(Reuters) – From financial crisis in Russia to cyber warfare withNorth Korea, 2014 has generated new flashpoints right into its final days, setting 2015 up to be just as turbulent.
Almost all of the major confrontations, such as the battle with Islamic State militants, the West’s stand-off with Russia overUkraine and the fight against Ebola, will rumble on. Others could erupt at short notice.
“Normally after a year like this you might expect things to calm down,” said John Bassett, former senior official with British signals intelligence agency GCHQ now an associate at Oxford University. “But none of these problems have been resolved and the drivers of them are not going away.”
The causes are varied – a global shift of economic power from the West, new technologies, regional rivalries and anger over rising wealth gaps.
In June, a report by the Institute for Economics and Peace showed world peace declining for the seventh consecutive year since 2007, reversing a trend of improvement over decades.