is significant compared to the US military. Iran’s leadership has no delusion that they could win any actual World War. Iran’s military is pathetic. The Iranian Air Force has not changed since 1979 (other than losing half their force in the war with Iran).

Iran currently has about 40 F-14 remaining with two of them having been upgraded to F-14AM around 24 Fully Mission Capable and the other 20 Partially Mission Capable. They also have about MiG-29 in active service.

There have a small assortment of even older or even more inferior planes. The US has over 2000 combat jet fighters that are all newer and more capable.

The 1986 movie Top Gun involved flying F-14A. The movie is 33 years old. The planes were already about ten years old at the time of filming.

Iran fought eight-year war (1980-1987) with Iraq that ended in a stalemate.

The war was partway between World War 1 and World War 2. The World War 1 tactics used, including large-scale trench warfare with barbed wire stretched across trenches, manned machine-gun posts, bayonet charges, human wave attacks across a no man’s land. Iraq used a lot of chemical weapons such as sulfur mustard against Iranian troops, civilians, and Kurds.

Iran does not have nuclear weapons yet but wants them.

Iranian human wave attacks would not work against US forces.

Iran has the ability for regional attacks using militia and terrorist forces in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.

Iran has missiles that have some regional range but they are inaccurate and weak.

The US broke the Iraqi army in about two weeks of fighting. The only reason that the US ended up having significant losses and problems in Iraq was by sticking around to occupy the broken country.

This is the lesson from the Iraq war. Do not use your military to wreck a country so that you are “responsible” for trying to run it after. The US rule of you broke it… you bought it. Financial sanctions can wreck a country but there is no “responsibility” for any support afterward. There would be the choice to sell after sanctions but there would be no obligation.

The US has used financial sanctions to reduce Iran’s oil exports from 3 million barrels per day down to about 400,000 barrels per day. The US can cut off any Iranian exports by saying that any country that trades with Iran will be banned from trading with the USA. The US has stopped short of tightening the sanctions against Iran quite to that level.

The US can also destroy Iranian oil refineries. The US has threatened to destroy the three largest Iranian oil refineries.

31 thoughts on “Perspective on World War 3 and the Draft”

  1. ‘..a play (actually used by some of our less effective presidents in the past)..’ That’s exactly what Trump did against Syria. As for effectiveness, Obama talked the Iranians into stopping uranium enrichment, and Trump has bombed them into starting it again.

  2. You could probably use your kids phobia to your and their advantage by telling them to get their grades up or they will be drafted 🙂

  3. It’s been like that for years here. For some reason they seem to congregate on this site. I guess that it’s good that we can keep an eye on them here, since their mom clearly isn’t monitoring their screen time.

  4. Definitely good points. I’m not into the idea of empire and imperialism. Regional conflicts do need to work themselves out, I think. There is no one big bad guy currently trying to take over the world, that everyone needs to go get, like Hitler. When there’s another Hitler– and I doubt we’ll see an issue like that, again, at least not soon– then we can worry.

  5. I disagree that the lesson of Iraq (and Afghanistan) was “don’t break a nation militarily or you’ll be responsible for it”.

    The lesson should be more like “If you have to wage war, break a nation just bad enough that they will negotiate and grant your demands, so you don’t have to occupy it and fix things.” Corollary to that would be “don’t demand stupid things”.

    Iraq War #1 (Desert Storm) was fairly well executed, at least in that regard.

  6. And apparently did*, hence the genesis of this WW3 meme…

    [*drop a few missiles on someone’s head, that is]

  7. Made me laugh, CryoPilot! ⊕1, of course.

    Reminds me of the EVOLUTION of thinking in the CCCP-USA nuclear proliferation cold-war era. Published our full strategic nuclear program geo-strategic thinking.  In Scientific American!  

    Distributed around the world.  

    First came the 5 to 100 kiloton all-fission nukes. Stuffed, one at a go, on top of ICBMs and dropped-from-B₅₂ configurations. Then, with Teller and Ulam doing their bit to upgrade everything nuke to “thermonuclear” AKA “hydrogen bomb” style, we ramped up to 15,000 KT (Mike) and 50,000 KT (Tsara Bomba).  Again, single-per-missile, and only a few per strategic bomber. 

    The idea was “well, if big is good, bigger is WAY better — especially if we cannot ensure terribly accurate delivery”.  

    Then came “microelectronics” and all sorts of gravitational-and-inertial whole-globe non-ground-dependent geo-positioning and targeting. 1970s. The missiles once launched could be relied on to hit a particular bunker on a million km² target zone.  

    Then, ‘they’ realized that MIRVs (multiple independent reëntry vehicles) could allow a megaton to be broken up into 5 to 15 smaller bombs, each with 10 meter targeting accuracy, in the same 1,000,000 km² target area.  One missile. Oh, the yields went down to sub–20 to 500+ kt. Because with accuracy less-was-more.

    Just saying,
    ⋅-=≡ GoatGuy ✓ ≡=-⋅

  8. There are hundreds of thousands of Iranian troops (& Iranian-backed militias) in the region.
    And while Iran can barely get a ballistic missile to land inside a stadium, the U.S. can drop one on your head.

  9. ALERT… we do NOT want to stifle the fascists, socialists and communists opinions, lad. 

    We cannot be properly armed for awkwardly-presented opinions requiring our comment, without hearing these opinions beforehand. Pre-exposure helps form a well-wrought response… because something pithy (unlike go fûque yourself) is needed.

    Just saying,
    ⋅-=≡ GoatGuy ✓ ≡=-⋅

  10. Yep. The level of hysteria, hyperbole and exaggeration in social networks is so laughable it would make a good stand up show by itself, but it’s really sad because people seem to believe what they are spouting and reverberating by quoting and liking each other.

    Social networks really are a sh1@t show nowadays.

  11. I know this is going to come as a shock to you little child but if the US decided to knock out Iran’s refineries, the good guys will also take out their counter-strike capability at the same time. Stop taking stupid pills.

  12. yes, but if oil is then traded in yuan, goodbye hegemony: you can’t print all the money you want and spread the devaluation/inflation to the rest of the world. If the dollar stops being the primary reserve/trade currency, the living standard of US residents will take a painful hit every time they need to switch the happy printer on. You can’t pay for shiny new war toys just as easily with constantly devaluing dollars and a resentful tax base.
    By harrassing Iran, the US is pushing Saudi medieval throatcutters even closer to it: the opulent monarchs need protection, so they’ll never abandon the dollar, even if their biggest client is now China. Until they swap pimp, that is (start recycling petro-yuans into Chinese-made weapons).

  13. What to do when, to save face, you have to “retaliate” against someone (for stopping a terrorist you were sponsoring when he was caught red-handed stirring up more death) when that someone will pound you at least ten times worse than whatever you can do to him?

    You do as little as possible while still appearing to do something.

    In this case you steal a play (actually used by some of our less effective presidents in the past) and launch a remote missile strike that won’t actually accomplish anything, then declare victory and announce you are going to (oh so reluctantly) heed your “allies” cries for restraint in the interests of the human race and to show that you are merciful, restrained, civilized, and reasonable (when, in this particular case, you are none of those things).

  14. There IS a take-away… from the observation about social-media. It is, and I argue, will ALWAYS BE a forum for the least vetted, most hyperbolic crackpot theories, so long as the blathering masses are “in charge” of the content.  

    Its like the “telephone game”. Where 
    … A tells B something juicy, 
    ⇒ B calls C to disgorge the gossip, 
    ⇒ C tells D, 
    ⇒ D tells E 
    ⇒ and so on → → →, until 
    ⇒ Z calls A to relay what she heard. 

    ‘A’ is astounded at how the story becomes sordid, jaw-dropping and vindictive.  

    That’s what people do.

    Hence why sixth and ninth graders are hyperventilating because they’re repeating ever-more-fantastic tales of a future gone to shît … and repeated without question to their parents, and parents-to-other-parents, ad nauseum.  

    Remember, it is called TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME for a reason! 
    Institutionalized derangement.
    Inevitably about the same Orange Guy.
    Always, without fail, bbb-bb-b-bûllsnot.
    But repeated as gospel truth.

    It makes me want to laugh!
    Every day.

    Just saying,
    ⋅-=≡ GoatGuy ✓ ≡=-⋅

  15. All the US must do to scramble the entire region like an eggbeater, is go home. We could also send a single drone to Carg Island and then go home. Ether way this is the Asians problem. They are the ones that use the oil exported our of the region. They can send troops to pick sides in a centuries old blood feud. They can try and explain why medeval sussesion disputes should no longer be relevant to the concerned parties. I wish them the best of luck. No sarc I want the people in all these places to sing happy songs and break bread with neighbors rather then continue killing each other. Will they… idk not my call, it’s up to them.

  16. We I suppose that is a matter of weather the Americans are in “The West” cause we did step in and stop the blood letting on the northern European plane. The interesting thing to see will be does it start up again now that we are out…

  17. “If the world is going to be ruled” don’t worry it won’t be. No one has that kind of power. The last five decades have been a painful learning process for the US on this very lesson. The Brit’s didn’t rule their empire by sending main force against every little border dust up or local riot. They ruled by funding local princes and governors were very hands off. for the most part most of the time. Hopefully the decision not to do Syria even when the elite screemed up and down Assad must go is an indication of progress along the learning curve. We shall see.

  18. I see a tiny potential for regional conflicts to break out but not to be linked the way conflicts were in previous world wars. I also think the U.S. would want its fingers in all those pies as they developed, but that it wouldn’t be able to do that, at this point. Which, cool, that’s okay.

    If the world is going to be ruled, it should be ruled by an “everyone”.

  19. Are you saying that the USA couldn’t further tighten the noose by forbidding their trading partners from trading with Iran?

  20. “Every tragedy starts with an error in judgement” and the main cause is often the same: overconfidence. Examples:

    • overtaking a car when a truck that *seems far* is coming
    • “she would never leave me”
    • invading Poland, “it’s just a blitzkrieg, gonna take 2 weeks tops”
    • Vietnam: “these farmers gonna fight with knives/pitchforks? McNamara’s computer says we already won”

    Etc… A war is a confrontation between two or more civilizations and the first one who runs out of capital loses. Unitl one or two centuries ago the primary production factor was human capital and wars were fought by people: who runs out of people first loses. Nowadays the primary production factor is physical capital and wars are fought (and won) by things: who runs out of gear/drones first loses.

    If the US gets busy in a hot war in ME, it’s green light for China to take back Taiwan. Potential error in judgement: the US thinks China won’t do it, China thinks the US would be too busy in ME. Et voilà, WW3. Perhaps it rolls out differently, hopefully never – I don’t know – but this is the sadly frequent pattern of macroscopic errors in judgement that periodically end up in planetary-scale horrors.
    In a hypothetical clusterfûq of such proportions, when both sides deploy all the capital they have and it’s somehow equivalent, the secondary production factor is key. How long can 330m people run an 8bn people planet without compromise?
    Kids are afraid of adults’ misjudgement.

  21. This Iran thing is not going to cause another world war. The entire world has been at low key or high key war, depending on perspective, since the 1950s

    There will not be another draft.

    The conflict in the Middle East is a seven-thousand year old, ever-evolving war of attrition between powers that needn’t involve the west except in the way of offering humanitarian aid. It does, however, need to end. It’s also a joke to believe anyone outside of that region can end it, the same way it’d have been a joke to think anyone outside of the west could have ended the big wars in Europe.

    Then again, I’m no historian.

  22. A draft is not needed in USA, as anything that qualifies for the lofty title of “WW3” will be either so quick that few even realise that it happened, or so deadly that drafted infantry will be irrelevant. What those kids should freak out about is civil war, which needs and spends infantry like bullets, and may last till the last warm body is spent. Look at Libya, Afganistan, Iraq. After a few years of such war, a generation grows up that does not know another life but war. After that, war is self-sustaining: if it formally stops, that generation carries it on – they are done. That is something to freak about in childhood, not a war at scale far beyond understanding of all kids under 30.

  23. is mindless liberal parents and teachers, who will use children as pawns to achieve their goals. They should all be spayed and/or neutered.

  24. I also have seen a lot of people on social media hyperventilating about WW3. Some people were saying Russia and China would intervene to protect Iran, which is ridiculous. China just doesn’t stick its neck out for anyone, and Russia knows how the game is played to prevent dangerous escalation.

    I hope Trump will decide to just double-down on the economic sanctions against Iran and not escalate the military aspect, but if the USA decides to attack, they can do so with little risk as long as they stick to cruise missiles.

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