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On the Geopolitical and Extremist Threats of 2015

January is barely at the half-way mark, and already, 2015 appears ripe to witness a continuation, or in some cases, an escalation, of the said events and more of 2014. 

As Canada ended 2014 with its historical peaceful security rattled by extremist terror events, France has entered 2015 having its unique French ardor betrayed by extremists who wrecked havoc upon the tranquility of Paris for three days in January. 

Farther into Europe, Ukraine's sovereignty remains questionable in light of  pro-Russian agitation in the east against a background of renewed Russian meddling, which threatens a fragile-often violated cease-fire that could result in full scale war at anytime. Lithuania has started to educate its citizens on how to survive an attack out of fear of Russian meddling.

In Asia, China's aggressiveness to claim most of the South China Sea despite legitimate claims by its neighbors, has continued into 2015 with a potential to spark instability at one miss-step by one actor or another. 

The Islamic State(IS) has continued its spread of violence in the Levant as Bashar al Assad maintains his reign of terror in Syria. Israeli and Palestinian relations remain strained and in Egypt, militants are calling for Jihad within the land of the Pyramids. Libya stands in the balance and in Turkey, the destiny of the home of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, remains clouded.

Given these current affairs, it should come as no surprise that yesterday's report by the World Economic Forum(WEF), names geopolitical issues as the biggest threat to global stability in the coming decade. 

As reported by the Associated Press(AP), the WEF in its 2015 Global Risks Report, warned that "interstate conflict with regional consequences" as the top risk facing the world. Behind this threat, the WEF also named extreme weather, the spread of infectious diseases, climate change and high youth unemployment as other instability threats.

WEF's lead economist, Margareta Drzeniek-Hanouz observed and warned: "Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the world again faces the risk of major conflict between states."  She said the means to wage such conflict are broader than ever whether through cyberattack, competition for resources or sanctions and other economic tools. "Addressing all these possible triggers and seeking to return the world to a path of partnership, rather than competition, should be a priority for leaders as we enter 2015," the AP attributed to the economist.

But before addressing the affairs of 2015, the matters of 2014 and prior years need to be put to bed: the Syrian war must be concluded; extremism has to be expunged; the aspirations of Ukraine must be respected; the sovereignty of the Philippines and smaller nations on the South China Sea must be recognized by China. And only then could any real partnerships be established toward global stability.