French historian, political scientist and sociologist Emmanuel Todd believes a third world war began last year when Russia invaded Ukraine and the conflict is already on its way to escalating.
At age 25, Todd predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union based on data points such as infant mortality rates.
The 1976 prognostication came to fruition 15 years later when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. Todd has been taken seriously globally since.
His latest comments about a global conflict of an unimaginable scale are getting plenty of attention.
Todd recently told the French publication Le Figaro that Russian President Vladimir Putin underestimated the will of the people of Ukraine when he invaded that country. The result, the historian said, set off what has already become a global conflict.
“It’s obvious that the [Ukraine] conflict, which started as a limited territorial war and escalated to a global economic confrontation between the whole of the West on the one hand and Russia and China on the other hand, has become a world war,” Todd said.
The U.S. and NATO have played a crucial role in assisting the people of Ukraine, which is engaged in a conflict that will only escalate beyond its borders and already has, he said.
Tor both the West and Russia, Todd said, the conflict in Ukraine is now "existential."
“[From] their point of view, the Russians are in a war that is defensive and preventive," he told Le Figaro. "Because this is an existential question for them, they will strike back harder.”
The historian concluded the Biden administration has overestimated its power to police the conflict and is now bogged down in a situation where Ukraine does not simply walk away victorious – and the U.S. stands by the country.
“No more than Russia, [the United States] cannot withdraw from the conflict, they cannot let go,” Todd said. “This is why we are now in an endless war, in a confrontation whose outcome must be the collapse of one or the other.”
He also commented on Chinese aggression, saying Beijing has initiated a cold war with the West that will only benefit developing Asian countries to the detriment of Europe and the U.S.
The United States, according to Todd, is also disadvantaged because it relies on foreign visa workers for important jobs such as engineering.
The country lags behind Russia in students currently studying in the field and fills the gaps with students from China and India.
Meanwhile, Russia and China are hard at work developing new technology.
“It is a dilemma of the American economy: It can only face competition from China by importing skilled Chinese [labor],” Todd said.
According to the scholar, the U.S. and its allies are also disadvantaged in the ongoing conflict culturally, which will lead to a disconnect with countries currently on the sidelines.
“For the collective non-West, Russia affirms a reassuring moral conservatism,” he concluded. “When we look at the votes at the U.N., we see that 75 percent of the world does not follow the West."
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.