There are a couple of spots and/or situations that could very well be the next location for an major armed conflict……
First there is the chest thumping on China…..right now it appears to be a new Cold War but could that change?
Washington appears to have decided to engage in a new cold war with China. The demand that Beijing close its consulate in Houston is the latest salvo on this front—reciprocated by China ordering the closure of the U.S. consulate in Chengdu—with every step increasing the possibility of stumbling into a military conflict between the world’s two largest economies. An immediate policy course-correction may be the only thing that can pull Washington and Beijing back from the brink.
To be clear, China has engaged in behaviors antithetical to U.S. interests in recent years. It has long been tepid on combating intellectual property theft. It has unequivocally said that it is willing to use force to solve the “Taiwan problem.” It has reversed course on promised freedoms for Hong Kong residents. Plus, Beijing’s initial attempts to hide the coronavirus facilitated the virus’s spread. But there is an effective way—and a destructive way—to deal with such issues. Washington appears to have chosen the latter.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in London in July trying to “build out a coalition” against China. The intent, Pompeo said, is to “work collectively to convince the Chinese Communist Party that it is not in their best interest to engage in this kind of behavior.” Prior to this visit—and before ordering China to close its consulate in Houston—the United States had already taken inflammatory actions against China, including removing Hong Kong’s special trading status, sanctioning Chinese officials, blaming China for the fallout over the coronavirus, increasing naval activity to challenge China’s claims in the South China Sea.
Next is an old reliable foe for the US….Iran……and October looks like the perfect month for a new conflict…..
Was Donald Trump’s January 3rd drone assassination of Major General Qasem Soleimani the first step in turning the simmering Cold War between the United States and Iran into a hot war in the weeks before an American presidential election? Of course, there’s no way to know, but behind by double digits in most national polls and flanked by ultra-hawkish Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Trump is a notoriously impetuous and erratic figure. In recent weeks, for instance, he didn’t hesitate to dispatch federal paramilitary forces to American cities run by Democratic mayors and his administration also seems to have launched a series of covert actions against Tehran that look increasingly overt and have Iran watchers concerned about whether an October surprise could be in the cards.
Lastly the next possibility may be over a resource and not anything else…..
Disputes over fisheries could spark the next war. The Indonesian government is blowing up foreign vessels found to be fishing illegally. In the Gulf of Aden, fishing vessels are conduits for arming rebel and terrorist groups. In Latin America, illegal fishing and the drug trade are linked. In the South China Seas, territorial conflict between the Philippines, Vietnam, China, and other regional nations is inflaming tensions over fishing grounds and increasing the risk of major conflict. It is important to better understand the causes and consequences of fisheries conflict – including which ones could ignite armed disputes and which will fizzle out.
One Earth Future (OEF) today announced the creation of the Fisheries Conflict Research Consortium (FCRC) to investigate this issue and answer key questions relating to fisheries conflict, marine resource sustainability, and national security.
Of course there are conflicts all over the globe and at any time one or more could devolve into a shooting war….and IST will be watching….so you do not have to…..
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