Global Affairs February 13, 2024 by

Hasan Sevilir Aşan

Traces of global confrontation

The year 2023 has been a worrisome one, during which the foundations of the Cold War have continued to be laid. Hot conflicts have transformed into proxy wars, and global tensions have flared up. Throughout most of the year, several key events dominated the global agenda.
The War in Ukraine

The invasion of Ukraine significantly altered the course of international relations. The conflict created a new Berlin Wall at Kyiv, reigniting tensions between old blocs. Once bloody conflicts have now become proxy wars, with foreign mercenaries directly targeting civilians.
The invasion of Ukraine not only changed the complexion of international relations but also set a dangerous precedent. Therefore, disputed borders and statuses in other geographies may lead to chain instability and unpredictable consequences.

The Gaza War
The Gaza massacre, triggered by a Hamas attack on Israeli civilians, has plunged the Middle East into a storm of uncertainties. The conflict has already spread beyond its borders and is approaching the brink of an East-West conflict.
The long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to dominate headlines, adding to global unrest.

There are claims that Israel either orchestrated the Hamas attack itself as a pretext for assaulting Gaza or seized it as a golden opportunity.

While Israel’s actions continue to result in the loss of thousands of civilian lives, there is an unsettling attempt to justify these war crimes through the lens of a “clash of civilizations”
According to some reports, Israel is reaching out to countries like Congo, Chad and other African nations in an effort to settle Palestinians there and potentially take full control of the entire Gaza Strip.

It is crucial not to overlook the possible consequences if Iran becomes involved in this conflict. The impact could be much more devastating.

US-China Strategic Rivalry
Tensions between the United States and China in the Asia Pacific region carry the potential for a broader East-West conflict. China’s global rise poses a significant threat to the West. The recent rapprochement between Russia and China has caused panic in Western geopolitical circles.
China’s economic power is challenging the age-old American dream and disrupting the concept of one-country hegemony. In response, the US has strategically encircled China through its Asia-Pacific alliances.

In this context, regional mini-alliances such as AUKUS, Five Eyes, and the Quad were formed by the USA to confine China to its own region.

Meanwhile, both Western and Eastern fronts have consolidated their power.
While the West emphasizes groups like the G7, NATO, and the EU, the East focuses on BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. In fact, the structures of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and BRICS remind us of the old Warsaw Pact and COMECON.
Although not explicitly expressed by the parties, any step taken toward a China-Russia alliance will be the most important factor in reshaping global balances.

Throughout the year, tensions between Kosovo and Serbia created constant unrest in the Balkans.
Additionally, the danger of the Ukrainian war spreading to the Balkans through the Transnistria region of Moldova has clearly demonstrated Russia’s influence in the region.
Numerous uprisings and coups have spread to some African countries in recent months, disrupting African stability.

These events have also weakened France’s regional influence.
In conclusion, the two competitive fronts are increasingly positioned strategically, leading to increased global polarization.
As the world grapples with these conflicting conditions, we find ourselves entering a politically fragile period.

Global conflicts, inter-bloc frictions, regional tensions, and dangerous proxy wars already remind us of old historical duels heading to the brink of another major war.

CIRIS as an organization does not adopt or advocate positions on particular matters. Our publications always represent the views of the author or authors rather than those of CIRIS.

About the author

Hasan Sevilir Aşan

Hasan Sevilir Aşan