Whether or not this war is a game of distraction meant to occupy the attention of the world, while our developing global food & financial crisis simmers in the background remains to be seen, but in the interim our respective countries hammer out unworkable "peace negotiation" scenarios (IMO, in our 12 page proposal for a settlement contained nothing to assuage the fiery rhetoric of war). So lets look at how this all may unfold...
RUSSIA invades Ukraine. Biden and the West will think that they can contain Putin with economic sanctions, which is highly unlikely. Sanctions will just embolden Russia. Meanwhile, Ukraine mounts it's defense. Though western leaders expect the country to fall quickly, the odds are against it - because the Ukrainian people are experienced fighters and their memories of war are not so distant. After it becomes clear to Moscow that Ukraine is nothing short of a quagmire, Belarus (a client state of Russia) will declare war on Ukraine, coming to the aid of Russia.
Which begs the question - who will rally to the aid of Ukraine first?
It is highly likely that POLAND will be the first to declare war on Russia in support of Ukraine. Poland - a witness to the dramatic events of two world wars - will not sit by idly by. This time Poland has seen the writing on the wall; its historical perspective will cause it to use force fast. It is expected that POLAND will attack the Kalingrad region of Russia, because Kalingrad is easily isolated and surrounded by Poland. The Polish feel this will take the pressure off Ukraine.
LITHUANIA will back up Poland, as Lithuania refuses to be left surrounded if Poland is defeated. LITHUANIA will drive south to the west of Belarus to cut off KALINGRAD – in order to aid the Poles. Once Lithuania enters Belarus, if Belarus hasn't declared war on Ukraine yet, then by default Belarus has entered the war, as Belarus is Russia`s client state. Moldova enters the war on the Ukrainian side.
HUNGARY sides with Poland. And now ROMANIA - a close ally of Hungary - enters the war to aid the Polish war effort - because it has no emotional desire to see Eastern Europe in Russian hands again and become isolated. If by some chance Hungary initially sided with Russia, it is hoped that Romania siding with Poland will turn Hungary into an ally.
RUSSIA must now vastly increase the defense of Kalingrad.
Estonia & Latavia enter the war. Cut off by the Russian Baltic fleet, they feel they have no other option to maintain sovereignty. And now FINLAND joins the war. Estonia is it closest ally and Finland will never allow it to fall.
Finland sides with the Ukraine and enters the war. Sweden follows and enters the conflict, because it cannot afford to see the defeat of Finland. And now for the coup de grace; RUSSIA mass mobilizes – and everything Russia has gets thrown into total war. If Russia has signed a defense treaty with China; China moves to support the Russian war effort, at first limiting itself to Russian military aid - but is still trying to remain distant so as not to force the West to halt international trade with the state of China, and encourage a declaration of war by the West.
With Poland at war, the US aids Poland by delivering massive arms shipments through neutral Germany, to aid the Polish effort - tho thru covert means or plain sight, is a current unknown. Once Russia raises alarm over escalation of weapon shipments thru Germany, Germany is threatened - cease and desist or face war with Russia. While the deep scars of WWII in Germany still haunt its people historically speaking, the Germans also have no desire to be subjugated by the Russians again. Russia forces Germany's hand; Germany officially enters the war to protect Poland. One major roadblock might be the post-ww2 constitution, which limits the breadth and action of the German military. But during this escalating global crisis, elements in the Bundestag call for emergency suspension of the post-war constitution, in order for Germany to convert to a wartime economy & protect herself from Russia. In an emergency meeting of the Bundestag, the motion overwhelmingly succeeds. The post-war constitution is gone. German war production & mobilization begin.
Russia, concerned with increasing NATO involvement, either resorts to using a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine territory OR widespread conventional bombing of Ukrainian nuclear power plants, to inflict maximum damage at minimal cost. Western allies, aware of Russian use of tactical nuclear weapons or intentional targeting of Ukrainian nuclear power plants, fall in line and side with the Ukraine. Radioactive fallout begins to contaminate the region.
Austria, Italy, France & the Adriatic states side with Germany, for no neighboring country has a desire to remain independent during this escalation. The economic dominance and technological advances of the German economy also make it advantageous for small EU states to align with Germany. And with the constitution suspended, the German war machine moves into full action. German peacetime industrial capacity is quickly transformed into the arsenal of the Baltic States. And economic dominance over Europe fuels the war effort.
With NATO forces moving into Ukraine, RUSSIA has too much to lose; it cannot agree to any NATO ultimatum. Remaining Russian allies rally to support Moscow. China; full committal, enters the war on the Russian side.
With international outrage growing over dirty Russian war tactics, political pressure at home finally forces the USA to declare war against Russia. Naturally, a declaration of war against China follows suit.
At this point, the question remains - Will the western response remain purely conventional? Or will NATO states comply with their treaty obligations and respond with total nuclear commitment? No one knows; no one has ever been this close before but this is how close we appear to be.
If our current path of escalation continues, expect to see many small skirmishes or additional micro-signs of escalation: bombing or burning of state embassies in different, distant territories; strategic loss of energy supplies thru sabotage or "accidents"; disrupted rail or urban transport systems; domestic flight disruptions; electronic hacking by third party organizations not linked to any state; evidence of stockpiling of national resources, etc. Separately, evidence suggests that Russia is readying its long term fallout shelters, preparing nuclear war exercises and stockpiling non-perishable food for long term storage.
Will this all happen? Idk, but this is what the course of World War III could look like.
And if world history has shown us anything, it's when great worldwide financial misery and food supply situations converge & deteriorate quickly creating times of great unrest, that war is often a last-resort tool used by politicians to turn the suffering, disgruntled populous into patriotic citizens, all too happy to fall in line and put aside all domestic troubles, in order to support the war-effort.