Has the Third World War Already Begun?

Bayraktar TB-2 UCAVs (SİHA), which Ukraine bought from Turkey, are among the weapons that slow down the Russian invasion movement. (Photo: Ukraine MoD)

The first government official to utter that the Third World War had actually begun was Ukrainian Presidential Spokesman Mihaylo Podolyak.

“You sit in cafes in Brussels, Amsterdam, watch Netflix and think that the war will not touch you,” Podolyak was reproaching on March 4, on the 9th day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. A few days before, on February 27, the German Chancellor the social democrat Olaf Scholz had announced that Germany would allocate 100 billion euros to armament. This plan included the US-made F-35 planes. –The US removed Turkey from F-35 program which it was a partner in production and already paid for, on the ground that Ankara purchased S-400 missiles from Russia.- Within the same framework, it was announced that 1000 anti-tank missiles and 500 Stinger close range air defense missiles will be given to Ukraine. Germany’s angel of peace, co-chairman of the Green Party and Minister of Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock announced this armament as Germany’s new National Security Strategy on March 18. Germany’s emphasis on armament has been one of the developments that radically changed the political balance in Europe for the last hundred years.

US demanded Turkey to give S-400s to Ukraine

Having historical troubles and serious energy dependency to Russia, Germany, like Turkey, wants to help Ukraine without disturbing Moscow. Germany is more intertwined with the USA; Turkey has so far been ahead in diplomacy.

The United States, on the other hand, wants a more active and binding stance against Russia, not only from Germany and Turkey, but also from all NATO allies. In the past weeks, it asked Poland to give the Mig-29s to Ukraine. Poland, which did not want to be a pawn of the USA and start a NATO-Russia war, said to the USA: “We can transfer the planes to your Ramstein airbase in Germany, and you give them to Ukraine from there.” Of course, there was no answer from Washington on this.

Similarly, the US demanded Turkey to give the Russian-built S-400 missiles to Ukraine. Ankara did what Poland did, and turned down the request.

Turkey had to engage in close relations with Russia to prevent the spread of the war since its economy was also not in a position to bear the war. Ankara would focus on diplomacy and, as a matter of fact, it would yield results.

A bothced move or a tactic?

Was the S-400 move a botched provocation tactic of the US, or was it the first step of a gradual strategy?

Firstly, the Americans knew that the sale of the S-400 was “non-transferable”.

Secondly, how would Ukrainians shoot down Russian aircraft and missiles with S-400s designed to shoot down American aircraft and missiles?

Thirdly, the S-400 was an “irreversible” step not only for President Tayyip Erdogan but also for Turkey. No self-respecting government or army would sell a superior weapon just because someone else wanted it.

On the other hand, the Bayraktar TB-2 Unmanned Combat Aerial Vechicle (SİHA) that Ukraine bought from Turkey before the invasion of Russia even started, became one of the symbols of the Ukrainian resistance. In the Western press, TB-2s were shown among the most important weapons that slowed down the advance of the Russian army, along with the American-made anti-tank missile system Javelin. On the political façade, the fact that the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers met in Antalya, after the Montreux Convention was put into effect and the passage of Russian warships to the Black Sea was restricted, showed that Turkey gave her best support to Ukraine. It was cunning to jam the S-400 in between.

Let’s talk about the Third World War

The adjective phrase “First” was added to World War I, after World War II began to be called World War II after 1941. Otherwise, before the two great military operations, this too was seen as one of the endless European wars. These two attacks were the German armies’ launch of “Operation Barbarossa” on Soviet-ruled Russian territory on June 22, 1941, and the Japanese Air Force’s destruction of the American navy at Pearl Harbor Naval Base on December 17, 1941. Until then, both Moscow and Washington believed they were keeping the war away from them. However, after it was concluded that it was a “Great War”, a world war, as in 1914-1918, they began to be called “First” and “Second”. The triggering of the first was the murder of the Habsburg Crown Prince Archduke Ferdinand by a Serbian anarchist in Sarajevo in 1914, and the Nazi Germany’s attack on the Polish port of Gdansk (Danzig) in 1939 as the start of the second.

The true extent of wars in the modern age is generally understood after they begin to spread, not when they begin.

The Third War could be far more devastating

Third World War could be even more devastating: this time the actors have atomic bombs.

China is the rising power that appears to be the global power that seem to have the least damage from the crisis as it has done so little and said little. In France, which is also a nuclear power, the Emmanuel Macron’s administration gained power with its balance efforts in Ukraine crisis before the scheduled elections in April. Joe Biden administration in the US has also gained power.

Turkey is one of the regional powers that will benefit most with the diplomacy it has followed so far. If Erdoğan can instrumentalize Turkey’s growing diplomatic potential for people’s benefit economically, he can translate that to electoral advantage.

Ukraine has been destroyed, but the move of Russian President Vladimir Putin gave birth to a Ukrainian nation raised from the Ukrainian people; We are watching a nation-building process on live broadcast.

Yet the danger is not over. The global powers’ ambition to outwit each other may burst a flame unexpectedly.

I hope the prophecy of the Ukrainian spokesperson turns out to be wrong. This madness that we are going through will remain as the first example of the new Cold War, not the Third World War.

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