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The biggest threat to the stability of the world in the next 10 years comes from the risk of international conflict, according to the 10th edition of the Global Risks report, which is published today. The report, which every year features an assessment by experts on the top global risks in terms of likelihood and potential impact over the coming 10 years, finds interstate conflict with regional consequences as the number one global risk in terms of likelihood, and the fourth most serious risk in terms of impact. In terms of likelihood, as a risk it exceeds extreme weather events (2), failure of national governance systems (3), state collapse or crisis (4) and high structural unemployment or underemployment (5). (World Economic Forum, 2015)
World War II was one of the defining events of the 20th century and this international conflict played out across Europe, the Pacific, the Middle East, Africa and Asia; it even reached as far as North America and mainland Australia. The war had a variety of short- and long-term political, economic, social and environmental impacts.