“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
― Stephen R. Covey
It's doubtful that any nuclear powers will square off against each other in a traditional war for the next few centuries unless there is a dramatic change in weapons to make nukes useless - like a 99.9999% effective anti-missile system in combination with aircraft interception at the same level. Eventually this will happen but I don't see it for quite awhile. We're taking the first faltering steps but that level of cover is far, far away.
Other conflicts besides those are bound to happen, though. I just don't see the world getting it's act together anytime soon to agree to intervene in all cases of country/country war and agreement & intervention on civil wars is even farther off. So, yes, there will be traditional wars but likely not another world war with invasion(s) of nuclear power nations.
Mt. Rushmore: Three surveyors and some other guy.
Life goes on within you and without you. -Harrison
Hear the echoes of the centuries, Power isn't all that money buys. -Peart
After you learn quantum mechanics you're never really the same again. -Weinberg
As long as wars are fought for land, we will put boots on the ground.
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury." Attributed to Alexander Tytler
I hope not. I include undeclared war under that, as well.Will we ever fight a "traditional" war again?
I am utterly shocked that some people would even consider answering "no."
How naive can people possibly get? Of course we will fight a traditional war again. It's only a matter of time.
Ahhh, the old mutually assured destruction paradigm. That old chestnut.
Look, all it takes for the scales to tip is for some country to develop an anti-ICBM network. Reagan wanted to develop one back in the 80's with the "Star Wars" program, but the democrats (and the Russians) threw the brakes on it.
Nonetheless, it will be developed. Not if, but when. Either by us, or the Chinese, or the Russians, or someone else.... but it will be built. And at that point, the MAD concept no longer applies.
Second point - nobody has ever proven that nuclear weapons are powerful enough to "wipe out humanity." Frankly, I doubt they are. Sure, you were told this as a kid but that's because in order for MAD to work as a deterrent, people need to believe that nuclear war would lead to the end of the world.
While I think nuclear war would be utterly devastating, I think the effectiveness of nukes is overstated for obvious political reasons.
I answered no, for the US. The short answer is that the killing technology has reached a level of effectiveness that if we can identify a traditional large body of combatants, we can kill them all with technology from far enough away that any possible objective would be too expensive to try and take. Now there are some pretty dumb leaders out there, I'm sure somewhere there is a village that is currently missing its idiot, so you can't always bet of people being smart enough to see the obvious, but the big nations are usually led by an intelligent person. Historically wars were much smaller affairs than WW II, so the cost was much lower. With the Greeks, the Romans, and across Asia, the spoils of war were cost effective; what you got was worth more than what it cost you to take it. I don't think that is true anymore. Ask Japan or Germany. The answer is that on the grand scale, we are better off trying to get along and trade with each other. WW II changed everything, and the advances in weaponry such as laser guidance, drones, smart bombs, nuclear weapons, have only made the risk reward that much more heavily favor peace. We see small local conflicts in backward nations where the risk reward may be similar to ancient Greece or Rome, but among the big nations and global scale, no way. Our global warfare now will be economic in nature IMO, such as the Chinese use of industrial espionage to catch up to US technology for high tech manufacturing.
As things currently stand, it is highly unlikely.
But things change.
Sometimes I think we're alone. Sometimes I think we're not. In either case, the thought is staggering. ~ R. Buckminster Fuller