Our world has become a much more dangerous place since World War II. Inappropriate responses to bad behavior by rogue nations have set the stage for continuing strife and conflict. The two most troublesome categories of global risk are the proliferation of nuclear weapons and terrorism.
Nuclear proliferation is the deadliest threat to mankind. A global nuclear confrontation is too horrible to even consider. Fortunately the only players that could initiate such a calamity would be the U.S., China and Russia. All three are familiar with and appreciative of the major deterrent, mutual assured destruction.
Because advanced nations did not propose and implement international laws banning the development of nuclear weapons over the years, deliverable weapons of mass destruction are now in the hands of unstable countries including India, Pakistan and North Korea.
Exacerbating the nuclear threat are recent decisions by the U.S. and certain allies that paved the way for Iran to build a nuclear bomb. This dubious diplomatic ploy has greatly destabilized the Middle East and increased the possibility of a regional nuclear confrontation between Iran and Israel. Moreover it’s likely that other countries nearby will seek to obtain a nuclear capability in self-defense.
The other principal risk of a regional nuclear war relates to the actions of North Korea. For some reason China has not demanded North Korea end its nuclear development. The crazed leader of North Korea could direct its missiles at China or others in the Pacific Basin in a fit of rage. The U.S. is deeply concerned about this situation because it has treaties with South Korea and Japan, sworn enemies of North Korea. Any attack by North Korea against our allies would evoke a strong response from the U.S.
In recent years failed diplomatic efforts by the U.S. have paved the way for religious terrorism. The inability of several presidents to negotiate a pathway to peace for Israel and its neighbors has been one of the greatest failures in the region.
The leaders of the two competing religious sects, Iran and Saudi Arabia, are stoking the Sunni/Shia centuries-old conflict. The combatants always use the unsettled Palestinian conflict to justify seemingly unrelated actions against each other, a very unusual ploy since both parties pray to Allah.
Discontent in the Arab world has spread globally. The Arab Spring has fomented bloody changes in regimes around the world. Revolutions in lesser developed countries that begin with a demand for democracy (a political pipe dream in most cases) and religious freedom always seems to morph into violent conflict that is religious based involving adherents of Islam.
Now we are witnessing an absurd call for religious orthodoxy that begun with civil war in places like Iraq and Syria. These conflicts were initiated by Al Qaeda and then continued by the more violent ISIS group. The next stage of this phenomenon included indoctrination of new ISIS recruits among the millions of people with no hope in both developed and undeveloped countries.
A great derivative product of radical Islam has been the mass exodus of innocents in the Middle East. The migration of abused people began in Syria. Millions sought refuge from the civil war in the country by crossing into neighboring countries like Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. The number of migrants grew into the millions and a humanitarian crisis ensued. Now these immigrants are seeking passage to Europe and to other countries including the U.S. As an aside it’s difficult to vet these immigrants to determine whether they have been indoctrinated by radical elements.
The mass exodus of so many people causes great political and economic stress. Any country faced with more than one million new aliens, such as Turkey, would have a difficult time providing the most basic services much less assimilation of the interlopers into their population.
The point to be made is that one diplomatic failure after another has created a global crisis of epic proportions. Peace has been totally elusive in the Middle East. Unhappy and disenfranchised people are resorting to religion for comfort and strength, and are bombarded with radical ideology that vilifies others who have good lives. The result is terrorism and the murder of innocent people.
The path ahead is problematic. The U.S. and other nations have emboldened terrorists and anarchists. Overpowering these elements with military power is fraught with danger as collateral damage will be unavoidable. Syria is a case in point. Hundreds of thousands of innocents have already been killed during its bloody civil war.
The great nations of the world must join together to end nuclear proliferation beginning with Iran and North Korea. At the same time radical elements in the Middle East and elsewhere must be crushed before they export more pain and suffering to peace-loving countries.
President Donald Trump must serve as the leader of the free world. U.S. isolationism is not advisable. And a peace treaty between Israel and Palestine must be negotiated very soon.