World War Three?
Just a week had passed since the beginning of 2020 when the United States and Iran stared the beginning of a political crisis, of dimensions yet to be seen. The assassination of Qasem Soleimani, head of the Quds Force unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran, at the hands of US forces, unleashed panic.
After years of constant tension between the two countries, This event was perceived, by many, as one of catastrophic consequences. The Third World War hashtag became a trend in social networks. However, for others, it was just the inevitable result and another demonstration of the terrible strategy of the Trump administration for the Middle East, a region in which the conflict has lasted for years. Or even a simple electoral maneuver.
Both governments are calculating the following steps. And although the US government has declared that it aims to avoid a war. This event reflects the current state of the growing chaos of the global system. And also of the current lack of diplomatic strategy of the US government, which is beginning to take its toll and will certainly have a great impact on the situation of the Middle East and in the global economy
On the other hand, the conflict between the United States and the Persian Gulf is not an isolated phenomenon. There are several conflicts around the world whose development over the next few years may depend on the stability of the global system. These are, according to analysts, some of the high-risk conflicts that we should pay attention to this 2020.
- United States – Iran
The conflict of the moment has derived from the increase of tensions between the governments of both countries since the administration of Donald Trump. In 2018, the Trump administration withdrew from the Iranian nuclear agreement. After that, Iran took a free letter and started to violate the agreement increasingly. The United States began a series of unilateral sanctions against the country.
This culminated in a series of direct provocations and growing conflict in the Persian Gulf. Currently, these have reached a critical point with the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, who was one of the most important political leaders of the Iranian government. The Iranian government didn’t take the attack lightly and has vowed for harsh revenge.
- India – Pakistan
Tensions between India and Pakistan over the territory of Kashmir, have lasted for decades. Although the situation had remained mostly stable, until 2019 when the tensions resurged and are expected to continue escalating.
After a suicide attack against Indian paramilitaries in the region. The Indian government sent for the first time in decades, an airstrike. Following this, the Narendra Modi government revoked the autonomy status of the states of Jammu and Kashmir. At the same time, that access to telecommunications was blocked and several prominent political figures in the region were arrested.
The unilateral and illegal decision taken by the Indian government has generated great discontent in Islamabad and has exacerbated nationalist sentiments in the region. If the situation would continue this way and an agreement isn’t reached, a military conflict could arise.
- Afghanistan – EU
After the start of negotiations between the Trump administration and the Taliban insurgency, the withdrawal of US forces in Afghanistan seemed to be finally close. However, the abrupt withdrawal of the US government from the negotiations, after an alleged attack on US forces, the violence in the region will increase even more.
The war in Afghanistan is currently the longest fought by the United States. It has lasted 18 years, and the human costs have been enormous. Even with that, now the ceasefire does not seem to be close. In this context, the Trump administration, once again, has shown not to have an effective strategy to deal with these conflicts.
In addition to the events in Iran, everything seems to indicate that conflicts in the region will continue to increase, and the end of military interventions does not seem to be near.
- Burkina Faso
While in the Middle East, the struggle between the Islamic state and the West has managed to contain it to a certain point. In Africa, the story is different. Jihadism continues to expand in countries such as Burkina Faso, where terrorist attacks are increasing since 2015.
Violence continues to expand and displace the population of the north of the country. Also, the risk of this conflict could involve well beyond the country’s inhabitants. The strategic position of Burkina Faso could serve as a basis for jihadist groups to continue to penetrate neighboring countries such as Benin, Ivory Coast, and Ghana. Thus increasing the risk of more significant regional conflicts.