Ukraine is in the headlines now. But a whole new world of conflict is about to erupt

By | January 1, 2023

Simon Tisdall writes:

It was a good year to bury bad news – and bad deeds – as a clutch of dictators, assorted killers and repressive or anti-democratic regimes can testify. In Myanmar, Yemen, Mali, Nicaragua, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia and Afghanistan, to name a few crisis zones, egregious abuses and unrelieved misery attracted relatively scant, perfunctory international scrutiny.

The main reason for 2022’s blinkered perspectives is, of course, Ukraine, Europe’s biggest conflict since 1945. This is not to say war-torn Tigray or Guatemala, strangled slowly by corruption, would otherwise have made global headline news. Hard truth: western interest in developing-world conflicts is generally limited.

Yet Ukraine, as viewed from Europe and North America, and trumping other strategic and humanitarian crises, has monopolised political and media attention, aid and assistance efforts, and the popular imagination to an unprecedented degree. Knock-on cost of living increases ensured the war hit home in the west.

All the same, other international crises, actual or looming, will demand increased attention and resources in 2023. Three geopolitical battlegrounds in particular may be harder to ignore: China’s domineering behaviour in east Asia, the Middle East quagmire, and US-Europe tensions. [Continue reading…]

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