French historian and the editor-in-chief of Conflicts magazine, Jean-Baptiste Noe, provides an understanding of the emerging new world in the twenty-first century and a study of the special place of Europe in light of the turmoil in the international system, indicating that it is the passion in geopolitics that threatens the European continent and in turn leads to igniting wars.

The war in Ukraine showed that left wing politicians who had until then been anti-militarist became staunch supporters of the war.

They wanted France to intervene directly in Ukraine and for NATO to intervene in Kiev in a direct war against Russia, which could lead to the conflict spreading to a wider scale in the continent of Europe.

In his new book titled “The Decline of the World: The Political Geography of Clashes and Rivalries in 2023,” the French historian presents the current clashes and wars of different nature, while trying to predict their future paths.

He explains that the wars affecting the European continent can be classified as follows:

Energy: Europe’s location in the heart of gas pipelines from Africa, Asia and Russia led to its enjoyment of an abundance of energy, which prompted the countries of the continent to close many nuclear power plants and reactors that they relied on as a main source of energy.

However, the Ukrainian war and the resulting tensions in the gas market re-crystallized the energy crisis for the European continent, prompting it to re-search for safe and inexpensive access to energy sources, as well as re-reliance on nuclear energy.

The Land wars: As the Baltic Sea is the point of friction between the European Union and Russia, and this sea has once again become a hot spot in Europe, as the presence of the Kaliningrad enclave represents a thorn in the side of the Baltic states, as the Russian population is large there, and is close to 20% in the Baltic states.

Trade relations with Moscow are also strong and old, which prompted NATO to conduct regular military exercises there.

A series of disagreements and tensions: The current Ukrainian war isn’t a new conflict, but it began in the early 2000s with the escalation of tensions between pro-Russian and pro-European governments.

Therefore, the Russian attack on Ukraine in February 2022 was the culmination of a series of disagreements and tensions that began in 2004.

Since that date, Ukraine has been the scene of intense rivalry between the United States and Russia, as neither side wanted to yield to the other.

On the other hand, the inability of the Europeans to implement the “Minsk Agreements” or to find a solution before the outbreak of hostilities reflected important indicators of the extent of European weakness.

Wars in the near abroad: In addition to wars and conflicts on European soil, there are external crises that pose a threat to Europe, perhaps the most prominent of which are Syria and Nagorno-Karabakh.

Currency war: Jean-Baptiste Noy believes that, in addition to the geopolitical challenges facing Western hegemony at the top of the international system, there are increasing economic challenges.

The Russian-Ukrainian war has revived the currency war between the major powers in the international system, as China began to buy Russian gas and oil in Chinese yuan.

India also opened negotiations with Russia to pay it in rupees, while Saudi Arabia offered China to buy its oil in yuan, which reflects important indications of a complete redefinition of globalization.

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