Essential keys to understanding why the world faces dangerous tension

Israeli soldiers fire a 155mm howitzer cannon at an undisclosed location near the Gaza border (EFE) (HANNIBAL HANSCHKE/)

In the first days of February 2022, despite the imminence of the Russian invasion of Ukrainea financial operator based in Swiss he remained calm and believed that Vladimir Putin would not cross the border. “Business as usual“, He said. “But no one deploys so many troops and surrounds a country to do nothing, there are a lot of resources, aren’t the markets prepared?”, he was asked, showing the evidence of maps and satellite images. On the other side of the line they repeated: “Business as usual”. After a few days, Europe would revive a war that still continues.

Global conflicts often surprise fund managers”says an article published by The Economist this Tuesday. The English media, which usually anticipates conflictive scenarios, goes further and speaks of “third World war” and remembers the routine and monotonous movements of investors far away in 1914. Until the Big war It exploded and surprised them naked.

On October 7, the reality of Middle East began to change again. It was with the first rays of light when the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas crossed the semi-fortified Israeli border to penetrate several kibbutz and kill, rape, behead, torture and kidnap the population that slept there or woke up defenseless. The attack was sudden and unexpected. So unexpected that the thousands of jihadists who crossed did not encounter resistance until they reached the interior of the homes of their victims.

Israelimmediately, warned that the political reality of the Gaza Strip would change for decades and would annihilate those responsible for Hamas. He promised a ground incursion that took three weeks, after the bombings multiplied by thousands to mortally weaken the extremists’ military and logistical infrastructure and changed the geography of the Palestinian enclave. He did so amid complaints, criticisms and reproaches from those who justified the actions of the terrorist group by reversing the burden of proof: Israel was to blame for that massacre.

They were even some of whom helped fuel the fire when a defective rocket launched by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad It exploded in the parking lot of a hospital and was attributed to the Israeli army, blaming it for the alleged deaths of 500 victims. The erroneous spread of the news – with Hamas as the only source – ignited an escalation of protests in embassies of USA and Israel throughout Middle East and north of Africa that could have escalated the crisis to unknown scenarios.

But the crisis in the region is not limited to Loopwhere Israeli tanks and troops are already crossing rubble in search of terrorist tunnels. Syria and Lebanon They also experience extreme stress. Bombings of critical infrastructure by the terrorist group Hezbollah They are continually hit and several members of that group have been killed by Israelwhich also concentrates reservists in the north. Syria has as a permanent ally Russiadictator’s support Bashar Al Assad.

Moscowto remember, has in Iran to its main supplier of drones for its war in Ukraine. He Kremlin gives back with fighter planes and instructors at a base near the Caspian Sea: Air power is one of the most critical weaknesses of the military structure of Tehran.

Hezbollahin Lebanon, is the armed wing of Iran for more than four decades. Esmail Qaanisuccessor of Qassem Soleimani in front of the Islamic Revolutionary Guardtraveled to Lebanon one day after the massacre. On October 8 she appeared before Hassan Nasrallah, head of the militia. He continues there, after a brief report that he made in Tehran.

USAa historic ally, put its fleet on alert in the Gulf. From there he intercepted missiles that the Houthis fired at Tel Aviv from Yemen. Washington will make all resources available. These fighters are also encouraged by Iranwhich finances and arms them.

This same Tuesday, at dawn, a ground-to-ground missile was fired towards Israeli territory from the area of ​​the Red Sea and was intercepted by “Arrow” air defense systemas reported by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). It is likely that they were also identical actors encouraged by the ayatollah regime. They are the same ones who in the past attacked Saudi Arabia Repeatedly.

That desert peninsula raises questions. Especially a small country: Qatar. The versions that indicate that senior leaders of Hamas enjoy a life of comfort in rooms of the Four Seasons Hotel of Doha They seem to be true. They prefer a wide view of the deep blue sea rather than the gray ruins of Loop. The route that finances the terrorist group’s weapons, infrastructure and operations leads to that tiny appendage in the Persian Gulf. When will this incessant flow of money end? To finish off this saga, Qatar presents itself as an intermediary and guarantor between the jihadists and the Israeli government to free the 240 hostages who were kidnapped that October 7.

Everything hangs by a thread Middle East.

In Europewhile, Ukraine continues to show little progress in a battle front that it is trying to recover with mixed success and very slowly. The war of attrition – and patience – at the cost of human lives that he proposed Putin After his monumental failure of not being able to conquer the country, it seems to give him results. Winter is approaching and the very low temperatures will make new Ukrainian counterattacks impossible. The Russians will reinforce their trenches and sprinkle the terrain with mines.

The rest of the European countries and especially the administration of Joe Biden continue to provide weapons to Kyiv. But the economic cost is immense and new elections will be held in 2024 in USA. The campaign will give space to debate about what to do in Ukraine. Maybe Putin bet that his war of attrition will last just over a year, at which time he could assume White House a new administration that focuses its military budget on other objectives and forces the Ukrainian government to sit down to negotiate the delivery of land to put an end to the bloodletting that already has hundreds of thousands of deaths.

However, for the moment, the war continues unabated.

Another front is in China. The tension with Taiwan It does not stop, despite the rearrangements that have been experienced in recent weeks. The regime of Beijing confirmed that he fired the Minister of Defense, Li Shangfu, after nothing was heard from him for two months. The meta-versions that circulate indicate that Lee He was dismissed from his duties due to corruption. If so: to what extent did these improper conduct penetrate the Chinese military structure? How trustworthy are his generals?

Analysts believe that Xi Jinping could be reconsidering carrying out an invasion – very expensive – in the short term. Bonnie S. Glaserdirector of the Indo-Pacific Program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, published an article in The New York Times in which he said that “Unless he finds himself between a rock and a hard place, Xi is likely to conclude that the risks of an unsuccessful military adventure are too high.”.

But under what circumstances Xi Could you believe that you are between a rock and a hard place? Domestic pressure for a slowdown in its economy could lead to growing popular discontent. That discontent or potential protests will be repressed, yes, but the head of the regime would not go down in history as what he intends: to surpass Mao Zedong. Will he therefore resort to the unification of China?

This would push the USA to have to attend to a third front. On the one hand, Middle East -where it maintains bases in Iraq and is a permanent ally of a Israel at war-, Europewith a Ukraine that does not finish expelling the Russian invaders, but that adds countries to the NATO. And the most complex of all, the one that would put him in the face of China.

Although it is true that in Asia has many allies –Japan, South Korea, Philippines, India and further south of Peaceful, AustraliaWashington should face a conflict of global scope as has not occurred for more than 80 years, with one particularity: the majority of its potential rivals –Russia and China– They have nuclear weapons.

Now how do you play Latin America in this context? Russian and Chinese penetration into the subcontinent has deepened over the past 15 years. From Venezuela until the Argentinastrategic cooperation has multiplied, facilitating both Moscow like Beijing mineral resources, infrastructure, ports and observation bases that could be key in a world war scenario. He Brazil of Lula da Silva -in whose hands is the largest regional economy and the most capable army- openly flirts with Russia, China and Iran.

The other governments seem distracted by other emergencies and focus on the day to day: “Business as usual”. Until it’s too late.

X: @TotiPI