Fri 25 July 2014

World at War

Posted by. James Jackson This article was posted in World at War and tagged with World at War
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World at War...  What does that mean?

terran chronicles universe blogThis blog, like most of my others, was going to be on a rather safe topic. But with all the strife we have in the world right now, I could not in good conscience stick my head in the sand and ignore what is going on. With that being said I must warn you that this blog expresses my views and insights into the world's current events. For those who are not interested in this topic, please come back next month when I promise I will provide a more contemporary blog.

For those who are still here, I must reiterate that the contents of this blog are my own views only. Let me begin by explaining my title, according to Wikipedia's definition of what a World War is. "A world war is a war affecting most of the world's most powerful and populous countries. World wars span multiple countries on multiple continents, with battles fought in multiple theaters."
By this very definition, we are currently experiencing a World War. By the virtue of our technology, we in the western nations are not as directly affected as others.

I shall begin with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, a country that has been in political turmoil for many years. Soldiers from many of NATO's 28 member nations have died in their quest to unify this country under a peaceful banner. America, which has arguably the most powerful military force on the planet, is a key NATO member who has lost many soldiers in the ongoing conflict.

Its neighbor, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is constantly in conflict with various factions that live in what is called the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. This area borders Afghanistan, and is often the source of many battles. To add to Pakistan's woes, the Tehrik-e-Khilafat, a Pakistani terrorist organization, has pledged their allegiance to the new Islamic State.

Another area of contention is the Kashmir region. This region has been the site of three wars with India, and even to this day, is a heavy guarded piece of territory which is still claimed by both countries.

Relations between NATO members Pakistan and America, have been strained since the 2011 stealth raid, Operation Neptune Spear. This raid, which culminated in the death of Osama Bin Laden, was conducted in secret, and inside Pakistan's borders by American forces.

It is worth noting that even though both Afghanistan and Pakistan embrace western doctrine when it comes to elections and economics. Both countries also have a substantial Sunni populations, of which, some are extremist hard-line terrorists.

Syria and Iraq have been the source of much more intense fighting recently. An extremist group of Sunni Muslims, currently calling themselves the 'Islamic State', has recently announced that they are a caliphate. Under their religious leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, they have captured great swathes of territory from both countries, and are on a quest to expand their reach. Their true goals are mere speculation at this time.

The Gaza Strip is another area of ongoing conflict due to a group known as Hamas. This small country has recently increased its attacks against Israel, who has responded with overwhelming and deadly force. There is an overshadowing question of the 'Islamic States' involvement in the Gaza Strip. Are they supporting Hamas, taking territory from them, or are they not even there and the reports are merely speculation?

The Ukraine is another area of major concern, and not just because of the current human cost, but because it introduces another major power's military. The Russian military, though greatly reduced, is still a formidable force. The Ukrainian conflict risks putting America and Russian soldiers into direct conflict with each other. Russian planes have made close passes to American warships and aircraft which patrol the area. The escalation continues with America deploying a pair of B-2 bombers to the region.
Tensions have been especially high since the shooting down of the Malaysian Airlines plane. Sadly, this is not the first civilian plane to be shot down. In 2001, the Ukraine Military shot down a Russian civilian plane, while in1983, Russia shot down a Korean flight. Israel shot down a Libyan plane in 1973. These are just a few incidents where civilian planes have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The Korean peninsula is, as always, an unstable place. The country's leader, Kim Jong-un, is constantly threatening to attack South Korea, and expresses a constant hatred toward America. North Korea considers the deployment of the B-2 Bombers as a renewed threat to them, and claims it may launch nuclear missiles at Hawaii and Guam in retaliation. Will they attack during this escalating global violence, and more importantly, what is their current nuclear capability?

China is another major military power, one that recently put to sea an Aircraft carrier in its efforts to assert territorial claims over an island chain Japan controls. Both countries patrol this area, which has resulted in collisions at sea, and who knows how many close calls.
China claims a vast area of the South China Sea, which conflicts with claims by Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Brunei. This month China finally moved an oil rig, which was in waters contested by Vietnam, but China claims this removal is only temporary. Tensions with Taiwan, once an island in contention, seem to be simmering down as economic ties improve. However China has not given up its sovereignty claims.

This brings me to Japan, another major power in the world. This month, Japan changed its interpretation of Article 9, removing virtually all of the limitations on the country's military forces. This article had been enforced since the end of World War II. America has endorsed the decision, calling it an important step for Japan.

So here we have it. Conflicts are currently raging across the globe, and not only that, key participants are the world's most powerful countries. I have not even included the strife in Africa, which is as extensive, as it is ongoing.
With all of these issues around the world, I wonder, will they escalate? Or will the tensions subside? I feel that we are at a dangerous time right now. If cooler heads do not prevail, issues like the downing of the Malaysian airliner could flare up into full scale conflict.
Do we really want to try and explain to our children how World War III started? Would we be able to? Would we even survive it? These are the questions we should ask ourselves before we take an action from which there is no going back.

It is easier to destroy than to create, to hate differences instead of accept them, and to judge without thinking.

I offer this message of peace. It was put together for me last Easter by a great friend of mine and is more valid today than it was in April.


Take it easy mates.

James Jackson