This week tensions between the US and Iran almost boiled over into full blown conflict; President Trump launched strikes against Iranian radar and missile installations, only to call them back at the last moment. Whilst overt hostility was avoided this time, it seems inevitable that the cold war turns hot eventually. The Trump administration, led by national security adviser John Bolton who was instrumental in the Iraq war, is pursuing a policy of trying to crush Iran economically to force regime change; the regime is unlikely to go willingly.
Although regional spats are hardly uncommon, this could be different. Obviously, Iran is no match for the US militarily, however the nature of warfare is changing; with economic, cyber and terrorist attacks now a key way for small nations to level the playing field against a larger opponent. With half the world’s oil supply in the vicinity, along with Iran’s support for a wide network of terrorist organisations, a minor military conflict could become a major global disruption.
Read what the team at FE consider to be significant over the current week.