Harry J. Kazianis is director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest, founded by former U.S. President Richard M. Nixon.
In 2018, we will see a world trying to navigate around a series of potential powder kegs — some armed with a nuclear fuse — that could place America on a path toward armed conflict. Not to sound overly alarmist, but just one false move, one missile going in the wrong direction, one plane smashing into another, or one solider firing a round in a tense moment, could light a spark that would set off a war.
Here are five potential conflicts just waiting to explode in 2018:
1. A U.S.-Russia showdown in Syria?
2. A U.S.-Russia showdown in Ukraine?
3. A U.S.-Iran war?
4. A U.S.-China war?
5. Nuclear war with North Korea?