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Cold War to Hot War—World War 3

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ASPA as an organization.

By Bruce J. Carter
December 16, 2022

As tensions between the West and Russia continue to rise, many people fear the crisis in Ukraine could lead to a Hot War World War 3. Global leaders have warned that this situation could result in a bloody war with heavy civilian casualties. Apart from this crisis, the Iran women’s rights uprise could lead to a feminist uprising, which could lead to more harsh sanctions by the Western nations and could spiral Iran to expeditiously fast-track its nuclear ambition. On the other hand, the Chip War could result in another Cold War since the West and China have been battling to control the world’s most critical resource, semiconductor technology. Therefore, World War 3 is more likely to reach a tipping point due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and Chip War than the feminist uprising in Iran. 

Chip War Semiconductors

Microchips have become a critical shortage on which modern world powers rely on heavily. Currently, geopolitical, economic and military power depend on computer chips. Everything requires these semiconductor chips, including smartphones, microwaves and missiles. The Chip War will continue to intensify since China spends more capital importing chips than other products. It is investing billions in a chip-building program to compete with the West. This situation could lead to tensions between China and the West due to economic prosperity and military superiority. In this regard, semiconductors are critical for all technological devices to operate smoothly and promote technological advancements. 

The chip sector depends on accessing the world’s best talent. As a result, immigrants have influenced the growth of the U.S. chip sector based on their skills and knowledge in developing advanced technology. For example, Fairchild Semiconductor, which has led the commercialization of the chip sector, had two immigrants among its eight founders. In addition, immigrants from Korea and Egypt played a critical role in devising the technology that underlies most of the chips people use today. Similarly, Chinese semiconductor corporations depend on foreign talent to catch up with Western peers like Qualcomm and Intel. Since the United States understands the importance of semiconductor technology and foreign talent, it has taken various steps to hamper China’s ascendance in this sector. 


The Russia-Ukraine war is a multi-dimensional disaster that will have adverse implications, including the risk of World War 3. The current conflict has strained U.S.-Russia relations and increased the risk of a broader European conflict. Tensions will rise between neighboring NATO member states and Russia, likely involving the United States due to alliance security commitments. The war will also have broader ramifications for future partnerships on fundamental problems, such as global nuclear proliferation, counterterrorism and global economic security. Russia’s isolation has destabilized worldwide energy and resource markets, forcing it to seek sturdier strategic ties with U.S. enemies like China and North Korea. The conflict will cause global crises with military operations and violence, which hinder the distribution and delivery of global human resources and assistance. 

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has raised concerns about the possibility of World War 3 since King Jong Un wants to develop a nuclear arms initiative. The security dynamics in Northeast Asia have raised questions about Russia’s relationship with China and North Korea. China increased its military strength after Russia invaded Ukraine. This finding indicates a possibility of a new war despite the current war in Ukraine. 

Iran Women’s Rights Uprise

Iran’s protest movement is a feminist uprising that began with the demise of Mahsa Amini, who was detained for wearing an improper hijab, failing to comply with the Iranian mandatory head-covering requirement for women. The Guidance Patrol or morality police [which apparently is now dismantled] took her into custody on September 13, 2022, but she died three days later in the hospital. The public supported Amini’s family since witnesses saw her mistreatment in police custody. While protests began due to the hijab enforcement, they posed a threat to the theocratic regime in Iran. The struggle for women’s rights has taken radical forms since Amini’s death, as the protests against the mandatory hijab law have expanded and targeted the regime’s ideological taboos. 

Although the feminist uprising is less likely to lead to World War 3, it would raise a global conversation and has potential to encourage Iran to expedite their nuclear reactors/arms desires. The re-election of Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel’s foreign policy is transparent; it will not allow Iran to have nuclear reactors. Therefore, a Cold War to a Hot War is likely prevalent if they continue to be defiant and or divert its women’s rights attention.


Cold War to Hot War is likely to occur due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and Chip War because they lead to geopolitical tensions affecting Taiwan and China’s semiconductor production and ownership relationship. These tensions affect citizens’ well-being by hampering discussions on nuclear proliferation, political and economic stability and cybersecurity. However, the feminist uprising in Iran is less likely to cause World War 3 since they create a national and global discussion on women’s rights in society. 

Author: Bruce J. Carter recently is the Founder and CEO of People First Consulting Inc, a non-profit organization. He is a retired combat military Officer with over 25 years of ActiveDuty federal service. His last military assignment was at the Pentagon. He has a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration, with a concentration in Non-Governmental Organizations, and he’s co-authored a book Water Wars: Sharing the Colorado river, with Douglas W Cooper. He received his Executive Certificate from Harvard University in Public Policy: Social, Economic, and Foreign Policies and an Executive Certificate Hands-on Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University. Email: [email protected], [email protected], and Twitter: @BC_bcarter06

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