No, We're Not Fighting in the Third World War
Pretending that we are already in WWIII is a good way to get us to lower our guard and quickly find ourselves blundering ahead into the real thing.
Susan Glasser relays a bizarre claim from Fiona Hill:
As far as Hill is concerned, we are already fighting in the Third World War, whether we acknowledge it or not. “We’ve been in this for a long time, and we’ve failed to recognize it,” she said.
There have been other attempts to turn other kinds of conflict into “world wars” for polemical and ideological reasons, but all of them are inherently silly. The “war on terror” was labeled as World War IV in some fanatical circles (the Cold War having been retconned into WWIII) to try to liken it to the previous struggles, but the label never caught on because it was obviously stupid. Now that rivalry with Russia and China is all the rage in Washington, we are being treated to the “great power competition” version of this silliness. Throwing around these world war labels has been a way to try to inflate the importance of current events, but it has also had the effect of making people forget how destructive and dangerous real world wars are.