There is a coming apocalyptic war which will spill throughout Europe into the Middle East and may result at some point to one side using nuclear weapons should that option become available and there is no reason to believe it would not as making a nuclear weapon in modern times is just a few steps higher than making a weapon with normal high explosives. Thermonuclear weapons might require a small cadre of dedicated physicists but a nuclear device such as the ones used against Japan are within the ability of many intelligent high school graduates as their construction is available on the internet for any enterprising individual to research. The difficulty, if there is one, is gathering the fissile materials; from there it is a simple matter of machining and choosing your designs. This is a horrible truth to place over the heads of millions of innocents who will pay dearly when the coming war enters its main and determinative battle phase. Imagine the war in Syria and spread it over the better part of three continents and potentially throughout the entirety of the globe with few exceptions. Add in a final set of battles using nuclear weapons, initially the fifteen to twenty-five kilotons and soon after breaking into megatons and thermonuclear weapons such as the type held by major nuclear powers and available to any nations willing to put the necessary effort into their production and there easily could be some non-State factions such as the Muslim Brotherhood or neo-Nazi supremacists who have sufficient resources, talent and safe areas of operations that they also could produce such weapons once they gain access to the necessary materials. Before such a calamity reaches the doorsteps of our lives we need to ask where this war could begin.
The sparking point could be simply anywhere in Europe and it will not begin with any nation as much as a civil war started by the populations themselves. The triggering point would be a massive multi-city coordinated terrorist event where the people in the stricken localities start a war with the claimed intent of vindicating those murdered in the terror attack. Such an event could start the spiral into a more general war with many people caught in the crossfire similarly to what happened in Syria except this would have spread across Europe city by city until it involved national armies breaking from their officers and stepping in to assist the people, or at least that was their intention. Once tanks start to roll on the streets the civil unrest would enter a completely different phase which would snowball until it became another war starting in Europe but this will range far outside of Europe. Many of the terror enterprises are loosely interwoven and could respond to the escalation taking over the military hardware and troops of sympathetic or easily toppled rulers in order to gain the use of military weapons. This could soon spread in such a manner as to include many European state actors pulled into a conflict which would be quickly getting completely beyond the control of normal safeguards as both societies begin to call for the saving of their way of life, their freedoms and the customs and other particulars they hold dear and are comfortably familiar with. Once it becomes nation against nation it will then call upon like-minded or treaty bound allies into the fray and from there it does not stop easily. People discount such events leading to such a conflagration but as they have not studied history they are not aware on what simple actions have dragged humanity into costly and often destabilizing conflicts. Take the second most costly war in history, World War I. This war began with the assassination of a royal family head, the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria in Sarajevo by Achille Beltrame as the Archduke and his wife were shot while riding in their car after taking a wrong turn. The real attempt to assassinate Archduke Francis Ferdinand had been set along his scheduled route but a sympathizer saw him passing his location and took advantage of the opportunity believing he was serving his oppressed people and never expecting the horrors of World War I to come as a result of a few bullets into one world leader and his wife. The people called for revenge and soon thereafter it got beyond any local conflict and the entire globe even to include Japan were honoring treaties or simply choosing one side or the other. World War I was more about honoring treaties than revenge for an assassination and that is what is frightening about the world today.
Mutual defense treaties which require entire groups of nations to jump into a conflict once a member demands assistance exist and NATO is simply one such treaty. NATO, as an example, could be called to assist any member state who has become embroiled in a conflict which they feel they might require greater assistance. NATO had an interesting set of members of which Turkey is one of the longstanding members due to their strategic control of the Bosphorus Straights which control access from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea and from there the Atlantic Ocean and the world. These narrow waterways were essential for Russia to deploy her ships and thus the NATO powers bribed and forced Turkey into NATO in case there became a time when the West would desire to blockade the Russian Black Sea fleet from gaining access to the Mediterranean Sea. It really is that simple and Turkey just sent tanks into Syria. The picture of how an intervention can be conducted under the idea, which is obvious when one looks at the bombings in Turkey, which violent attacks originate from the terror groups within Syria who are adversarial to Turkey and their government and President Erdogan in particular. What would be the ramifications should Turkey’s President Erdogan be assassinated or an attempt was made on his life but failed only grievously wounding him but leaving him to survive. By the time he came out of surgery which saved his life the war could have already been started and Turkish jets bombing targets in Syria, specifically the western holdout areas of the Alawites and Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad. It is also the base for the Russian fleet in Latakia, Syria. We may remember the near tipping point reached when a single Russian fighter jet was shot from the skies over Turkey, or at least seemingly over Turkey as it was attacking within Syria and these fast aircraft have large turning radii. Now imagine an airstrike which missed the Syria barracks in Latakia and instead struck the Russian docs sinking two Russian warships and killing fifty or a hundred Russian sailors. How long before Putin declares war on Turkey who then calls in their NATO marker and instant World War as Russia too has such agreements with the likes of China, Iran, some Arab League nations and other eastern Asian nations. The Arab League would necessarily side with Russia believing that Turkey would be incapable of standing against such forces and not figuring on Europe and the United States and Anglosphere nations backing Turkey. Doubtful such will happen, but there was a presumed coup in Turkey recently and that could have turned out much different if it had been a serious coup threatening the governance.
One item that bears keeping in mind, wars seldom start where or how we expect them to. They start with a relatively insignificant shot from one rifle or crossbow or a sword placed within some leader of a following religiously, politically, or even a cause. The Arab Spring, or Arab Winter as we had predicted, began with one vegetable hawker committing suicide in protest of unfair taxes and laws and self-immolating and Tunisia exploded followed by Egypt and down the row of dominoes giving us Syria and also Libya thanks to some overactive interventions from far away in Washington D.C. and someone leading from behind and an overanxious Secretary of State seeking another feather for a Presidential run seeing and grasping what appeared to be a golden opportunity for nation building. Somewhere in these plans things unraveled and we have a dysfunctional Libya with warring tribes and terrorist entities. It, like Syria, is an open hotbed and perfect location for a terrorist group such as the Islamic State to manufacture the bombs of their choosing. One has to figure that at some point the Islamic State has come into weapons such as nerve gas or even radiological materials of weapons grade uranium. One can only guess what their true capabilities might include. Once a nuclear device has been manufactured, it would easily be deliverable to anywhere in Europe including Great Britain. It could be built and concealed inside a cement truck and hidden under a load of dried cement resulting from a traffic holdup which allowed the load to set in the truck. Who would chip away at half a ton or more of cement to inspect the vehicle and once inside Turkey it could easily transverse the entirety of Europe taking it to any European capital city or large metropolitan area for a nuclear terror attack. What comes after such an attack? Yep, there is no telling but it would not be good, that much we can count upon.
Riots can spread and become to have a life of their own and who knows where such could lead. Terrorism can spark unrest which could easily get out of hand. Ultra-nationalist right wing parties are gaining strength throughout Europe and these parties preach an active approach to what they term is an invasion, and who knows for sure, they could be right. Can anyone tell me the results of passing a law to expunge a nation of all non-citizens referring to them as a risk and a threat which the country no longer believes they can allow? Should one incident get out of control with some troops opening fire on unarmed civilians which they are gathering for deportation under the auspices of the new citizens’ only laws, what would come next? Once one nation cleans their population of all foreign noncitizens and shipped them over the border to the next location? Where would this lead once the majority of a continent has cleansed themselves of everyone who is not just like their pure racial idea of their country and there are a few million dispossessed people, what happens to what is now an enraged army of people? Currently the Middle East and Northern Africa are roiling points and Europe is not that far from exploding into riots and other uncontrolled violence any one of which could result in some very undesirable turns of events leading to greater areas of violence stopping who knows where assuming they stop at all. The world at present is a powder keg and it would not take much to light the fuse, assuming it has not already been lit.
Beyond the Cusp