Iran-Saudi Arabia Conflict Newest in Geopolitical Chaos Across the World

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Struggle in Middle East

Photo: The portrait of Nimr Baqr al-Nimr an independent Shia cleric in al-Awamiyah, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia by Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.
The leaders of several countries are involved in conflicts that are beginning to mount on the world stage. As the events unfold around us, it seems like a subtle bubbling up of a major world conflict is brewing on the world scene. There haven't been significant geopolitical rifts and social turmoil of recent years frequency and ferocity since the first two World Wars. Actually, in the age of terrorism, this new dynamic might be even more far-reaching in its effects than the world wars were. The newest spats include the not so new, but more ferocious, battle between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
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Business Insider listed this struggle as among the most threatening world events in 2016. The execution of a Shia cleric who was outspoken and critical of the Saudis has enraged the Islamic Republic of Iran and many of its people. Violence soon followed and harsh remarks were thrown toward the Saudis from the Iranian side. The Saudi Arabian economy is on a dipping trend, while Iran is strengthening, especially after the end of sanctions. Iran has many friends in the region, while Saudi Arabia seems to have almost all enemies. Its relationship with the United States is also weakening. This shift in power will have serious consequences in addition to the recent political provocations and the inhumane justice practices from the Saudis. The Saudis have responded by cutting off diplomatic ties with Iran. This has all fueled a much larger, but underlying, problem of division between majority Sunni and Shia countries in the region.

In the conflict raging on in Syria and Iraq againts ISIS, the United States is at odds with Russia and Europe. Russia is convincing more people in Europe that working strategically with the Bashir al Assad regime is a good idea, while the U.S. is ardent in its decision to see him step down from power. Recently, relations between Turkey and Russia were also strained when a Russian plane was shot down.

The U.S. also has major disagreements, politically, with several other countries. Asia is another example. U.S.-China relations have been rocky and each are testing their military boundaries with each other. China has been more rapidly expanding its investments in war and military might, while the U.S. has been caught up in the Middle East region for years. China already has the world's largest army. They are also suspected to be among the most highly sophisticated cyber hacking army. They are suspected to be in cahoots with North Korea on hacking in American computer networks. China's relations with Japan are also poor over contested islands and other cultural and historical issues. The so-called demilitarized zone in North and South Korea is another Asian problem area that has worldwide consequences with the North capable of firing nuclear missiles and a people virtually brainwashed to worship their "supreme leader".

All of this cross country bickering is really about a balance of power and all the nations trying to assert their wills, a page taken from the U.S. playbook. Of course, this has always been the case, but now all of these nations have developed quickly along with the advance of technology so the playing fields have become shockingly more level, both in terms of boldness and military capabilities. VICE News recently detailed how many of these nations that are supposedly enemies end up bumping shoulders at the same conventions and tradeshows where military vehicles, weapons, gear and new technology is ordered.

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