Sunday, December 30, 2018

A Look At Asia's Flash Points And Arms Races In 2019

The Diplomat: Flashpoints and Arms Races to Watch in 2019

Will 2019 see an increased chance for military confrontation in Asia?

The 2019 security outlook for Asia, as in past years, is dominated by a number of regional flashpoints that include the Korean Peninsula, the South and East China Seas, as well as the Taiwan Strait, all of which have the potential to trigger a military confrontation. Nonetheless, there appears to be a reduced risk for open military clashes in all of the four cases in the next 12 months.

Simultaneously, 2019 will likely see an intensification of the war in Afghanistan, amid ongoing peace negotiations and the suggested withdrawal of 7,000 U.S. troops from the country; the presidential election scheduled for the spring may be postponed. Other areas our readers should watch include: a possible uptick in violence in Jammu and Kashmir as a result of the 2019 Indian general elections, the usual chance of South Asian border disputes getting out of control, and increased naval competition between India, China, and Pakistan in the Indian Ocean. Naval competition is especially noteworthy as all three states are in the process of fielding, or already have deployed, nuclear-armed submarines.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The world has seen many arms races in its history, but I think there is a very real possibility that in the next decade Asia will dwarf all past arms races .... including what happened during the Cold War. What does not help the situation is the history and cultures of the region. While culturally Asia is very old, politically they are still immature. They do not have the alliances and safeguards that Europe and the U.S. have put in place since the Second World War that has kept (more or less) the peace in Europe. Absent these political and international structures in Asia, there is no way that flash points and disputes can be brokered amicably and without the use of violence. And while past conflicts were limited, today's advanced weaponry and destructive capabilities can make a small border conflict escalate into something far bigger and devastating. In the middle of all of this is China. They want to be the super power in Asia. Will they use their military dominance to achieve this .... that is a question that still remains unanswered.

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