With the free use of Theda Skocpol's theory about the occurrence of revolutions, it can be said that the extent and depth of the crises after Hamas's attack on Israel is enough to cause World War III. It only takes a chain of events to link the current crises together so that humanity will witness another world war. A review of the conflicts and events that led to World War I and II provides a comparative analysis to explain the current crisis drivers toward a world war.
It is enough to review the events of the past days:
- Hezbollah's missile attacks on Israel have increased compared to the past few days;
- Kataib Hezbollah in Iraq fired mortars at the US Al-Asad Airbase in Iraq;
- Ansarullah of Yemen has launched a missile towards an American cruiser;
- The American Deir Ezzor military base in Syria has been attacked;
- The violence has intensified in the West Bank;
- The Prime Minister of England and the President of the United States announced the full support of London and Washington to the Zionist regime during their visit to Israel;
- Biden has referred to the current crisis in the Middle East and Ukraine as a "historic turning point," and by connecting the war in Ukraine to the war in Gaza, he has spoken of "the global responsibility of America in supporting Israel and Ukraine."
- Israeli air attacks on Gaza continue with more intensity, etc.
This news should be placed next to the new emerging issues of the last two weeks:
- According to John Mearsheimer, Israel's intelligence surprise regarding the attack of Hamas since 1973, i.e., the Kippur War, has been unprecedented;
- The loss of lives of the Zionists since 1973 has been unprecedented;
- The Zionist regime refers to this war as the 11th of September in the Middle East and another holocaust;
- Contrary to the past, the Zionist regime does not hide the statistics of its casualties and deaths but also exaggerates them;
- The war happened on the eve of the normalization of relations between the Zionist regime and Saudi Arabia;
- The war happened during the history-making war between Ukraine and Russia;
- The attack of Hamas occurred at a time when America was following the policy of "balancing from a distance or guiding from a distance";
- The conflict has occurred in a situation where the security structure in the Middle East has taken on a bipolar situation between the resistance front and the US-allied front;
- The conflict has occurred in conditions that, according to the theorists of the international system, the new international order is being established, and the result of the Ukraine war will be very effective in forming the new order both globally and regionally.
The basic question is how, despite incomplete information and daily and fateful developments, can we predict the future of the Gaza war? The answer is that in a situation where the uncertainties are more than certain elements, it is impossible to predict; only possible futures can be drawn in the short term based on the active drivers.
To draw possible futures in the current situation, the following should be considered:
- Firstly, numerous actors are active openly and covertly in the field and behind the field;
- Secondly, the conflict between the Arabs and Israel is a historical, multi-layered, complex and full of ambiguity;
- Thirdly, current information is not enough for future analysis;
It can be said that in the current situation, the answer to two key questions can help draw the future of the war: 1- Will the Zionist regime launch a ground attack on Gaza? 2- Will other key actors enter the war? Considering the uncertainties in the answers to these two questions, drawing possible futures in the short term based on past goals and trends can be reviewed as follows:
- Through the pressure of global public opinion, limited attacks by Hezbollah in Lebanon, and attacks on American military bases, the resistance front is trying to prevent the ground attack of the Zionist regime on Gaza. On the other hand, the Zionist regime entered Gaza after extensive airstrikes occupied the northern areas, entered into negotiations with the Arab countries regarding the release of prisoners and the administration of Gaza, and then withdrew.
- Ukrainization of the war in Gaza can be imagined as a possible scenario in the future. In this case, the Zionist regime, like Russia, will be involved in an attrition war in the Middle East. Then, the crisis in Ukraine will be tied to the crisis of this regime, and Russia will be able to get out of the crisis in Ukraine. On the other side of the coin, the Ukrainization of the war in the Middle East is not peace but the worsening of conflicts and the occurrence of World War III.
- Simultaneously with the ground entry of the Zionist regime into Gaza, we will witness the activation of the resistance front against this regime and America. The entry of the Zionist regime into Gaza and the separation of a part of Gaza and handing it over to the Palestinian National Authority, along with the forced migration of Palestinians, is considered a defeat for the resistance front. The resistance front is trying to prevent a ground attack on Gaza with actions similar to the previous days, but if this attack is carried out, Hezbollah entering the war and other resistance groups into the war is inevitable.
- The resistance front tries to prevent the ground attack of the Zionist regime, but in the case of a ground operation, it will face pre-planned traps by Hamas and suffer another defeat; then, the resistance front will not see the need to enter the war after the ground attack on Israel.
- A short-term war can also be imagined with the occupation of Gaza by the Zionist regime and the inaction of the resistance front. The Zionist regime occupies Gaza, but the resistance front does not enter into a large-scale war with Israel; the Arab negotiations with Israel lead to the administration of Gaza by the Palestinian National Authority, and a security bipolarity is formed in the Middle East against the resistance front. After the defeat of Hamas, Israel started other wars. Israel, in alliance with America and some Arab countries, will form a military alliance against Hezbollah and Iran and will go to war with Iran's military allies in the region and eventually go to war with Iran.
Anyway, the analysis of the above events, along with the events of the past days, is enough to see the drivers of an attrition war like the Ukrainian war in Gaza as active. Also, the drivers of the expansion of the war at the regional level and its connection to the war in Ukraine are quite evident, so we can estimate the occurrence of a war on an international scale soon.
Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini, a senior expert at the Institute for Political and International Studies
(The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the IPIS)