While our attention is being drawn on the US primary caucuses, notably about whether the GOP establishment succeeds in preventing Donald Trump from gaining the nomination, the context abroad of which current President Barack Obama is still in charge of continues to deteriorate.
Despite a fragile ceasefire in Syria, a global effective coordinated solution has yet to be found against ISIS that is now building up a closer-to-Europe threat from both Libya and Tunisia. The peace process between Israel and the Palestinians remains at a standstill, with a negative outlook. Iran is doing large weapons shopping in main ally Russia and threatened to denounce July 2015 nuclear deal after it test-fired two ballistic missiles for which the US government said it would seek an “appropriate response”.
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un overtly threatened to strike the ROK and the US with so-called miniaturized nuclear warheads in response to joint military exercises. If Kim’s words were nothing new, there is apparent lack of reliable intelligence about what advances the DPRK’s nuclear program really achieved lately. Taiwan publicly worried about increasing militarization in South China Sea, urging the interested parties to refrain from taking tension-fueling unilateral measures. 2016 will definitely be a challenging year and proliferation may top the security agenda.