It's been thought, for quite some time now, that World War III has already begun. Over the past several years, we've seen outside agitators - namely the US and its NATO allies - completely destroy sovereign nations from North Africa to Southwest Asia to Eastern Europe. We've also seen an anti-imperialist bloc - namely Russia and its non-aligned allies - respond by providing diplomatic and logistical support to the resistance forces. And as such, this status quo of bloodshed and destruction has hummed along for the better part of two decades.
The landscape has changed, though, with respect to the Southwest Asian theatre. Russian military involvement in Syria has increased from providing the government with advice and logistics to more substantial support of Syrian troops [and their allies] by way of air raids and other combat missions directed against US ground forces, otherwise known as ISIS. And given that a Chinese aircraft carrier is now docked in Syria, with more military assets on the way, it's safe to conclude that the balance of power in the region is shifting. Much to the dismay of Washington and London, the Russians have already begun to buoy the Syrian military by targeting the Western proxies responsible for the country’s ruin. No longer can ISIS, Al-Nusra and the “moderate” so-called Free Syrian Army expect to operate without restraint while the US-led coalition pretends to combat them.
Although Russian and Chinese support for Syria can be attributed to their own national and regional interests, their contributions on the battlefield are nonetheless pivotal. Helping to reverse recent terrorist advances is just one among many developments. Supporting Syria, by proximity, means buttressing the Resistance Axis [to include Iran and Hezbollah] as a whole. It means the chagrin of the Gulf monarchies who’ve invested heavily in Syria’s destruction. It means the United States, Turkey and their NATO brethren must pause, re-evaluate and recognize their diminishing role in the region, given the increasing involvement of other global powers.
And that’s the elephant in the room: global powers, armed with nuclear weapons, pursuing vastly different objectives, operating danger close to one another. What happens if/when they step on each others toes? How does Washington respond to a downed and captured American pilot? How does Moscow deal with Russian troops being held hostage or killed? Needless to say, the situation could potentially escalate and quickly spiral out of control. And at that point, there will be no more denying that World War III is upon us.