Tension and conflict escalate in the new Cold War. The Middle Eastern front continues to expand amidst growing tension between Russia and Ukraine.
The Navy Times reported late last week that on four separate occasions, Iranian naval boats harassed US warships patrolling the Persian Gulf. One encounter was close enough that an American vessel fired warning shots. These sea confrontations between the US and Iran are increasing, according to US statistics.
Meanwhile, Newsweek is reporting on a new Cold War between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Saudi Arabia has an alliance, of sorts, with the US. They are a major exporter of oil, a vital strategic resource to America. The US in turn provides military support to the Saudi regime to ensure the supply continues undisrupted. This guarantees Saudi Arabia’s security in the Middle East, both internally and externally. Therefore any impact on Saudi Arabia’s security is also viewed by the US as a strategic threat to its interests. Thus, a Cold War between Saudi Arabia and Iran also heightens tensions between America and Iran, and this is exactly what’s happening now.
The clash between Saudi Arabia and Iran is one of differing Islamic sects that each country sees itself as representing. For Saudi Arabia, this is the Sunnis, and for Iran, the Shia. Out of this rivalry, not one, but two proxy wars are being fought. Both proxy wars involve countries the US is also engaged in, as part of its War on Terror. The two countries are Syria and Yemen.
In another part of the world, we’re seeing Ukraine emerge as a focal point for growing tension between America and Russia.
Things began to get hot in Ukraine back when President Viktor Yanukovych abruptly killed the country’s negotiations to enter the EU in 2013. With corruption running rampant, and the country a powder keg of unrest, this was the spark that set it off. Massive protests and calls for Yanukovych to resign began, and unable to put down the revolution that was taking place, Yanukovych fled to Russia.
Ukraine then set up an interim government, which Russia refused to recognize, having condemned the Ukrainian revolution as an illegitimate coup d’état. This set off a Russian backed proxy war, the annexation of Crimea, and a NATO move to encircle of Russia and the ongoing deterioration of US-Russia relations.
The most recent escalation in this new Cold War is a buildup of 40,000 Russian troops along its border with Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin is also accusing Ukraine of committing acts of terror. Ukraine responded by ordering its own military to high alert.
The National Review is now calling upon the US cease diplomatic attempts to resolve the tension between the two counties. They suggest, instead, an increase in weapons shipments to Ukraine as part of an effort to “enable Ukraine to better defend itself against Russia’s military.” And Time Magazine is now calling Russia, Iran, and Syria, the new “Axis of Evil.”