World War Three has become a very serious threat, a historian has warned
Harold James, of Princeton University, said Donald Trump’s election and the Brexit vote showed people were losing faith in globalisation and could result in a new world conflict.
He told Sky News: “I think a world war is absolutely a serious threat.
“In that sense I think the aftermath of 1907 is as interesting as the 1930s.
Pro-Russian troops on patrol near the Ukraine border
I think a world war is absolutely a serious threat
“Because after 1907 the foreign ministries, defence ministries, intelligence agencies started to operationalise information – to think that information was essential to the control of military events – and there was a kind of arms race in terms of communications control.
“And we’re seeing that kind of arms race at the moment I think.”
Many social commentators compare today’s political landscape to 1930s prior to the outbreak of World War Two and Professor James said such views were not too wide of the mark.
Donald Trump's election signals a switch from globalisation
He said: “They are very scary comparisons but I think it is a fair comparison and you can see something that is analogous to the story of the 1920s and the 1930s.
“That is the parties in the political middle and the centre are on the whole in favour of openness, in favour of trade and in favour of migration, but they’re squeezed from both the right and the left.”
He said the decline of globalisation had been a precursor for past global conflicts.
Nato troops on manoeuvres in Lithuania 4,000 NATO troops take part in Lithuania’s largest exercise near Russia’s border Mon, November 28, 2016
Eleven NATO countries have sent 4,000 troops to Lithuania, the largest Baltic nation, to participate in this year’s Iron Sword exercises. The war games are meant to test the country’s ability to rapidly deploy a large number of troops.
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Members of the U.S. 173rd Airborne Brigade fire blanks from a machine gun during a simulated attack
He said: “We’re swinging back again from an era when everybody thought globalisation was inevitable, to a period when people think there’s really a big problem with globalisation.
“And more and more governments, but also political movements, commentators, people on the street are thinking that globalisation just isn’t working.
“I think the movement at the moment is particularly aimed against migration.”
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