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Threats That Confront the Modern State at the Beginning of the 21st Century

Nowadays, in the beginning of 21st century most countries of the world present democratic units based on rights and freedoms of their citizens. It is hard to imagine that there are factors, which can bring threats to modern states but at the same time it is a reality of present moment. Constant wars and conflicts break fragile balance in the world and makes states participate in difficult political games. Conflict in the Middle East, Israel - Palestine conflict and revolutionary warfare break peace in the world and threaten safety of the most world counties. Each country has to measure its warfare in order to be ready to provide a prompt reaction on the changing situation in the world.
The fall of Berlin Wall in 1989 became a beginning of the new are. Due to immense effort of NATO the Warsaw pact has been abolished. This gave push to the development of democratic regimes in the countries of Eastern Europe. Next several years, which followed this important change on the world scene, could be characterized as comparatively peaceful and quite. Unfortunately Kuwait conflict has broken fragile balance and gave start to a serious conflict which included many countries. “The actual conflict, six months later, was also short-lived and itself heralded a further new era, the beginnings of Precision Warfare“(Stone, 69). Western countries had to look for the means to confront possible danger. A number of coalitions and agreements have been used for this purpose. Some specialists do not believe that these measures really reduced danger. Bosnian conflict and crisis in Kosovo became next warning signals for the world community. International organizations works hard to save peace in the world but unfortunately they are not always able to guarantee safety for all countries of the world.
Events of September 11, 2001 have very vividly shown that even the most powerful states can become the victims of terrorist attacks. “The Global War on Terror” proclaimed by President Bush ended post-cold war period and started a new era. President Bush announced after the events of the September 11 about the terrorist attack “on a scale that has created a state of armed conflict that requires the use of the United States Armed Forces. He also expressed an opinion that “there is a necessity in effective conduct of military operations and prevention of military attacks, which makes it possible to detain certain non-citizens and if necessary, to try them for violations of the laws of war and other applicable laws by military tribunals” (Elsea, 123). So, terrorism became one of serious threats for modern states. Not only the United States of America, but also many other countries of Asia, Europe, Africa and Middle East live under constant threat of terrorist attacks. Unfortunately terrorism became widespread form of protest and it creates serious threat for the peace in many countries.
Nuclear Weapon is another serious threat to all countries of the world. When we talk about terrorism we can think about some exceptions, while a threat created by Nuclear Potential of some countries is a reality nobody can escape. During the period from 1960s to 1990s many countries reduced their Nuclear Potentials or even refused from Nuclear Weapons at all, like Ukraine, for example. Starting from 1990s the situation worsened again. India and Pakistan declared about their status as Nuclear States. This change did not have great impact on the world safety but symbolized turn to the new era in arms race. The situation worsened when Iran and North Korea followed their example and also declared about their status of Nuclear States. The threat created by Nuclear Potential possessed by these countries is only one part of the problem. There is a big danger that other countries may follow their example and start developing nuclear weapon as well. “It could also trigger a chain of new nuclear states which, if it included Japan, could fundamentally alter the security system of East Asia for the first time in a half-century. The second could trigger armed conflict with Israel, stimulate additional proliferation in the Middle East, and reduce even further the low probability of bringing peace and stability to the region” (Nacht, 45). So, the threat of Nuclear War becomes reality nowadays, like it used to be during the period of Cold War.
Security is not the only subject of concern of the contemporary governments. Major changes in the economic structure of the world can also bring danger to the modern states. Globalization is one of such modern phenomena, which can bring certain threat along with definitely positive characteristics it has on the development of the countries. Keniche Ohmae, the Japanese business writer says, “nations have become mere fictions”(Ohmae, 125). The reason of all these transformations is globalization. The global market develops with high velocity and globalization plays an important role in this process. We can not compare the world market and its turnover to those we had even two decades ago. The turnover of the world trade grows with every year and the range of goods and services presented in this market grows also. It’s the first time in the history of mankind when huge amounts of money, which exist in electronic form can be transferred from one computer to another in several seconds. The speed and technology are amazing but lack of stability and unpredictability causes negative reactions of skeptics. Those who support extremely negative view on globalization state that it leads to inequality, poverty and increased threat to the environment.
Another reason of negative attitude to globalization set forward by its opponents is the danger of Westernalisation. Globalization itself isn’t as frightening as Westernalization, when the world economy is subdued to the interests of several Western countries and these interests are promoted in all spheres of life. Those, who set arguments against globalization state that it can exhaust inner resources of the countries of the third world who take part in this process. This happens in countries like Papua New Guinea, Irian Jaya, Indonesia. Natural resources of these countries are exploited by richer countries (Sullivan, 2001). These are negative results of in the world globalization. From the others side opening markets can also have negative effect for the countries as accepting good from the countries where child labor is applied or labor units are prohibited counties-importers support inhuman policies of such countries.
As we can see, despite centuries of development and technical progress, internal and externals wars and conflicts stay the main source of threat in the 21st century. Like many centuries ago people are afraid of wars, which have become even more destructive due to technical progress. New forms of terrorism create additional threat to many countries in the world. In addition globalization can become a source of problems for the contemporary society.


Works Cited:
Barkham, J. Information Warfare and International Law on the Use of Force, 34 New York University Journal of International Law and Politics 57, 2001.
Nacht, M. Confronting Gathering Threats: U.S. Strategic Policy, Strategic Insights, Volume IV, Issue 9 (September 2005)GR74 - Some thoughts on 21st century warfare Major-General A.C.P. Stone, CB, FRUSI, 2001
Ohmae, K. The End of the Nation State: The Rise of Regional Economies: How New Engines of Prosperity are Reshaping Global Markets (New York, NY; Free Press, 1995).
Elsea, J. Terrorism and the Law of War: Trying Terrorists as War Criminals before Military Commissions. CRS Report for Congress, 2001.
Sullivan, J. Jeremiah. The Future of Corporate Globalization: From the Extended Order to the Global Village. Westport, CT: Quorum Books, 2002.
Watson, I. Rethinking the Politics of Globalization: Theory, Concepts, and Strategy. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2002.

 
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