Is World War Three Just Months Away?

A scene from the Malmedy massacre committed by German troops during WWII.
A scene from the Malmedy massacre committed by German troops during WWII.

All over the preppersphere, there seems to be an emerging theme that World War three is just three or four months away. If you have spent any time watching prepper videos on YouTube this past week, you can’t have missed it. I don’t know if one prepper started this meme and everyone else jumped on board or if there is a secret memo someone sent around. (If so, I’m not on the distribution list.)

The meme is spreading beyond preppers. This weekend, The Telegraph ran an article entitled, Why it’s too late to stop World War 3.

There are signs of impending war, but it’s tough to tell if the European countries are preparing to fight Russia or to fight a broader global war. I guess from their point of view, it doesn’t make much difference.

Of course, some would argue WW3 has already started. If we end up embroiled in a global war pitting Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea against NATO, Australia, South Korea, Japan, the Philippines and other allies, then I agree that history will point to the Russian invasion of Ukraine as the start. But we haven’t made the leap from regional war to global war quite yet.

Is it possible that this will happen in three to four months? Sure. It’s possible. I’m less convinced it’s likely. Then again, my crystal ball is broken. So we should just do what preppers do and hope for the best while preparing for the worst.

Interesting Timing

The timing is thought-provoking because it has the war starting right before the U.S. presidential election. It’s possible the “WW3 starting soon” meme was conceived by Democrat strategists who think the threat of war will help elect Biden. They probably think they can position Joe as the “safe” choice, the “steady hand on the tiller” to navigate the country through a war. If that is their thinking, I think that approach will backfire. People don’t want war, and the man-on-the-street realizes Biden is far from steady. It is no secret he is unable cognitively to handle a war. Would you trust a doddering old man with the nuclear codes? Or to make a go or no go decision on a critical attack? Can he think through a complex problem, or will he just listen to the loudest voice in the room?

Is Trump any better? Well, he’s decisive, and that can be a plus. In war, as in business, it’s often better to make any decision rather than dither around and make no decision. There is also the possibility that China and Russia fear Trump because he is unpredictable and not under control of the elites. You could argue that if they want a nice predictable war, they would attack while Biden is still president.

Then again, starting a war in the lame duck period between the election and inauguration could be a smart move if Trump wins. A transition between two governments would complicate things considerably.

Alternative Scenarios

Of course, we don’t have to see an all-out war between two large global factions. If I were China, I’d offer Russia support from the sidelines but sit out the battle between Russia and NATO. Then, when the dust settles, China could assess the damage and decide what to do. If the U.S. and NATO crush Russia, then China absorbs some lessons from the battle, goes back to the drawing board, and keeps building naval ships and advanced weapons. Taiwan will still be there in ten years.

 Or, if Russia is weakened with no leadership, China could invade it, using North Koreans as shock troops, and capture a sizeable chunk of Russia to gain much-needed oil and mineral reserves. That would give Xi a victory and a place in the history books.

Alternatively, if the United States loses a few aircraft carriers and takes a walloping while fighting Russia, China could take advantage of our weakened military and waltz into Taiwan. We might threaten and bluster, but if we’re still recovering from a war in Europe, we might not be able to do much else.

In short, I think a war in Europe, with the possibility of a sideline war in the Middle East, is more likely than a war in Europe and the Pacific/South China Sea at the same time.

I guess it’s also possible that Ukraine could come to the negotiating table or that Trump would get elected and seek to tend the war and none of that would happen. Of course, that’s well outside the three-month timeline.

The Nuclear Threat

I expect Russia would like to use a tactical nuclear weapon in its war in Ukraine, or to at least test one as a threat. The problem for Russia is using a nuke opens Pandora’s Box and the repercussions are unknown. If it becomes acceptable to use nukes, then Russia is at risk.

Right now, a few drones cross the border and do minor damge to targets in Russia, usually oil storage tanks or refineries. If Putin uses nuclear weapons, his next worry might be a Ukrainian F16 carrying a nuclear warhead. If Russia uses a nuke, it might increase the chance that Iran or North Korea would feel comfortable using nuclear weapons. Or that Israel or the U.S. might, if only to stop Iran from acting first.

It’s a big unknown, not just for you and me, but for all the players involved. They could use a nuclear weapon hoping to make a point and open themselves up to a response that wipes cities off maps. Then what happens? Do they sit and quietly nurse their wounds, thinking “Well, we deserved that,” or do they respond in kind? Probably the latter, and no one knows where such as escalation will end.

Using nuclear weapons has no good outcome. Sure, they helped end WWII, but only because no one else had them.

How to Prepare for WW3

Unless you have or can quickly obtain a bunker, the best thing to do is to keep storing food, stocking water and purification supplies, having a secure (preferably remote) shelter, keeping your medical/first aid kit up to date, practicing your self-defense skills, building networks, and learning new skills. It can’t hurt to think about where you can make yourself safe from fallout. Perhaps you can prepare a corner of your basement by piling heavy items overhead. If you live in the city, look for a spot on the lower level of an underground parking garage and claim it as your personal fallout shelter. Look for older buildings that had fallout shelters in the basement and see if they are still accessible.

If we enter a small-scale war with no nuclear weapons, then you should prepare for shortages and the possibility of rationing and purchase limits. Use your experience from COVID as a guide and stock up on things that were scarce then or you can’t live without. Be prepared for the stock market to collapse and the possibility of banking failures or other financial damage. At the very least, expect a war to drive up spending, which will lead to even more inflation down the road, weaken the dollar, and increase the deficit.

The Secret Survival Sauce

I don’t expect you to go back and read all 1,600 articles we’ve posted, so here’s the short version of my secret survival sauce:

  • Find a remote location and build or buy a homestead, ideally with a wood stove and a source of firewood.
  • Develop a water source that is reliable and does not require power. Have a plan to handle your sewage.
  • Take steps to raise at least a portion of the calories you need to survive, both growing crops and raising livestock. (That’s why a homestead is important.) Start immediately so you can make your mistakes now and buy your tools and supplies before the SHTF.
  • Store as many calories as possible, both in long-term food storage and in your short-term prepper pantry.
  • Build positive relationships with your neighbors by helping them and expecting nothing in return.
  • Be prepared to defend yourself and your community, which requires firearms, ammo, and the ability to use them effectively.
  • Stockpile anything you might need, from tools to meds, extra shoes to spare batteries.

Will this save your life? There’s no guarantee, but it will make you better prepared than 90 percent of the population. It will also help you get through a war in Europe or a global war far more comfortably than living in a city, no matter how much money you make.


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