When will be the next "Great Power" war?

Your submission is now in Draft mode. Once it's ready, please submit your draft for review by our team of Community Moderators. Thank you!

Question

A great power is a nation generally considered to have large amounts of military might and influence. While there is no established definition, for the purpose of this article, a great power is one of the top 10 nations by military spending according to the most recent report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (see latest report here). As of 2020, the great powers are therefore the United States, China, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan and South Korea.

While great power wars have declined greatly over time, some have argued that we should assign considerable probability to the prospect in the coming decades. In his post Big War Remains Possible Robin Hanson writes

The world is vast, eighty years is a long time, and the number of possible global social & diplomatic scenarios over such period is vast. So it seems crazy to base predictions on future war rates on inside view calculations from particular current stances, deals, or inclinations. The raw historical record, and its large long-term fluctuations, should weigh heavily on our minds.

A great power is said to be "at war" with another great power, if any of the following are true:

  • One nation has formally declared war on another.

  • One nation is considered by the international community to be occupying territory claimed by the other AND there has has at least 250 casualties resulting from when the leaders of one nation ordered a strike on the other nation's military personnel.

  • High quality media sources consistently describe the relationship between the two nations as "at war."

For the purpose of this question, a great power is defined as one of the top 10 nations by military spending according to the most recent report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

The date of a great power war is determined by the first date any of the above become true. When will be the next war between the great powers?

Make a Prediction

Prediction

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. All of your predictions came after the resolution, so you did not gain (or lose) any points for it.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. You earned points up until the question resolution, but not afterwards.

This question is not yet open for predictions.

Current points depend on your prediction, the community's prediction, and the result. Your total earned points are averaged over the lifetime of the question, so predict early to get as many points as possible! See the FAQ.

Metaculus help: Predicting

Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.

The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available.

The displayed score is split into current points and total points. Current points show how much your prediction is worth now, whereas total points show the combined worth of all of your predictions over the lifetime of the question. The scoring details are available on the FAQ.

Thanks for predicting!

Your prediction has been recorded anonymously.

Want to track your predictions, earn points, and hone your forecasting skills? Create an account today!

Track your predictions
Continue exploring the site