An Overview of Global Conflicts
2022 has set global tension at the highest it’s been in years. Around the globe conflict has sparked, from the war in Ukraine, the rising tensions between the USA, China, and Taiwan, and Sweden and Finland joining NATO and reversing their neutrality. The world is the closest it’s ever been to World War 3 since 1962 and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
The start of 2022 began off with high tensions as the Russians began amassing troops near the border of Ukraine. It had begun in March and April of 2021 but reached a head in late January and early February with satellites spotting massive groups of soldiers and military equipment near the border, a clear sign of invasion. Then on Thursday, February 24, Russian President Valdimir Putin launched a so-called “Special Military Operation” against Ukraine. The attack quickly stalled and huge flaws were revealed in Russia’s plan, such as poor logistics, poor planing, and under trained soldiers being sent into combat.
The spotlight was then quickly thrown onto Ukraines capital of Kiev. According to aa.com, “In some areas, the units of the Russian Armed Forces are 35 kilometers (around 22 miles) away from Kyiv.” However the Russians failed continuously to capture the city, with the few moments where they got into the city being short lived. Eventually the Russians retreated from Kiev and moved their troops across the border back to Belarus.
The war then moved to the east in the Donbass region of the country. The Russian’s had made good progress on the first couple of days. However, the attack soon stalled due to the previously mentioned issues. The next city thrown in the spotlight was the city of Kharkiv. According to The Guardian, “Ukrainian forces appear to have won the battle of Kharkiv, according to a US defence thinktank” the article was published on May 14.
The focus then moved to the Siege of Mariupol. The siege ended up with the Ukrainian Azov Battalion being surrounded in the Azovstal factory. Mariupol was surrounded on March 2 and the Siege continued. On May 16, however, Ukrainian troops had come out of the factory to negotiate under a white flag. On May 20, the last of the remaining soldiers had surrendered to the Russians.
On May 18, 2022, Sweden and Finland, two countries once thought as neutral would apply to join NATO. This sudden switch in foreign policy came as a result of the Russian war in Ukraine. Sweden had been supplying Ukraine with weapons and equipment since the onset of the invasion and even some time before. Supplying weapons like the Carl Gustaf Anti-Tank rockets, helmets and more.
Finland has taken a different approach to helping Ukraine. They have been helping more on the humanitarian side, taking in refugees and assisting the Ukrainian government in Mine clearing.
As of June 9, 2022, Sweden and Finland's application for NATO has not been approved. Turkey is the only nation at the moment that has protested against Finland and Sweden joining the military alliance. Turkey claims that this is because Sweden and Finland, mainly Sweden, are supporting and hosting a terrorist organization known as PKK, a Kurdish marxist sepratist movement. However Sweden and Finland both deem the PKK as a terrorist organization. Turkey is mainly upset at Sweden because of the amount of Kurdish refugees that they have taken in and some of them are claimed to be terrorists by the Turkish government.
Recently China has been amping up tensions in Taiwan. They have been flying military aircraft around Taiwan and inside its airspace against the will of the Taiwanese government. Recently these tensions have hit their peak with US President Joe Biden declaring that they will defend Taiwan with military action if a Chinese invasion is to come. On top of this, recent invasion plans from the Chinese government and military were accidentally leaked, leaving the question, will the US actually stick to its guns or will it back down as it doesn’t officially recognize Taiwan as a country.
The situation around the world continues to escalate as governments around the world increase military spending and drills. NATO has also started running military drills around the globe with leading partners like the US, France, Poland taking the lead. China and Russia have also been stepping up their military actions, with Russia sending it’s latest aircraft, the SU-57 to Ukraine. The world seems to be constantly escalating in tension as it seems that World War 3 is right around the corner.