Thank you, Sum1hugme
A third world war in the foreseable future is highly implausible
A war involving many large nations in all different parts of the world
First I want to add to PRO's list of superpowers the European Union, which collectively compares to USA and China while dwarfing Russia in terms of economy.
The distinction between China's "unbreakable" claim to Taiwan and a specific warning of imminent invasion is not drawn. China wants to remind the world of its claims to Taiwan in order to uphold its legitimacy. That does not mean that China is willing to go to war against its biggest trading partner America. Republic of China has controlled the island of Taiwan for almost a century (since 1945), and yet the Peoples Republic of China has still not conquered it [7
]. The chinese president imagining a unified China proves nothing. At most, PRO's argument shows that sometime in the future Taiwan will be reuinified into mainland China.
The ongoing dispute over Taiwan, for example, is ripe for troublesome misperception.....Despite all of the above, we believe that the recent clamor over China’s strategic ambitions is greatly overblown. Most of the Chinese aims that run counter to U.S. interests are in fact not global or ideological but territorial in nature, and confined primarily to the islands and waterways to China’s south and southeast. In addition, Beijing has recently taken a number of steps to cooperate with the United States on security matters: signing the Chemical Weapons Convention and nuclear test ban treaty, terminating its assistance to nuclear facilities in Pakistan, pledging to cut off ballistic missile transfers to Pakistan as well as nuclear and anti-ship cruise missile trade with Iran, and quietly restraining the North Koreans. Moreover, China is plagued by enormous socioeconomic problems, whose solution requires maintaining good relations with the world’s major economic powers—and with the United States in particular. [3
As I said in R1, China cannot afford to break its relations with other nations at this moment, especially not with the US. My opponent did not rebutt the argument from an intertwined world economy, diplomatic power and global trade routes; all of which are far more valuable, objectively, to China than symbolic teritorial unification. Avoiding humiliation, blockades and condemnations by the international community is a no brainer. The balance tips overwhelmingly in favour of continued economic expansion as the best course of action for the chinese government. China simply does not yet have the position it needs to comfortably challenge the US or their allies. As such, trying to invade Taiwan in the foreseable future is a highly unlikely path for China to take.
China's military is very subpar when compared to the US military. Peoples Liberation Army is still lagging behind tecknologically while all its soldiers are totally inexperienced, not to mention that the entire military is undersupplied [ibid
]. America's military budget is still about 20 times larger than the Chinese equivalent [ibid
]. America has the strongest airforce in the world. Even if you divide the airforce into the four branches, every single one of them is stronger than China's airforce, and two of them are stronger than Russia's [4
]. The American navy is twice as strong as China's and Russia's put together [5
]. US is still the superior military force.
China will not represent a serious strategic threat to the United States for at least twenty years. [6
China can't stand up to the US in war (except trade wars). The facts clearly work against PRO's case concerning Taiwan. China is strongly motivated towards prioriticing their own population and economy, while their military is very clearly subpar. The claim that China will reunite the entire country by conquering Taiwan is old news. That this alledged invasion will occuring in the foreseable future and end in a world war is nothing short of a preposterous claim. PRO's argument demands some serious evidence, not just a callback to China's foreign policy during the brutal reign of Mao(ism). China attacking first in Korea and Vietnam doesn't prove that China will suddenly invade Taiwan; and it definately doesn't follow that such a regional conflict leads to a world war.
PRO makes an interesting assertion that "It is reasonable to infer that, in the event of a military conflict, (China and Russia) would cooperate together". I disagree. A meaningfull alliance which helps each nation would most probably be logistically impossible for China and Russia to create and maintain effectively. Especially in the midst of an enormous war, military cooperation and coordination is not just a matter of being on the same page or having similar rivals. The geography, vegetation and climate of siberia acts as a natural barrier for movement of military forces. A war with Nato would see Russia fight severly outnumbered and disadvantaged in Europe. In case a war like PRO describes broke out, China could not in any way make use of their over 2 million when they don't border USA or any other NATO nation. A realistic sino-american war would not involve large fronts on eurasia, it would be fought at sea and in the skies; with perhaps some naval invasions on islands like Taiwan. The thing is, Russia joining China in a war against USA makes no strategic sense, it is just creating an unnecesary new theatre of war in Europe.
That leaves a Russo-American war with American and Chinese intervention as the remaining "point of world tenstion" where superpowers could chose to clash heads. Strangely, no evidence was provided as to back up the claim that Russia wants to conquer Ukraine.
Russia is very capable of crushing Ukraine in a war [3
]. If the superpower wanted a large chunk of Ukrainian land they would have just steamrolled the country along with Crimea. Instead, they let Ukraine be helped by NATO to become more secure against invasions, as PRO himself stated. A potential war with Nato is too steep a price to pay for whatever Russia could expect to gain in a war with Ukraine. It is in everyone's best interest that Ukraine remains a buffer state, keeping NATO at a distance. Both Putin himself and an article by forbes substantiate this view by explaining how Russia's current goal is to stabilize relations between the two countries [1
Amassing troops at the borders is clearly another power move by Putin, just his typical style. PRO speculates that this might be a signal pointing to a coming Russian invasion of Ukraine. What his analysis of the situation fails to take into onsideration is the last few years of Ukrainian history. Ukraine is ridden with rebels and separatists. Moreover, PRO's own source is giving us the information in light of which Russias behavior makes more sense and seems less expansionistic.
There is no sense of an imminent threat - or that Russia's President Vladimir Putin has decided on invasion. But he has spoken of "appropriate retaliatory military-technical measures" if what he calls the West's aggressive approach continues.
US military support for Kyiv, in Mr Putin's eyes, is taking place "at the doorstep of our house". Russia is already concerned by Ukraine's deployment of Turkish drones against Russian-backed forces in eastern Ukraine and Western military exercises in the Black Sea.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has warned that tensions could lead to a situation similar to the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, when the US and Soviet Union came close to nuclear conflict.
Russia also accuses Nato countries of "pumping" Ukraine with weapons. Accusing the US of stoking tensions, Mr Putin said Russia had "nowhere further to retreat to - do they think we'll just sit idly by?" [8
My opponent has gotten the situation upside down. Putin and the Russian leadership is having legitimate concers about encroaching military prescence from Nato; which PRO himself confirmed in R1. Cuba was invaded and blockaded untill the two superpowers were ready to make a deal; and a deal is excactly what Putin is now demanding, and what he demands in return for not acting on his threats. Framing the Russian activities as aggressive whilst NATO is defensive is just a matter of our biased perspective. Russia is nothing like the soviet union, and Putin has taken a public stance against the idea of expanding Russia into USSR borders [9
]. That begs the question, why annex Crimea in the first place? It turns out, a majority of people living in this area are ethnic Russians. A referendum in 2014, contested by the EU and the US, saw 83% voter turnout and 97% voting for integrating the region into Russia [9
]. It was a messy integration, not conquest as PRO implies.
Putin has maintained power for two decades by standing up to the West without taking big chances. Invading a nation of 40 million where four out of five inhabitants are non-Russian would entail incalculable uncertainties—uncertainties that might ultimately endanger Putin’s hold on power. Taking such risks would be out of character. [ibid
Risky nonsensical wars are not to be expected from Russia or China. Unless new information is brouht up to challenge this view, denying it is unjustifiable.
- China soon invading Taiwan isn't proven by PRO; and certainly doesn't automatically imply a world war
- Russia had no intentions of conquering Ukraine, so there is no potential for a world war starting there
- China and Russia cannot realistically win a conventional war against NATO
- An alliance between them to fight NATO is a preposterous claim without evidence
- The near certainty of defeat/stallemate/tie makes such an alliance and war absurd on its face
- No motivation to attack the EU or the US has been presented that would make sense of such an alliance
- The geographical landskape prevents effective military cooperation during war
- Neither China nor Russia can help each other directly by joining the other's war
- The risk and cost associated with major wars far outweight the potential benefits, territorial gains included
- The two superpowers planning a world war with Nato is an absurd notion, as they have no incentive or realistic capacity to do so
In other words: The ww3 scenario my opponent paints is highly unrealistic, and quite frankly, implausible. China and Russia won't start a third world war.
- No colonial or imperial nation exists today, and superpowers are not in close proximity to each other. Regional wars will stay regional, preventing a world war.
- Democracy ensures peace in former war-ridden areas like Europe. The rising number of peacefull democratic nations constantly reduce the risk of war.
- Alliance blocks today are not balanced as to make the outcome of war uncertain. NATO is powerful enough to discourage and prevent major wars.
- Nuclear weapons have already prevented a world war in the most polarized, tense and hostile world in history. MAD makes war undesireable for everyone.
- Economy and trade is far more vital to a modern nation than winning territory or other gains in war. Preserving the economy necesitates staying at peace.
- Superpowers are far better off increasing their diplomatic influense peacefully than ruin their international status by starting an aggressive war.
- The geograhpy of the world is such that the superpowers are separated by oceans and continents, reinforcing the fact that war is not worth the effort.
None of these arguments were addressed or even acknowledged. Instead he makes an assertion that the US leadership in the world somehow compells Russia and China to pick a fight with the strongest alliance in the history of man. A full scale world war, complete with nucluar arsenals and national economic collapse, just to conquer some worthless territory. If any nation backs down at any point in PRO's scenario, world war is avoided. What are the chances UN won't intervene and stop the alledged situations from spiralling out of hand. I highly doubt China fighting USA would happen before the UN gets involved.
We live in a world without expansionistic empires and without fragile power balance between rivalling neighbors. Europe is now united politically, militarily and economically, guaranteeing continued peace and prosperity in the region. War is on the decline; military conflicts are becomming fewer, shorter and smaller in scale. Our world is steadily embracing democracy, capitalism and humanist ideals. Entire regions are now locked down in stability and peace, while the potential zones of war outbreaks are shrinking and dwindling in numbers. Humanity is now united in its quest to bring about total world peace and focus on solving our problems through cooperation. We experience rappid economic growth coupled with technological innovation and improving standards of living; all of which based on global peace, a peace that nobody wants to disrupt. Nations are embracing diplomacy in order to influence the world without paying with blood.
There is absolutely no incentive for superpowers to start a war. The fear of economic collapse, social and political devastation and pure bloodshed for no possible gain makes initiating a large war diplomatic suicide since there can be no adequate justification . Not only that, but nukes make impossible traditional warfare between superpowers, and they guarantee hypothetical wars cannot escalate or last long enough to become a worldwide conflict.
Humanity's combined efforts to preserve peace ought to beat the botched diplomacy of the cold war. If they didn't start ww3, why would we?
The riskiest part of the nuclear era is over. A third world war in the foreseable future is highly implausible.
I rest my case.