AuthorHelfand, Ira

1 United States and Russia: These two countries together possess more than 90 percent of the world's nuclear weapons and, despite President Trump's fondness for Vladimir Putin, relations between them are at the lowest point in thirty years, since the end of the Cold War. Events in Syria and Ukraine and tensions in the Baltics make clear the possibility of conflict. Trump's recent decision to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty underlines the potentially nuclear nature of a future war.

2 United States and China: The economic rivalry between the world's two largest economic powers has become increasingly hostile and there is now an active military dimension to that rivalry. Chinese and U.S. naval forces routinely play chicken in the South China Sea, a disastrous incident waiting to happen.

3 United States and North Korea: In early 2018, the United States and North Korea appeared to be headed toward a nuclear confrontation. The "on again, off again" bromance between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un brought a temporary reprieve, but the collapse of the Hanoi Summit revealed how dangerous the situation remains.

4 South Asia: Perhaps the most dangerous potential conflict is one that receives scarce attention in the West. India and Pakistan have fought four wars; there is almost daily low-level fighting on their disputed border in Kashmir; and the military doctrines of both countries create a high level of concern that a future war between them will go nuclear. Use of less than half of the 290 weapons in their combined nuclear arsenal would cause worldwide climate disruption and a global famine putting two billion people at risk.

5 Climate change: The nuclear powers periodically claim they are willing to get rid of their nuclear...

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