Will there be a vast war in the Middle East? The Trump Administration has killed Qasem Suleimani, Iran’s top military leader, in an airstrike.
This is the biggest escalation in tensions since the Iran hostage crisis 40 years ago, and Iran’s leaders have vowed a harsh response.
It may not be a coincidence that President Donald Trump ordered the attack in the middle of his impeachment heading into an election year. Throughout history, authoritarians have used wars to distract the public and rally support.
The US attack on Iran’s most revered military commander affects everyone on earth, including the United Kingdom overseas territories. How? Because if this matter spirals out of control, global security worsens. Think of even greater scrutiny and safety checks before boarding an airliner.
The UK is the US’s closest ally. A US war with Iran imperils UK interests just as much as it does the US’s.
Then there is the economic impact. Oil no longer decides global economic growth.
However, a sharp increase in oil prices will drive up inflation, especially in non-oil-producing countries such as these Virgin Islands.
Think about gas prices going up to $6 a gallon at the pump. Then there is the multiplier effect of an increase in the oil price: Think of increasing prices of imported products owing to the increasing transport costs of shipping goods to the Caribbean. The prices of oil-based products such as plastics also spiral.
It is impossible to assert that a new Middle Eastern war will result from the killing of the Iranian military commander.
However, bear in mind that World Wars I and II started through miscalculation.
And when the gunfire and bombing starts, it is frequently impossible to end a war until everything has been reduced to rubble, with the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocents.