(By Youssef El-Gingihy) Although there has been no major combat between the great powers since the Second World War, there are three key fronts emerging that make the prospect of a third global conflict alarmingly conceivable. The prospect of a global conflict – World War III if you like – appears somewhat unthinkable. Since the Second World War, there has been no major war between the great powers. The original post-war European project was based around peace, social justice and harmony. The unraveling of this project, accompanied by rising nationalism, is likely to exacerbate the dangers of war on a continent with a fraught history of bloody conflict.

In the 20th century, both world wars were unanticipated. Christopher Clark’s much acclaimed The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 – published in timely fashion for the centenary of First World War – charted Europe’s unexpected descent into war. First World War had been preceded by a prelude of serenity – the long 19th century of relative peace and stability. The great powers of Edwardian Europe had been engaged in diplomacy and trade prior to the onslaught of carnage. READ MORE