Could the West possibly lose World War 3?

World War 3, in my speculative eschatology, is a war of the Arab/Muslim nations of the Middle East and northern Africa against the U.S. and Europe. I’m often asked if that region of the world could reasonably think to wage or even win such a war against the West. After all, don’t we have better weapons and better trained troops? Let’s take a look at one aspect of this issue, the soldiers on both sides of this approaching war.

The demographics of each population are important, because it tells us the number of young men of age for military service. The Pew Research Center says that the Muslim-majority nations of the Middle East and northern Africa have about 29% of their population in the age range of 20 to 34. The actual statistic is from 2010, and gives the age range of 15 to 29; I’ve updated that age range to add 5 years. If only (or mainly) men serve as soldiers, this figure would be about 14.5% of the total population for that region.

Nation population (millions)
Morocco 33.8
Algeria 36.3
Tunisia 10.7
Libya 6.4
Egypt 88.1
Jordan 66.8
Lebanon 4.2
Syria 23.4
Saudi_Arabia 27.1
Yemen 23.8
Iraq 32.1
Iran 80.1
_____________
Total 432.8 million persons

Multiplying the total population figure times 14.5% gives us 62.7 million men from 20 to 34 years of age. Now not every man of this age range would go to war. But if only 10% are drafted or volunteer, that’s over 6 million soldiers.

The estimated number of military personnel in the European Union is 1.55 million. And the U.S. has about 2 million military personnel. The U.S. has about 31 million men between the ages of 20 and 34. But our society is less able to assign those men to military service. Youth unemployment rates are much higher in the Middle East and northern Africa than in the West, as high as 25%. If those 25% of young men who are unemployed join the military to fight against the West in World War 3, that’s over 15 million soldiers.

They have enough young men to fight World War 3. Moreover, distrust, anger, and hatred of the West, along with misguided religious motivation, will likely spur many Muslim youths to fight willingly in this war. By comparison, the U.S. has difficulty finding enough volunteers for our military, and the motivation to go overseas and fight in a major war could be lacking. The same could be said for Europe. The population does not want war; the young men do not want to go to war. But in the Arab/Muslim nations of the Middle East and northern Africa, many young men would welcome war; they would fight willingly.

The motivation of troops is as important as their numbers. The enemy in World War 3 will have both: vast numbers of well-motivated young men willing to fight and die. The Western populations lack this motivation.

The counter argument is that the West has much more advanced armaments: missiles, ships, planes, drones, tanks. We have the best military equipment in the world. Yes, and we have been selling billions of dollars’ worth of those armaments to the more moderate Muslim nations, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Jordan. We also have a number of military bases in the region with equipment that will certainly be left behind when a sudden upheaval in that region puts extremists in power in formerly friendly nations. So our enemies will attack us in World War 3 with some of our own weapons and equipment.

The U.S. recently unfroze billions of dollars in Iranian assets, money that could be used to wage World War 3 against us. The Middle East also has much money from oil revenues. And since the world will continue to need oil, even as the war begins, the money will continue to flow into their coffers. Russia, China, India, and other nations will still buy their oil, despite the war.

They have the advantage in number of troops and motivation of troops. They have some advanced weapons and equipment. They have sufficient money. We still have the better trained troops and more of the advanced armaments.

But World War 3 will turn on the ground war, fought troop to troop, not on an air war or naval war. Large numbers of highly-motivated poorly-trained troops will pour into Turkey, which is the gateway to Europe. Ships from northern Africa will repeatedly attempt to establish beachheads in the European nations on the Mediterranean, eventually succeeding. Muslim extremists in the European nations will undermine those nations from within. Once troops are in a European nation, they will disperse among the population, making it difficult to bomb them.

Our better trained troops will be overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of our adversaries. Their dispersal within a wide region in Europe will make it very difficult to root them out, once the invasion begins. Better training is not sufficient.

The West will run low on troops, missiles, and bombs. Our troops, ships, and planes will be stretched too thin. We are not prepared to fight a major world war. As each nation in Europe falls, the possibility that the enemy will win the war will increase. Then there is the nuclear factor.

World War 3 will not begin until Iran has nuclear bombs. I have been predicting for many years now that Iran will strike New York City with a nuclear bomb, as the first act of aggression in World War 3. Later in the war, they will strike Rome and Vatican City with a nuclear missile. The threat of nuclear attack will cause some nations to surrender without much of a fight. The Muslim extremists are willing to use nuclear weapons against large cities, deliberately killing vast numbers of civilians. The Western nations are not willing. We have nuclear weapons, but we will not use them in the war.

Given all of the above considerations, the Arab/Muslim nations of the Middle East and northern Africa are capable of waging war against the U.S. and Europe, and they are capable of winning that war, which is World War 3. I believe, based on my interpretation of certain Bible passages and the signs of the times, that the Muslim extremists will win World War 3 and will conquer and occupy all of Europe. They will not be expelled and defeated until the end of World War 4 in the 2030’s.

See my writings in eschatology for the Bible passages in question, and my interpretation.

by
Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

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