What does a peninsula, a man-made island, and about 40,000 people have in common?
Russia is still embroiled in a rather tenacious and vicarious fight over the Ukraine. Particularly, their interest in Crimea, which gives them access to the Black Sea and the shores of 5 different countries in the area. Despite their attempts to overthrow the Ukrainian government through supporting separatists, Russia’s intent remains all too clear. It goes without saying that the American force in Germany has been rather busy lately making a sizeable show of force across Eastern Europe as they conduct various and never-ending training operations to keep the Russians at bay. Not to be outdone at the home front, Russia has been staging their own impromptu war games to thump their chest right back at the US.
China has been building man-made islands in the South China Sea, which they lay claim to in direct opposition to Japan and Taiwan. Recent news suggests that because of the growing potential for armed conflict over this territorial dispute, China has moved artillery pieces on to the island in preparation.
To support our allies in South East Asia and the South Pacific, the US has placed a rather heavy focus towards the area, including additional foreign training rotations to various countries. The anticipation being that if something does go south, we will have a combat force nearby ready to react.
40,000 people just this year have tried crossing the Mediterranean Sea, as they flee from the ever growing violence in The Middle East and Northern Africa. Over 1800 have died trying to attempt it. Why is it worth their lives to leave the area on a dangerous course across the sea? ISIS. DAESH has been pushing their power outside of Iraq and into new areas, namely into places like Libya where the destabilized country has been easy pickings for the religiously motivated group of islamic extremists. It doesn’t help that since Benghazi, we have all but been uninvolved in Libya despite having facilitated the overthrow of its dictator prior to that. (Side note: For anyone stating we should have dipped out on Iraq early on, look at Libya to see what it could have become then. Or merely look at the recent loss of Ramadi to see that we certainly pulled out too soon.
What it boils down to is that all of these powers are going to cause one large headache for US. Things have been heating up for a while and they are starting to reach the point that it is becoming a Mexican stand off between a lot of allies. This has a very large potential to become World War 3 and Iran getting its way with the nuclear treaty doesn’t help matters at all (by the way, Tehran is on the Caspian Sea furthering the sea connection of troubles). Verifying all of this, a recent statement from a senior member of NATO expressed his expectation that war will break out by the end of the summer.
The global future looks bleak. Now may be the time to start mentally and physically preparing yourself for the rigors of combat. Peace may prevail yet, though in my opinion, if it were going to, it would have already.
Stay hidden; stay safe.