In the post-Cold War era, developed countries have hesitated to clearly label any nation as an enemy for the sake of peacekeeping efforts. Yet, even in modern times, there are strong tensions between several countries. Religious values, cultural differences, political affiliations, and conflicting economic goals all play a role in how countries view each other.
However, there are still clear conflicts that can be identified in the world, including some that continue to progress with no end in view.
The conflict that developed between Palestine and Israel after World War II has shown little improvement decades later. The United States attempted to encourage previous attempts at peace between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.
This effort failed after the Palestinian Authority’s ruling party, the Fatah, united with Hamas. In 2014, a military conflict broke out between the Israeli military and Hamas, culminating with major retaliation by Israel in Gaza. 2,251 Palestinians and 73 Israelis were killed before Egypt brokered a cease-fire.
Unfortunately, attempts at peace have not lasted long in this conflict. Most recently, several days of violence broke out between the Israeli military and Palestinian militant groups in May of 2021. This was the result of a court ruling in favor of evicting the Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah. The subsequent unrest spread to East Jerusalem and ended with both sides using non-lethal and lethal methods of force. At the end of the 11-day period, 250 Palestinians were killed and 2,000 were wounded. Additionally, at least 13 Israelis were killed before Egypt was able to broker another peace deal on May 21, 2021.
Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have been building since the Ukrainian Revolution of 2014. Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and its support of separatist groups fighting in Ukraine, led to the deaths of more than 13,000 people by early 2020.
Throughout 2021 and early 2022, Russia intensified the situation by building its military presence along the border of Ukraine. On February 24, 2022, Russian President of Vladimir Putin declared a special military operation to “demilitarise and denazify” Ukraine. Shortly after, Ukraine came under heavy fire from missiles and airstrikes.
Most members of the United Nations General Assembly panned the invasion immediately. The United States of America, Germany, and several other countries imposed severe sanctions on Russia and took steps to financially isolate the nation. Additionally, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has received financial support and weapon supplies to help arm civilians.
Ukraine has continued to put up a strong defense, but many areas outside of Kyiv have succumbed to the onslaught of Russian attacks. As the war continues, it has been hard for foreign analysts and media to verify the number of casualties. At this stage of the conflict, current estimates show nearly 64,151 Russian soldiers have been killed and at least 107,663 have been wounded. The Ukrainian losses are estimated to be between 51,032 and 72,589 total soldiers and civilians killed and another 56,803 wounded.
The United States of America and China
Over the last several decades, the ideological and political divide between China and the United States has become increasingly clear. Further, U.S. policy is becoming highly focused on competition with China.
Tensions between the United States and China were accelerated during the presidency of Donald J. Trump due to the sanctions and trade tariffs that the administration implemented against China. China expressed hope for renewed relations after the election of President Biden; however, the Biden administration did not roll back the sanctions and tariffs. Instead, the U.S. has mobilized other countries to alter their dealings with China.
China has rejected the United State’s rhetoric about democracy and human rights, considering it a commentary on the legitimacy of their government. The aggression with which the country has recently threatened Taiwan also presents a new challenge to the strength of the U.S. As the tension continues to grow between these two nations, the world is forced to battle with supply chain disruptions and the effects of less trade with China.