How a domino-effect triggers a global war


Through the United States’ dubious decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a domino tile is added to the already fragile international order.

The System – consisting of interacting societies (states) and communities, and their interactions with the environment on which they depend – increasingly resembles a global network of connected ‘critical issues’; issues between states and/or between communities that are on the verge of escalating into open conflict; war in the case of issues between states.

Because of the connection – linkage – between issues (because for example, the issues involve the same rival states), the escalation of a particular critical issue into war, can trigger a connected critical issue to also develop into open conflict.

Depending on the structure of the network of connected critical issues, a single incident can cause a chain-reaction, and cause a systemic  – that is a global – war.

The moment the network of critical issues spans the System, the System is in a critical condition and is highly susceptible for a systemic war. In case the System is critical, a single – even small – incident can trigger a massive response, a systemic war.

The start of the First World War (1914-1918) – the third systemic war – shows how this mechanism works: The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo 28 June 1914 – a relatively ‘small’ incident – produced a systemic response.

It is also possible to compare the network of critical issues with ‘connected’ domino tiles, in which a domino tile represents a critical issue: When a domino tile falls, it sets in motion a chain reaction.

My research shows, that the System produces war cycles, which have a typical (similar) life cycle: Initially, following the implementation of a ‘new’ international order, the System is still able to regulate tensions and to solve issues between states. However, at a certain point in time – when the tipping point of the international order (relatively stable period) is reached – the capacity of the international order to regulate tensions and solve issues becomes problematic: instead of tensions being released and issues being solved, they accumulate in the System. This ‘regime’, I refer to as the high connectivity regime of the relatively stable period (international order).

During the period 1495-1945, the System (with Europe as its dominant core) produced four accelerating war cycles, that show this typical behavior.

At present, data-analysis shows that since 2011, the System is in the high connectivity regime of the fifth – first global (1945-….) – war cycle. The System is now developing a network of critical issues, which increasingly spans the (now global) System.

Criticality of the System – the collapse of the current international order (United Nations) is just a matter of time.

The United States’ latest misguided decision – to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – adds more tensions and another domino tile to the already fragile System. A domino effect has become more likely. In the next article, I will discuss this issue in more detail.