Regions at high risk of war in 2022: USA, China, Russia, Ukraine, Africa
The year 2021 was full of many events and conflicting relationships, especially the continuation of the Covid-19 pandemic and its variants, economic difficulties and changes in human life around the world. Crises between the USA-China, China-Taiwan, USA-Russia, Russia-Ukraine, Poland-Belarus and Azerbaijan-Armenia and the chaotic end of the American and NATO military presence in Afghanistan, the problem of illegal immigration to Europe, former US President Donald Trump ‘s supporters storming the Congress building that stunned the world and much more…
But perhaps the most distinctive feature of last year was the repeated talk of a global war, particularly the possibilities of regional wars between the Western camp on the one hand and Russia or China on the other. However, it seems that the confrontational nature of peoples is getting in the way of normalization, and economic greed is still at the forefront of relations between states. Even reciprocal nuclear elements do not constitute a sufficient deterrent to prevent wars.
In the lines below, we shed light on the most obvious thorny issues and hotspots that are not extensive but are likely to develop into wars that will inevitably be huge…
The world is forgetting that there has been a war in eastern Ukraine since 2014 between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists. The war began after Ukraine’s pro-Moscow president, Viktor Yanukovych, was overthrown with Western support. Russian President Vladimir Putin responded by annexing Crimea and supporting separatists in eastern Ukraine’s Donbass region. Fearing a military defeat, Ukraine signed two incomplete peace agreements (Minsk Agreement) in the Donbas.
The truce that Putin and Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky, who took office in 2019, agreed on with the promise of bringing peace, collapsed. In the spring of 2021, Russian leader Vladimir Putin deployed more than 100,000 troops to the Ukrainian border, then withdrew many weeks after meeting with US President Joe Biden. However, Russia later mobilized forces again.
What worries Ukrainians is that the US-led Western countries are doing nothing but waving the stick of economic sanctions and conducting some maneuvers and military exercises in the Black Sea in response to the overt Russian threat. In addition, the Russian President may avoid invading Ukraine in the near future, but may be ready at any time to strengthen his support for the separatists in eastern Ukraine, thereby raising the conflict there to the level of a real war.
USA and China
Eyes inevitably turn to the constantly strained relations between the world’s two largest economies, the USA and China. Incompatibility and competition in trade relations are manifested in a geo-economic race that must take on security and perhaps military dimensions.
In this context, Washington hastened to finalize the AUKUS strategic agreement with Australia and Britain after its withdrawal from Afghanistan. The aim is to control the sea routes in the south of China. With this agreement, the United States will provide Australia with nuclear submarines to strengthen its military presence in this region against Chinese ambitions.
2021 was the year of victory for the Taliban movement, which quickly took control of Afghanistan. The return of the Taliban movement to power was not surprising. In early 2020, Washington signed an agreement with the Taliban to withdraw American forces, and with them, allied forces from the country after 21 years.
In line with the West’s acknowledgment of the fait accompli, all Afghans were constrained by the freezing of assets abroad and the suspension of vital aid that provided them with minimal living necessities.
The Taliban currently controls Afghanistan, but this complex country, threatened by its ethnicity, sensitive geographical location and the presence of Daesh, leaves it vulnerable to the possibility of a civil war that will soon attract foreign interventions.
More than a year of conflict between Ethiopian government forces and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) continues to disappoint those with peace prospects. Currently, government forces appear to have the upper hand in combat, but the balance of power could quickly shift. Because both sides have popular support and can take action at any time.
All that is known is that this war left scars on the body of Ethiopian society that are not easy to repair…
Extremists in Africa
In Africa, Daesh emerged strongly after 2017. The weakness of the administrative, security and political environment in some countries and the vast desert terrains that were difficult to control helped the organization to emerge. Violence has emerged in the Sahel region, particularly in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.
It is worth mentioning Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al-Shabaab in Somalia, and radical organizations that have recently emerged in Mozambique, Congo and Uganda.
Although years have passed, the conflicts in the region do not end. The human race, which has not yet managed to reach peace, continues to face a deadly game that has been going on since the past.