A computer scientist at the University of Colorado claims that the risk of WW3 has been largely underestimated. Aaron Clauset’s calculations shows that we are nearing a major armed conflict and it isn’t clear if decades-old efforts to fend off nuclear annihilation could prevent it from happening.
Clauset sifted through the data on large wars over the last two centuries. Since the end of the last world war, the planet has witnessed 73 years of peace and just a few small wars. It is unclear how long the peace will last, though.
The computer scientist cannot predict an exact date for the next major armed conflict, but he says that the date depends on current geopolitical interests and events. Humanity may have less than a century until the next world war, according to his computer models.
- In his study, Clauset combed through data on major armed conflicts from 1823 to 2003.
- The dataset used in the study was provided by the Correlates of War Project.
- The researcher analyzed as many as 95 wars during the period.
At a first look, the number means that a war happens every two years, but after dividing the period in three parts, the number varies. From 1823 to 1914 when the first world war broke out, there were 19 major wars including the Boer and Crimean wars. That period had a war every six years.
Humanity Has Witnessed 73 Years of Peace, So Far
Between 1914 and 1945, there was a war every three years including World War I and World War II, which led to millions of deaths over just a few decades. That period was marked by “great violence,” as Clauset puts it.
Since 1945, humanity has witnessed a period of peace, with governments remaining focused on democracy, the fight against nuclear proliferation, and preventing the risk of another major war.
Statistically, the 73 years of peace balanced the three decades of great violence. The latest analysis revealed that a war as deadly as WWII breaks every two centuries, which means that were are 100 years apart from another major conflict.
The risk of a large war in the future may thus be higher than currently believed,
Clauset said in a recent interview.