The End of the World as we Know it?


NBC News

The US, Britain, and France bomb Syria’s weapons facility.

Over 101 million people died in World War I and World War II. World War I started because of an assassination of an archduke. World War II started when Germany invaded Poland, and World War III might possibly have started with the bombings in Syria. Will the United States enter a nuclear war?

The decision to bomb Syria on April 14 was a result of Syria President’s Bashar al-Assad decision to use chemical weapons on the city of Damascus. The chemical attack killed 40 people; the majority of them being women and children. The United States’ attack on Syria was similar to the cruise missile attack on the Shayrat Air Base in April 2017, after Syria’s government dropped nerve munitions on the city of Khan Sheikhoun.

In the past six years, Syria has used their chemical weapons at least 50 times during their civil war. Former President Barack Obama declared a “red line” in 2013 but never enforced it. This made the Syrian president totally disregard the United States’ threat and continue to build up their nuclear weapons and attacks.

Katie Rath
US History Classes spend time on the effects of world wars.

Russia’s government declared if any Russian citizen or soldier was hurt in the bombings, that there would be consequences. The bombings in Syria were aimed at government buildings and sites where nuclear weapons were being developed. Russia shot down a few cruise missiles as a “threat” to what could happen. Russia’s government is trying to avoid a direct conflict, and being careful not to launch a full out nuclear war against the United States.

There have been many speculations on whether these attacks would cause a World War III. Some people say Russia and the United States will work the issues out with peace talks, but many think that Trump will retaliate and maybe launch an all-out war. However, Trump claims that establishing an alliance will intimidate Syria into stopping their attacks.

“The purpose of our actions tonight is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread and use of chemical weapons. Establishing this deterrent is a vital national security interest of the United States,” said president Donald Trump.

The Syrian government denies ever being responsible for the chemical attacks on April 4. Moscow is backing its ally up by claiming the deaths in Damascus were a result of a rebel attack on a depot containing “toxic substances.” Moscow and Assad both insist that Syria gave up all of their nuclear weapons in 2013 as an attempt to keep peace with the United States. Assad believes President Trump accused him of the chemical weapons attack as an excuse to get rid of the terrorists in the country.

In the United States history classes at Rochester Adams High School, both world wars are discussed greatly, especially the effects the wars had in the United States. Very important factors to look at are the effects on the economy, government, and mainly on society.

During World War II, schools in the United States conducted “duck and cover” drills to prepare just in case there was a nuclear attack by the Soviet Union. The threat of nuclear weapons was small compared to what the threat could be during a world war today. Countries like Russia have weapons more powerful than the regular nuclear bombs, like the hydrogen bomb or the atomic bomb. This makes a nuclear war even more of a threat. Will schools today start having to perform “duck and cover” drills? Or nuclear bomb drills in general?

NBC News
Putin defends Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad for the chemical attacks.

“I think what will be different this time around is that now there are the capabilities for people to launch weapons and missiles that would directly hit the United States, and a war has not been fought on our territory since the Civil War. I think that has a potential to be really devastating,” said Rochester Adams history teacher Allison Danielson.

Men and women will be drafted into the war, factories will be used for wartime productions, and there is  a high possibility taxes will be raised. Many factors will be a result of a war with a country like Russia. The U.S. government would most likely make decisions the people would not agree with, resulting in riots and other violent protests. There would be immense consequences of a World War III.

After the Soviet’s first detonation of their nuclear bomb in 1949, there was an arms race to who could develop better and more advanced chemical weapons. Seventy years later and the chemical weapons of Russia and the United States are more powerful than ever. However, using these chemical weapons are trying to be avoided at all cost, even though both sides are using the “my button is bigger than your button” threat. Is there going to another world war in the near future?

“Increasing peace talks… and still using the idea of mutually assured destruction make a world war extremely unlikely. Everyone would lose,” said sophomore Bryce Durand.

Katie Rath
Peace talks are being discussed between Russia and the United States.

President Donald Trump is working on peace talks after he ordered the bombings in Syria. This did not make matters better, and tensions are still at an all-time high. Discussions of politics anywhere can be a rough spot for many people in today’s society, and there are those who do not agree with the government’s actions. They believe the responses of both the US and Russian governments will provoke an all-out nuclear war.

“Honestly, with Trump in office, anything can happen,” said sophomore Liliana Englehart.

A world war all depends on the actions of both governments, and also the people. Wars can be started by basically anything if one country feels betrayed enough. World War III might have been started by the bombings on Syria by the U.S., France, and Britain, or it may start with another incident sometimes in the future. Until there is an official declaration of war, no one can know for certain.

The first world war was said to be “the war to end all wars”. Then, came World War II disproving that theory. After World War II there were many other wars; the Cold War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War. There can be no way of telling if there will ever be an end to all wars, but the threat of a World War III is tremendous in the present day.