From Sudan to Somalia, and Iraq to Afghanistan, the world is facing several ongoing violent armed conflicts that might lead to World War 3. Yes, peace optimists and those who live in an utopian shell of their creation will vehemently deny the prognostications of any such calamity. But truth be told, the world has entered in a state far worse than it was during the years leading up to the previous two world wars.
1. The Islamic State conflict
The Islamic State, formerly Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has caught everyone’s attention by seizing control over a vast area spanning the territories of both Iraq and Syria. The much talked about terrorist group has got limited territorial control in Libya and Nigeria as well.
This group, which operates in many other parts of the world including Southeast Asia, is notorious for human rights abuses such as beheadings and war crimes such as rapes of women and children.
Over 60 countries, including the US, England, Australia, Canada, Turkey, Egypt and Russia, are directly or indirectly involved in war against the ISIS.
2. Boko Haram insurgency
West African terrorist organisation Boko Haram is responsible for thousands of deaths in Nigeria and Cameroon. The jihadist rebel group is at the centre of long-standing issues of religious violence between Nigeria’s Muslim and Christian communities.
In 2014, Boko Haram attained global attention for kidnapping over 200 schoolgirls and turning a majority of them into sex slaves. Even US first lady Michelle Obama participated in the campaign ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ aimed at freeing the captives.
3. Yemen Crisis
Indian Navy recently rescued thousands of Indians and people of other nationalities from the ongoing civil-war in Yemen.
The Gulf country is under crisis ever since a war broke out between the Houthi insurgents of the Shia sect of Islam and government forces backed by the Saudi Arabia-led Sunni coalition forces.
It is intensifying with each passing day as reports of a shadow army assisting the government forces. India’s effort in evacuating its citizens was lauded internationally.
4. The Libyan Civil War
Libya is torn between the Islamists and anti-Islamists forces. The Islamist group called Libyan Dawn has tied up with al-Qaeda jihadists, who fought against Gaddafi in the 90s.
Not only this, the ideological support it recives from the Muslim Brotherhood has turned the region far more lawless than any other country in North Africa.
5. Pakistan’s war on terrorism
Pakistan is the epicenter of terrorism as several terrorist outfits including the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, Jundallah, Lashkar-e-Islam, Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi, al-Qaeda, and the IS are either openly operating from there or have modules within the country.
The Pakistani government is under severe criticism for not tackling the terrorist groups engaged in Waziristan, which is also known as the North-West Pakistan.
All this in spite of the fact that Pakistan is the biggest beneficiary of both American and Chinese funds and military hardware in all of South, Central and West Asia.
6. Israel-Palestine conflict
Hundreds of people have lost their lives since the very beginning of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Jerusalem, also known as the golden city is tarnished by escalating Israeli-Palestinian violence that has made parts of the city a No-Go zone on each side.
Stone pelting, violent attacks, murders are regular affairs in this region. Tensions have never been higher than after the recent Israel-Palestine war, in which Israel bombed even schools and hospitals in the Palestinian territory.
7. War in Sudan
Sudan is burning with the major violent insurgency in the regions of Darfur and southern part of the country.
So far, thousands have died in the armed conflict between government forces and the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) rebel groups.
8. Destabilized Somalia
Destabilised Somalia will take years to stand on its own feet. The armed violence between the forces of the Federal Government of Somalia, assisted by African Union peacekeeping troops, and various militant Islamist groups and factions has displaced thousands of people in the southern part of the country.
Known for being the haven of piracy, Somalia’s proximity to the busiest sea trade route of the world makes the country’s internal problems a concern for everyone.
9. Armed Conflict in Ukraine
Pro-Russian and anti-government forces are engaged in an armed conflict in the eastern part of Ukraine. The conflict started in the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian revolution and the Euromaidan movement.
Armed conflict came to a head soon after. The West accuses Russia of annexing Ukrainian territory, while Russia maintains that it is only supporting the Crimean referendum.
Things turned sour when a Russian missile defence system shot down MH17, a civilian Malaysian aircraft killing everyone on board.
10. Global Recession
Okay, this is not an armed conflict, but, somehow, it’s going to be an important factor. World War 1 and World War 2 had striking economic similarities even though they were very different from each-other.
The world was passing through recession and depression in the years before the wars. Both the wars helped the United States recover from the recession that slowed trade more than 20 percent.
Economic experts predict yet another economic meltdown for America and Europe. So, the looming World War 3!