In recent years the world has endured an unprecedented level of conflict between countries, which has often ended in military operations. The West’s relations with Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea and Iran have reached such a level that, in the view of experts and analysts, they may lead the international community to the brink of a global geopolitical crisis. These conclusions are held by the latest annual report from the International Institute of Strategic Research. On introducing the report, the organization’s General Director John Chipman said: “Many countries in the world have become embroiled in brutal wars. On the whole, the situation in Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran, as well as the wider problems of terrorism in general, remain on the list of the most critical foreign policy questions”.
In the view of experts, the main threats to security in the world are Iraq, Afghanistan and North Korea. In Iraq the new government is having to overcome some immense difficulties, which in the end may prevent the unification of the country and the restoration of peace. According to analysts, democratic reforms in Iraq have intensified the interethnic and interracial tension between the country’s citizens to an even greater extent. “The danger of greater instability, violence and radical Islamism is obvious,” said John Chipman in his speech.
Let us recall that back in March this year the former Prime Minister of Iraq Ayad Alawi said that a civil war is raging in the country. “50-60 people are being killed every day throughout the whole country, if not more. If this is not a civil war, then only the Almighty knows what it is. I think that Iraq is in the deepest possible crisis,” he said. In Alawi’s opinion, the country is moving towards the point at which the process will become irreparable.
Experts also view the strengthening of the Taliban movement in Afghanistan, which has been observed recently, as a large danger to world stability. In 2005 1500 people died as a result of terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, and the Taliban say that they will continue to carry out bloody atrocities both in Afghanistan and throughout the world.
Another country which the analysts discuss in their report is North Korea. According to experts’ calculations, North Korea now has a sufficient quantity of plutonium to produce 5-11 nuclear weapons, and is continuing to increase its nuclear power. At the same time lengthy negotiations aimed at attempting to persuade Pyongyang to freeze its nuclear programme have had no success.
The experts also pointed to the military power of China which has been steadily growing in recent years. This country was described as potentially the USA’s main rival in terms of military dominance.
Translated by James Platt
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