1. Gammer
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    Gammer Active Member

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    What could cause WWIII?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Gammer, Feb 5, 2013.

    I'm writing a Superman story for one of my writing classes. And Lex Luthor is looking to create super villains like Metallo and the Parasite in order to have a private stock of unstoppable terrorists. He's looking to goad and prod other countries into global war so he can profit from gun running and gain political favor in the resulting instability and chaos.

    So basically my question is, in the currently political landscape what kind of events would cause a global war? I know the Middle East is a huge hot spot but is there anything specific that could cause it?

    PS: Wasn't sure if this was a plot question or a research question.
     
  2. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Oil I think is a big one, especially with it running out so quickly. Perhaps the whole 'European Union' issue could cause some sort of heated debate which could in turn spark a World War. War on Iran could very well do this too. If you need more, this site may be useful to you: http://listverse.com/2012/05/26/top-10-catalysts-for-world-war-iii/

    Hope that helps. :)
     
  3. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Any type of radical Islamist group overthrowing one of the current governments and declaring war on Israel and the United States.
     
  4. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    Since you are writing Superman and even better, Lex Luthor (my third favorite villain), he could do it in any number of ways from setting off a nuke and shifting the responsibility between enemies to brainwashing the president into starting it himself.
     
  5. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    Terrorists attack a civilian target in one country disguised as operatives from another (Call of Duty, Modern Warfare 2)
    North Korea - the problem child of the global family - does something stupid, forcing an intervention and polarising the global community (Homefront)
    Nukes fired trigger indiscriminate knee-jerk reaction fire (The End of the World flash animation)

    Basically, scale up any childish schoolyard jerk-around to global proportions.
     
  6. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Anything. Please don't make the mistake of thinking that because the Cold War is no longer with us neither is the threat of nuclear war either. We are still living under the shadow of The Bomb.
     
  7. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    Exactly, a modern world war would most likely be nuclear in nature. Its scary to think about how delicate the balance is between relative peace, and total world destruction.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There's also biological warfare, chemical warfare, and technological warfare. Attacks on the power or communications grids, while not as immediately devastating as a nuclear attack, have the potential of killing millions. Biological agents are less selective, but capable of global biological devastation beyond anything we are capable of with nuclear warheads.

    Chemical or biological agents against crops could also be a weapon of a global war, starving billions.

    Be imaginative.
     
  9. henmatth
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    henmatth Member

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    Because of China's size and recent economical growth it would be very easy and convenient for them to declare war on the US (mainly for land- as they are becoming overpopulated). That's quite unlikely though, because much of their economy relies on the US.

    If any government or group made an attack on or tried to claim a European country (or countries) that would certainly quickly develope into a world war.

    So far I love the Lex Luther idea! Definitely fits into your Superman theme. Stick with him and the possibilities are endless.
     
  10. BallerGamer
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    Since this is just for your writing class the credibility and authenticity of how this theoretical war shouldn't matter so much. Like Lex Luthor could revive Hitler and/or Stalin, they gain a large following, and then declare war on the world.
     
  11. Gammer
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    Gammer Active Member

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    These are all great ideas and all within the realm of possibility for Lex Luthor
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Ah, but What Would Lex Do?

    Think big, and outside the box.
     
  13. psychotick
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    Hi,

    The chances of the US going nuke on someone's arse are remote to say the least. The last time I thought they would was in Afghanistan after the towers fell. But the reality is that the old mantra that no one wins a war, applies even more to nuclear (excuse me Nukular - I'm channeling Bush!) war. China and the USSR are in no position to attack the US, and have no wish to as far as I can see.

    So if the US was to launch a nuke, they would have to have a powerful motivation, and something so immanent that they couldn't use conventional weapons.

    Now of course ole Lex could have gained control of the computers that control the nukes of one or other of the countries, but he'd have to be unbelievably careful. The world's total nuclear (Sorry George!) arsenal is estimated to be so large that it could wipe out all life on Earth something like four hundred times over. But a limited nuclear war against a rogue country? Maybe. What if North Korea launched a nuke at the US and wiped out a city. An acknowledged crime that no one would defend. I could see the US responding in kind and the Chinese standing well back. (South Korea might be a little aggrieved!)

    The problem with nukes is that they are so powerful that everyone is scared of them including their owners.

    However those who have only one or two of them, or even a dozen or so, and know that their enemies have much the same, aren't so scared. So think some of the former states of the USSR with longstanding disputes going a little mad. India versus Pakistan. Once they struck, unleashing everything they had presumably, they would then have to fall back on conventional weapons, and Lex baby could make a killing selling to both sides.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  14. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    The chances of the US going nuke on someone's arse are remote to say the least. The last time I thought they would was in Afghanistan after the towers fell. But the reality is that the old mantra that no one wins a war, applies even more to nuclear (excuse me Nukular - I'm channeling Bush!) war. China and the USSR are in no position to attack the US, and have no wish to as far as I can see.

    So if the US was to launch a nuke, they would have to have a powerful motivation, and something so immanent that they couldn't use conventional weapons.

    Now of course ole Lex could have gained control of the computers that control the nukes of one or other of the countries, but he'd have to be unbelievably careful. The world's total nuclear (Sorry George!) arsenal is estimated to be so large that it could wipe out all life on Earth something like four hundred times over. But a limited nuclear war against a rogue country? Maybe. What if North Korea launched a nuke at the US and wiped out a city. An acknowledged crime that no one would defend. I could see the US responding in kind and the Chinese standing well back. (South Korea might be a little aggrieved!)

    The problem with nukes is that they are so powerful that everyone is scared of them including their owners.

    However those who have only one or two of them, or even a dozen or so, and know that their enemies have much the same, aren't so scared. So think some of the former states of the USSR with longstanding disputes going a little mad. India versus Pakistan. Once they struck, unleashing everything they had presumably, they would then have to fall back on conventional weapons, and Lex baby could make a killing selling to both sides.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  15. AchiraC
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    AchiraC Member

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    Not quite sure if this is what you're looking for, but one resource that is often taken for granted is actually very scarce: fresh water. I imagine WWIII would be just around the corner when the global supply starts to run out and someone is hoarding what is left.

    good luck!
    Achira
     
  16. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    In 1914, a guy called Gavrilo Princip, a young Serbian rebel from the organisation "Young Bosnia", assassinated Franz Ferdinand of Austria. This lead to Austria declaring war on Serbia, which set off chain of events that lead to WWI. I think that type of scenario can work in any era, just change the protagonists. But you have to have the good guys and the bad guys, I think that strenghtens the narrative.
     
  17. cswillson
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    Blowing up a mosque in Detroit and leaving a NASCAR hat in the rubble.
     
  18. Gammer
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    Gammer Active Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions, they really gave my imagination a good boost.

    I'm probably going to go with a mixture of terrorism, cyberwarfare and causing as much paranoia and distrust between nations as possible.

    Using the electric villain Livewire, Luthor can have her unleash a massive EMP to the more developed nations like the U.K. or other European Union nations, then hack the computers and screw with their missiles, economy and the like.

    Using the shape-shifting powers the Parasite, Lex can have him infiltrate and assassinate key diplomats, and set off terrorist attacks under the guise of radical Islamist groups.

    Then with the invulnerable Metallo, Luthor can use him to make under the table deals, and make more forceful assertions.

    All this chaos and distrust would send the world into crisis mode, and Superman into overdrive as he tries to convince world leaders not to jump the gun. Many diplomats would turn to Supes for help with negotiations or bodyguarding since he's the only person they'd be willing to trust.

    Meanwhile as Clark Kent he would be looking for the 411 for these new villains and try to figure out how to beat them before things get worse. And all this stress is not good for anyone, not even the Man of Steel. So his performance in certain areas suffer while Luthor's pockets get fat.

    Might change around a few things but that's the general idea I'm going for.
     
  19. hippocampus
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    hippocampus Active Member

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    Wow - you rank your fave villains? Who ranks #1 and #2?
     
  20. JayClassical
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    JayClassical Member

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    Aliens.
     
  21. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    Actually it's not a person, a political movement or religion. It's a 'thing.'

    The item that will tip the balance is a common element--silver.

    Not just as precious metal or a commodity used as currency, but as a resource. Silver isn't as common an item as bauxite, however it's used in just about any item and manufacturing process you can name. Now in the computer age it's used every electronic device including cell phones, but also in common objects like catalytic converters.

    Silver is used in electroplating, in soldering, in nickel-silver alloys and some medicines.

    The turning point will come, and it's going to be quite soon, where our use outstrips our production. We're dangerously close now.

    We're not going to give up computers, but governments will not want to lose spy satellites, armaments, or ancillary support equipment. When governments get scared they get belligerent, and rather than cede power they start shooting.
     
  22. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    #1 The Joker from Batman
    #2 Kefka from FF-VI
    #3 Lex Luthor from Superman
    #4 Hannibal Lecter from The Silence of the Lambs
    #5 Michael Corleone from The Godfather

    My list goes up to 20 though :)
     
  23. tinylittlepixie
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    tinylittlepixie Member

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    I think things that seemingly start small would make a good plot device. The idea of cause and effect is a good one, something apparently innocuous setting off a chain reaction of events.

    Themes of oil and Islamic terrorism are high in people's minds just now, but I'm intrigued by the value people would place on other commodities, such as the notion of countries going to war over water in the near future. Egypt, for example, has previously indicated that they would be willingly to take significant action against any country that threatens the Nile in their region, so this could be a possible flashpoint.
     
  24. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    That, and add a touch of paranoia.

    You might not remember this, but one night Johnny Carson made a joke about consumer shortages. To make the matter sound ridiculous, he mentioned toilet paper.

    The next day, when consumers stripped the shelves of anything Charmin-ish, he had to tell the audience it was a joke. It still happens.

    Oprah sells books with a glance. Obama sells guns by the ton. Celebrities change the clothing styles of a nation by wearing something once. The idea of "being left behind" is strong juju medicine.
     
  25. Asaph Judea Wagner
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