There are a lot of flashpoints around the world these days for sure. Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine crisis has gotten them butting heads with the west and has Europe on edge for the first time in a long time. There is also ISIS beheading people and thumbing its nose at anybody and everybody as they attack them in the Middle East. Perhaps, though, there’s no bigger concentration of flashpoints around the world than those that are rooted in territorial disputes over islands.
Russia is once again showing its stubbornness. Instead of compromising and playing nice with the other superpowers in the world, it continues to push back when pushed. It seems the recent visit by Japanese Prime Minister Abe to Ukraine has angered Russia so much that it has vowed to speed up civil and military construction on the disputed islands that they captured from Japan just before the end of WWII.
The islands, which are known as the Northern Territories by Japan and are called the Kuril Islands by Russia, have been a source of tension between the two countries for over 70 years now. As a matter of fact, the two countries have never signed a permanent peace treaty largely due to the dispute.
The Northern Territories are not the only island problem that Japan is having with one of its larger neighbors. China and Japan have come very close to having clashes over an island chain off the southwest coast of Japan known as the Senkaku Islands (called the Diaoyu Islands by the People’s Republic of China). These islands have been the source of more and more verbal clashes and military posturing over the last decade as China is looking to expand their sphere of influence in the region.
China has not stopped at having island disputes just with Japan either, as they have tried to claim islands all over the South China Sea and West Philippine Sea. No less than Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines have all been angered by China’s recent expansion and aggression in these disputed areas.
The Chinese ‘Island Building’ that has sought to build islands out of sand on what were once partially submerged reefs has gotten the full attention of the US Military too; the US has refused to recognize China’s claims over the disputed islands and has stepped up air and naval patrols in the area. The situation became even tenser just recently as US Officials confirmed that the Chinese have already begun placing mobile artillery units on these newly man made islands.
Even tensions between Britain and Argentina over the Falkland Islands (known as the Malvinas by Argentina) off the coast of Argentina have resurfaced again. Remember these two fought a brief war over the islands back in 1982. Argentina is starting to put pressure on Britain again to have the islands returned to them, and who knows what that will lead to this time. It will be interesting to see how all this island posturing plays out, and if it will lead to any brief or more substantial military conflicts down the line.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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