For the past four months, US voters have been focused primarily on domestic issues, as the upcoming Presidential election promises to be one of the most hotly contested. Politics has been at the forefront of most people’s minds, particularly as cities around the country have been beset by protests, riots, and looting.
Many American voters are looking warily at what is happening in these cities, hoping that civil unrest doesn’t come to their hometowns. And that inward focus has kept many Americans in the dark about what is happening abroad.
It’s certainly understandable to be focused on domestic issues. After all, if Democrats take power in November, the freedoms that we enjoy will be under attack in a way that they haven’t ever been before. But there are flashpoints around the world that could flare up at a moment’s notice, leading to major power conflict or even a new world war.
Armenia and Azerbaijan
The latest crisis occurring is the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the contested area of Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia is accusing Turkey of sending fighters and weaponry to support Azerbaijan. If conflict grows too great, Armenia could call on Russia, with whom it has a defense pact. A Russo-Turkish war can’t be ruled out in that instance.
Saudi Arabia and Yemen
Saudi Arabia has long been at war in Yemen, seeking to defeat the Houthi rebels. But the conflict has taken a dramatic turn this year, as the Houthis have launched ballistic missiles and drones at Riyadh on a number of occasions. The US is fully embroiled in this conflict through its support of Saudi Arabia and the Yemeni government. Were the Houthis to successfully threaten Saudi Arabia, it could prompt further US intervention in an attempt to keep world oil markets functioning.
China and India
China and India have been sparring for months over disputed territory in Kashmir. After China objected to India building a road in the Galwan River valley, a military conflict broke out, resulting in the deaths of dozens of soldiers on either side. China appears not to want to back down.
This isn’t the first time these two powers have taken up arms against each other, but with both now nuclear-armed, even a minor conflict could turn into a significant war.
China and Taiwan
Perhaps most pressing is the conflict between China and Taiwan. China has already moved to more or less fully assimilate Hong Kong, reneging on its agreement with the UK to leave the “one country, two systems” approach in place for at least 50 years. Now China is acting threateningly toward Taiwan, buzzing the country with aircraft and carrying out missile tests.
With China becoming increasingly belligerent in its territorial claims, any conflict with Taiwan would almost surely bring the United States into the fray, and could spark a world war between the two powers.
As you can see, the US isn’t the only country beset by conflict. And if we get too focused on our internal struggles, we may forget to pay attention to what’s going on in the rest of the world until it’s too late. That’s why it’s important to notice what’s happening elsewhere and, if it’s in our interest, try to nip those other conflicts in the bud before they spiral out of control.