World War III is a fictional event in the Left Behind series, believed to be the future expression of several apocalyptic Biblical passages. In the novels, it began 18 months after the start of the Tribulation with the second Seal Judgment. It was precipitated by former United States President Gerald Fitzhugh allying himself with various militia factions rebelling against the order of the Global Community head of state Nicolae Carpathia, which resulted in the destruction of major cities such as Washington, D.C. and New York City. While the initial attacks were largely ineffective, the disproportionate retaliation by the Global Community's armed forces was orchestrated by Carpathia with the aid of Rayford Steele from the airborne Condor 216. Following the initial militia efforts, much of the war was not so much an armed conflict as Nicolae's gleeful destruction of perceived enemies. Several other American cities were bombed by the GC, more likely for the GC leader's personal pleasure than for disposing of an actual threat.
After the war, all of America's citizens, as well as the citizens of the United Great Britain States, Wales, Scotland, and Egypt were taxed by the GC even more than those living in the other regions of the world. By order of Nicolae Carpathia, the GC appropriated the Alaskan oil fields. It is uncertain if all of Alaska was partitioned to the United Carpathian States or not. It is very likely the GC had seized the entire Strategic Petroleum Reserve in order to make the former United States more dependent on the New World Order.