Later World Wars
Various former government officials, politicians and authors have attempted to apply the labels of WW III, WW IV, and WW V to various military engagements and diplomatic stand-offs since the close of WW II, such as the Korean War, the Cold War or the War on Terror. Among these are former American and French government officials James Woolsey and Alexandre de Marenches, author Elliot Cohen and zapatist leader Subcomandante Marcos. Despite their efforts, none of these wars are commonly deemed world wars.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.“ ” Albert Einstein (1947)
World War III is generally considered a hypothetical successor to World War II and is often suggested to be nuclear, devastating in nature and likely much more violent than both WW I and WW II. This war is anticipated and planned for by military and civil authorities, and explored in fiction in many countries. Concepts range from purely conventional scenarios or a limited use of nuclear weapons to the destruction of the planet. World War IV is sometimes mentioned as a hypothetical successor to World War III or as a plot element in books, movies or video games.
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“Probably the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing-fields of Eton, but the opening battles of all subsequent wars have been lost there.”
—George Orwell (19031950)
“Innocence always calls mutely for protection, when we would be much wiser to guard ourselves against it ... innocence is like a dumb leper who has lost his bell, wandering the world meaning no harm.”
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