December 13, 2017 09:47
The U.S. Council on Foreign Relations on Monday named a possible military conflict with North Korea a "top-tier" risk facing the U.S. and the world in 2018.
A photo of the North's latest ballistic missile launch also made the front page of the annual report, illustrating a survey of about 7,000 U.S. government officials and foreign policy experts that ranks potential global conflicts for the next year.
Risks were classified into three priority tiers based on probability and potential impact on the U.S. and the world.
North Korea is on the list of "Tier 1 Conflicts to Watch" due to the possibility of "military conflict involving the United States, North Korea, and its neighboring countries."
It has been on the list since 2014 but ranked fifth in 2014, fourth in 2015 and 2016 and only jumped to first in 2017.
The next highest risk was "a deliberate or unintended military confrontation between Russia and North Atlantic Treaty Organization members, stemming from assertive Russian behavior in Eastern Europe."
Tensions have been mounting as Russia staged a massive military drill in Belarus in September with some 100,000 troops, the biggest since the end of the Cold War, and NATO responded by deploying thousands more troops in the three Baltic states and Poland.
The "Tier 1" list also includes "an armed confrontation between Iran and the United States or one of its allies over Iran's involvement in regional conflicts and support of militant proxy groups," "an armed confrontation over disputed maritime areas in the South China Sea between China and one or more Southeast Asian claimants," and "a mass casualty terrorist attack on the U.S. homeland or a treaty ally by either foreign or homegrown terrorist."
"With the risk of armed conflict growing in the world, the United States needs to make smart choices about where to focus attention and resources to avert potentially costly military engagements," the report warned.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com