WW3 Has Already Started | Opinion

The following is a lightly edited transcript of remarks made by Jason Fields during a Newsweek episode of The Debate about World War 3. You can listen to the podcast here:

My worry is more whether we're actually in a war right now — it's a slow moving war, in a sense. People are being starved. Prices are actually going up in the United States continually for basic staple goods. It's directly caused by an enemy. What does it mean to be at war? If it's not someone directly attacking your economy, directly attacking the whole world? I mean, the actual bodies are in Ukraine, but the rest of us are suffering along with it. I think that we don't know whether it's gonna go from cold to hot. I think that's really the biggest question right now. The United States is actively sending weapons to people in Ukraine. That means that indirectly, the United States is actually killing Russian kids. I'm not saying there's necessarily a problem with that. What I am saying is that you have to realize what's actually going on, because we're also talking about cyber conflicts, right? When you actually knock someone's generators offline, or if you knock off someone's centrifuges, like Israel did in Iran with U.S. help, does that mean you're at war? If someone dies because you turned off the power somewhere and they were on life support, are you at war?

nuclear bomb
Stock image of a nuclear bomb mushroom cloud. New research predicts that in the aftermath of a nuclear war, crop production will be severely impacted. iStock / Getty Images Plus

I think that that is part of the problem, and what my piece [for Newsweek] was trying to get at in some ways: it's a huge gray area. We don't really know. And when I think about a world war, it's not just prices here; in some ways the United States is better prepared to deal with things like that, simply because we're richer than other places. That doesn't mean everybody's rich; don't take me to be saying that, but it's not the same thing as some of the poorer African countries where grain prices are spiking and people are already starting to go hungry. I mean, that's involving Africa, that's involving Asia, United States. It really is all around the world. That's what I'm thinking, anyway.

Jason Fields is a deputy opinion editor at Newsweek, an author, and co-host of the Angry Planet podcast. TWITTER: @jasonqfields

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.