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Background is an eternally interesting subject, yet one point of it that actually grabs me is substitute historical past, that small query with never-ending percentages: What if? loads of the area might be absolutely replaced if pivotal occasions had long gone a special means – the following you could get pleasure from ten histories we haven’t lived, yet may perhaps simply have performed so…

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They’re no longer on trigger alert towards each other like they were during the Cold War. I think the most likely scenario that we’d see today is the use of a dirty bomb, or a rogue nuke, or a smaller nuke, and I think it would be similar to 9/11 except on a dramatically vaster scale. That being said, I can also see India descending into war, and I can easily see Pakistan losing some of its weapons and those falling into the hands of non-state actors and being used. I personally expect in my lifetime to see another nuclear weapon used, and it’s going to be a terrorist group or non-state actor setting it off.

Russia had its own problems. It had already had its minor revolution, the uprisings of 1905, leading to political reforms and the creation of a Russian parliament, the Duma. If France is defeated in 1914, Russia probably makes peace with Germany and Austria-Hungary fairly quickly. What basis that will be made on is very hard to say at the moment, but it will almost certainly have been a limited Russian defeat. But what happens after that is not particularly connected with the war; it is the strain of fighting the war over the three-year period that precipitates the Russian political and economic collapse, and without that the idea of a Russian revolution in the way it actually happened is not a certainty.

One is that it doesn’t have a plan for the genocide of the Jewish population of Europe – at least we don’t think it would have – and it doesn’t have a plan for global domination. With those two exceptions, you get a very nasty, racist, expansionist state with enough power in terms of economic and political power to dominate Europe, which means it can do something no power had ever been able to do: it can afford to have an extremely large and extremely good army, and it can also afford to have an extremely good navy, large enough to defeat the Royal Navy.

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All About History: What If…

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