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The Dawn of a New Era

A Look into the Possibility of a New Era of Worldwide Conflict
Two US warships sail back to port for supplies in the eastern Mediterranean. [7]

3:59 a.m. Eastern European Standard Time, border crossing between the Russian Federation-occupied Crimea and the Ukraine, February 24th, 2022. Ukrainian guards are alerted, and the station’s power and camera soon go dark after showing camouflaged soldiers walking over the border. A few hours after, Russian President Vladimir Putin announces the start of a “Special Military Operation” in Ukraine to out the “Nazi” government (run by a Jewish president) and install “freedom” again.[8]

The start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, starting the official Russo-Ukrainian War that had been simmering since the 2014 annexation of Crimea, has been seen as one of the major tipping points of the modern world’s conflicts. “You look at Ukraine, and the situation that…in a lot of ways resembles stuff that was taking place prior to World War 2,” US History teacher Mr. Kane stated, seemingly agreeing that the world is starting to regress, and conflicts increase, building to a climax. Conflicts continue to escalate around the world as tensions continue to build. The first full-scale war in Europe for the first time since World War II has affected the global security situation that had been at relative peace since the fall of the Soviet Union. The shake-up has also altered the perceptions of some of the more confibdent leaders of the world, seeing that military aggression can be once again used to solve issues and disputes.

Ukrainian service members fire a mortar in an exercise amid the ongoing war. [4]
On October 7th, 2023, the Hamas-led Palestinian terrorist groups unprovokedly attacked Israel, causing the deaths of 1,200 Israelis and the crippling, raping, kidnapping, and injuring of countless others. The conflict is yet another in the history of conflicts (many supported by Iran) centering around religion in the Middle East that has been ongoing since history began. This attack has prompted the entire region, which had been cooling down their figurative “heads,” to ramp up to several conflicts. In addition, the Iran-backed Houthi rebel group in Yemen’s attacks on Red Sea shipping in response to the Hamas attack has thrown the international economy into a more fragile state along with the oil price of the world skyrocketing.

In the South China Sea, Chinese aggression as well as their increasingly erratic behavior has made the situation in the Pacific tumultuous as well as the US’s military stance to change to a more Pacific focus, remilitarizing the US territorial islands in the Pacific. In addition, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), also called North Korea, has ramped up their nuclear missile program, further increasing tensions. DPRK and China’s aggression has made several countries to become closer and militarize more, such as Japan with expansion of their “Self-Defense-Forces.” India, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and the United States has been driven closer as a result to these countries’ aggression.

The world seems to be catching on fire, and after a point, it needs to be asked, is the World regressing into that of the late 20th century, full of war, political dispute, and democracy and freedom being scarce? All in all: Is the World on the cusp of a new era of violence?

“Throughout history, no matter how long you draw the line…we are either coming out of a war time period or moving towards a war time period.” Mr. Edmund, a Coronado English teacher said. The US is the only true World Superpower as well as only country with a truly global force projection capability and has been, along with her allies, the global keepers of peace for the last century. However, the public has become increasingly fed-up with the US getting involved in international conflicts, arguing for the US to focus more on internal issues. With the World’s keeper of peace becoming more and more passive, it has thus pushed the world into being less safe and moved more towards a war-time period.

Increasing political tensions, unsolved conflict issues, and a lessening of foreign focus support among the US population and government has led many to the see the US in a weak point and thus countries that would have stayed put have begun to lash out, using increasingly violent methods to fulfill their goals. And with the US not responding with appropriate and excessive force, these countries are encouraged to act more. Mr. Kane stated, “in general, with…things like this happening, and kind of us [the United States] …not taking the lead that we would have, save previous generations, that it’s opening the door for other autocratic governments to kind of have their thumb on certain things.”

In addition, tensions with the US and China had been getting better for the last half a century. But with the increasingly hostile stance China has on issues such as North Korean support, claiming Taiwan as their own, and their rampant military buildup and expansion of their nuclear arsenal, the entire situation in the South China Sea and the Pacific has become increasingly tense and relations with the US to plummet.

Chinese troops perform in a military exercise. [6]
After the fall of the Soviet Union, the people of the world saw the Cold War as being over and a new era of peace starting. In reality, as Mr. Edmund stated, “when the Soviet Union broke up, people thought the Cold War had ended. It kind of just took a nap…it has been reawakened” with China, Iran, and Russia’s increasingly hostile stance, a fact that no one is talking about and doesn’t seem to realize. We are still so close to total nuclear war, with the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock at the closest to midnight, or complete global catastrophe, seen often as nuclear war, then it has ever been since its creation in 1947.[5] The US and China are taking opposing sides, other countries taking sides, and steaming towards each other at full speed for a confrontation. “Hopefully it doesn’t” Mr. Kane stated, with Mr. Edmund adding, “Hopefully our leaders…[are] trying really hard to avoid that.” No matter how it is looked at, it’s possible that a new era of the Cold War has begun, the Silent War. We must be ever vigilant to try to deescalate conflicts or quickly solve conflicts before they start, and keep America the defender of freedom and shining beacon of liberty in this increasingly autocratic world.

Check out these sources for more information on World conflicts:

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