World War 3?

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World War 3?

Ellie Hood, Editor-in-Chief

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If you spend any time on the internet, you’ve probably seen them: the thousands upon thousands of internet memes talking about the start of World War 3 and a possible draft. It’s unlikely that that World War 3 will be starting any time soon, and even less likely that we will have a draft, but these memes aren’t coming from nowhere.

So, where are they coming from?

Back in 2015, the U.S. agreed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the Iran Nuclear Deal. Signed by six countries, this deal lifted “crippling economic sanctions” on Iran in exchange for heavy restrictions on their nuclear program. (The restrictions were designed to ensure international security). The most impactful and most heavily emphasized restriction was the limits placed on Iran’s uranium enrichment operations. In order to be used at all, uranium has to be enriched. However, it only needs to be enriched 3-4% in order for it to be used for nuclear power plants. By limiting Iranian uranium enrichment to 3.67%, this prevents them from coming anywhere close to weapons-grade enrichment, which is about 90%.

Workers at uranium enrichment plant in Iran

For about four years, the deal stood, but on May 18, 2018, President Trump officially withdrew the United States from the Iran Nuclear deal. President Trump believed that the Iran Nuclear deal was a “one-sided deal” that “didn’t bring calm, didn’t bring peace.” The other countries in the deal–China, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany–scorned the United States, but Iran agreed to continue abiding by the restrictions. Despite Iran’s willingness to remain restricted, President Trump supplemented the withdrawal with the imposing of massive sanctions in an effort to force Iran to negotiate a new deal.

Indignant, Iran responded with attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf in May 2019, a U.S. drone in June 2019, and the Saudi oil fields in September 2019. The gravity of these attacks were exacerbated by Iranian protestors who lead protests against the American government, chanting “Death to America.” Soon after these attacks, the U.S. led an airstrike on Iranian weapons depots in Iraq and Syria. Then, on December 31st, 2019, the Iranian protesters stormed the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, still chanting “Death to America.” The protesters smashed windows and vandalized the rooms and burned the reception area to nothing. The protestors knew full and well that an attack on a countries embassy is like attacking the country itself.

The reception area of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq after the attack.

Enraged, the U.S. responded on January 3rd, 2020 with a airstrike that killed top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. It was a win for the U.S., as General Soleimani had plans to attack U.S. diplomats and service members in Iraq, however, it was the last straw for Iran.

In response to the death of their beloved General, Iran officially pulled out of the Iran Nuclear Deal. They can now stock up on and enrich uranium as much as they like, giving them the freedom to develop nuclear weapons. Shortly after, NBC News Foreign Correspondent tweeted from Qom, Iran saying, “Very very unusual to see a red flag flying over holy mosque of Jamkaran in Qom, Iran’s holiest city. It’s is almost always blue. The red flag symbolises revenge.”

The red flag symbolizing revenge over the holy mosque in Qom, Iran.

Since the U.S. airstrike, there have been no other attacks. Now, it is a waiting game to see what Iran will do next.

So, will there be a World War 3?

It’s not entirely impossible, but probably not. While the U.S. is part of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), it is unlikely that any other NATO countries will aid us in attacking Iran. Moreover, it is unlikely that the other countries that were part of the Iran Nuclear Deal will help us either. Other countries that might possibly be involved are Iraq and Syria, but they would most likely aid Iran since they are under strong Iranian influence. If there is a war, it would most likely just between the U.S. and Iran.

As for the draft, it is even more unlikely that we will have a draft. There are currently 1.2 million Americans enlisted in the military, in comparison to Iran’s 398,000 militia men. (In other words, we already have more than enough manpower to take down Iran’s military). Additionally, the Gulf War and the War in Afghanistan, both very large scale wars, did not call for a draft.

Despite this fact, everyone is wondering: What happens when there is a draft? Who exactly gets drafted? How do you avoid a draft?

At the age of 18, all males who are American citizens are required to register for Selective Service. However, this does not mean that you will be drafted if and when the time comes. High school students can request that their drafting be postponed until graduation. Additionally, if you have flat feet, bunions, suffer from severe chronic eye infections, a heart condition, asthma, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, bum knees, are overweight, or are addicted to drugs/alcohol, there is a large chance that the military will consider you unfit for combat.

Do you qualify for the draft? Let us know in our latest poll.

 

Citations and Photo Credits

Arouzi, Ali, et al. “Huge Crowds Mourn Soleimani in Iran as Iraqi Leader Set to Ask U.S. Troops to Leave Iraq.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 6 Jan. 2020, www.nbcnews.com/news/world/thousands-mourn-soleimani-iran-amid-new-threats-trump-n1110536.

Burman, Max, and The Associated Press. “Iran Pulling out of Nuclear Deal Commitment after U.S. Strike That Killed Soleimani.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 5 Jan. 2020, www.nbcnews.com/news/world/iran-pulling-out-nuclear-deal-following-u-s-strike-killed-n1110636.

Helsel, Phil, et al. “U.S. Airstrike Kills Top Iran General, Qassem Soleimani, at Baghdad Airport.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 4 Jan. 2020, www.nbcnews.com/news/world/airstrike-kills-top-iran-general-qassim-suleimani-baghdad-airport-iraqi-n1109821.

“Iran Nuclear Deal: Key Details.” BBC News, BBC, 11 June 2019, www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-33521655.

Rempfer, Kyle. “Soldiers Killed by Bomb Blast in Afghanistan Identified.” Army Times, Army Times, 13 Jan. 2020, www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2020/01/12/soldiers-killed-by-bomb-blast-in-kandahar-identified/.

Shesgreen, Deirdre. “’Dangerous Stalemate’: Attack on U.S. Embassy in Iraq Part of Iran’s Escalating Aggression.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 3 Jan. 2020, www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2020/01/02/us-embassy-attack-iraq-shows-trumps-quandary-us-iran-escalation/2796231001/.