The DEFCON Warning System™

Ongoing GeoIntel and Analysis in the theater of nuclear war.  DEFCON Level assessment issued for public notification.  Established 1984.

5 places World War III could start in 2023

In 2022, the world came closer to Great Power War than at any point since the end of the Cold War.

Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, an attack that almost immediately resulted in a combination of sanctions and direct military support for Kyiv.

By early spring, the United States and its allies were pursuing policies that would result in the death of Russian soldiers, the destruction of Russian military equipment, and the long-term degradation of the Russian economy. The war has had a ripple effect on the world stage, dramatically increasing the stakes of disputes that have quietly smoldered for decades.

These five areas pose the greatest risk for the eruption of what we might be tempted to call “World War III.”

Concern that Russia might use nuclear weapons to restore its flagging fortunes in Ukraine seems to have declined since summer, as the war has settled into a destructive stalemate.

However, escalation remains a concern. Russia’s inability to make progress may threaten the stability of the Putin government, inclining Moscow to contemplate dangerous escalation. Concerns over the ability of Ukraine to continue the war in the long-term might force Kyiv to take risky steps of its own to break the stalemate.

An expansion of the war to NATO remains unlikely but possible; the Russian use of nuclear weapons remains unthinkable but not at all impossible.

The Biden administration and its allies in Europe have taken extraordinary care with the risks of escalation, but Washington does not hold all of the cards and either Kyiv or Moscow might become willing to accept the risk of a wider conflict, a conflict that could develop into World War III.

Worry about the immediacy of war between Taiwan and China has waned a bit in the past months, in large part because of China’s catastrophic covid experience.

Read more at Business Insider

Ongoing Geointel and Analysis in the theater of nuclear war.


© 2024 The DEFCON Warning System. Established 1984.

The DEFCON Warning System is a private intelligence organization which has monitored and assessed nuclear threats by national entities since 1984. It is not affiliated with any government agency and does not represent the alert status of any military branch. The public should make their own evaluations and not rely on the DEFCON Warning System for any strategic planning. At all times, citizens are urged to learn what steps to take in the event of a nuclear attack.