Asia Times Online
Let's talk about World War III
Obviously, Russian troops can overwhelm the Georgian military, but they do not stand a chance against the United States. Active military doctrine has an answer to that - limited Russian use of nuclear weapons against the military bases from which Americans mount attacks and against command and control centers. We are talking about an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean and perhaps a few US bases in Europe. Welcome to World War III - mostly conventional and spiced with a few nuclear mushrooms here and there.
The truly fascinating aspect of this gloomy scenario is that the two leading emerging economic and political powers of the world, China and India, are completely outside the game. For them, there are no interests and no stakes, whether real or imaginary, in a US-Russian war over the South Caucasus.
This is cause for hope. If we can safely live through the transition period as economic and eventually political power shifts from traditional capitals toward Asia, we might avoid a direct clash between major powers and nuclear weapons use. The way economic trends run these days, we only need to be lucky for a few years.