Editorial: When you follow world news daily, you begin to see patterns that tell you where the hot spots are around the world that Americans should pay attention to - even those of us living in Summerton S.C. So, cutting thru all the news and noise, look over the list of hot spots below. Most of the areas of concern seem to involve 'closed' tribal societies led by dictators. Poverty and ignorance are key characteristics of these areas. For example:
Obviously, Russia under Putin is a major concern. You have an egomaniac on the loose who has access to nuclear weapons and military forces he is willing to use to further his vision of recreating the Russian empire. As a result, he's creating situations on a wide range of fronts to distract everyone the world as he strengthens his power, wealth, and pursues his agenda – one that appeals to many of his people. Fortunately, most of the world is seeing thru Mr. Putin and prepared for a wide range of counter actions. He's definitely not as smart as he thinks.
The Mid-East remains another major hot spot to carefully watch and avoid getting dragged in to far. Fortunately, our policy under President Obama is keeping our ground forces out of the war and is working with a global coalition to contain and counter threats from this area. Letting mid-eastern countries clean up their own mess that emerged from providing support to different groups of crazy Islamist terrorists is a must. They must collectively decide if they want to live a thousand years in the past, or move into the future along with the rest of the globe.
Pakistan and Afghanistan remain another major problem area that is dominated by fanatic Islamists that also remain tied to a closed tribal culture best suited to life a thousand years ago. Extreme poverty an ignorance also guarantee this will remain a hot spot for decades that the rest of the world will need to watch carefully.
A wide swath of territory across Central Africa is also an area the world needs to watch carefully. Nations that make up the African Union will need to take concerted, long term action to clean up the wars being fostered by closed tribal societies with a strong bent towards Islamic extremism in most instances, e.g. Boko Haram. Again, poverty and ignorance guarantee this area will remain a hot spot for decades to come.
North Korea, another closed society dominated by unstable leadership, remains a hot spot. They are a wild card that is hard to predict – except you know they are going to do something crazy. Russia will no doubt seek to maneuver them into being a distraction to the world as Putin goes about carrying out his plans.
Closer to home, Mexico, Venezuela and a few other Central and South American countries dominated by dictators and drug cartels must be carefully watched and handled. Having 80,000 people killed next door in Mexico, as the drug wars proceed, is more of a threat to the US than many citizens understand. Failed US foreign policies have propped up these dictators and helped the drug cartels to grow rich and powerful. The US is shifting policies and must turn the situation around over the coming decades.
Nations across much of Europe and Asia have embraced more 'open' policies as they have grown their economies, educated their people, embraced various forms of democracy, adopted new technologies, and joined other advanced 'open' societies across the globe. The key threat there seems to be one that could be caused by the large influx of immigrants from 'closed' Islamic citizen groups that refuse to adapt and integrate into society.
Civilization has come a long way in improving life across the globe in a relatively short period of time – several hundred years. But, we still have a long way to go. Again, cutting thru all the news and noise, you can clearly see the hot spots around the world. You can also see the major roots of the problems that must continue to be addressed – primarily education, poverty, religious fanaticism, 'closed' tribal thinking, and governments led by dictators.
We have a lot of progress that needs to be made over the next 100 years – if we don't destroy our planet along the way.