Why Is There So Much Turmoil Right Now? Understanding the Outbreak of Conflicts

Why Is There So Much Turmoil Right Now? Understanding the Outbreak of Conflicts

Ukraine. Gaza. Iraq. Syria.

The list of places erupting in conflict seems to grow each month, as unstable countries become entangled in wars over territory, power, resources & other reasons.

"We're in a cycle where international conflicts are becoming more the norm than the exception," Ilan Berman, vice president at the American Foreign Policy Council, told ABC News today. "In Iraq, in Palestinian territories, in Ukraine, there are a lot of hot spots in the world that are heating up."

p>Each conflict is unique in its origin, Berman & other foreign experts pointed out today when asked approximately the sudden surge in global conflicts. But there are underlying reasons we are seeing so many come to the surface now.

"The takeaway is that when you have global instability of this kind, it's usually a signal that the existing order is beginning to break down. The things that kept hostilities in check for a long time, those rules, those stabilizing powers, aren't really there anymore. Things are changing," Berman said.

A satisfactory example of this, he said, is when Russia invaded & annexed the Crimean peninsula in March despite protests from Western nations & the threat of punishment.

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"It was done, quite frankly, because the Russians thought they could obtain away with it without consequences from the U.S., & they were right. And that adventurism is more usual today," Berman said.

The conflict between Russia & Ukraine has escalated, & was highlighted Thursday when a missile struck down a commercial jet over Ukraine.

The rising tide of conflicts around the globe "isn't necessarily somebody's fault," he said, though America's withdrawal from Iraq, Afghanistan, & other foreign affairs has played a role. "There's far fewer variables for offensive guys to worry about, let's say."

Michael O'Hanlon, senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, disagreed, noting that the most severe conflicts in the world today have to be taken individually on their own terms.

"There are four or five key determinants or causes," he said.

O'Hanlon outlined the distinctive threads, which included what he called "violent rejectionism," as seen in various extremist Islamist groups, interstate competition for resources, historical grudges, & the quest to limit nuclear proliferation, such as in Iran & North Korea.

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"There's Sunni Islamist extremism, there's a Shia Islamist extremist component, the Iranian nuclear weapons components, Iran's willingness to assist extremist groups," O'Hanlon said, offering examples of different types of causes for conflicts. "The Chinese-Taiwanese issue, which has more dimensions of ongoing civil war, & the Japanese-Chinese as well as other regional issues which are more old fashioned competition for resources."

"I don't think they reduce to one cause that's distinctive to this moment in history", O'Hanlon said.

Politics & GovernmentUnrest, Conflicts & WarIlan BermanUkraine

Source: “ABC News”

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