The war in Gaza has now lasted for more than a month. The violence will undoubtedly and permanently alter relations between Israel and Hamas as well as between Israelis and Palestinians. Yet some point to the potential of this war to transform global politics more broadly.
Stephen Walt, foreign policy columnist argued that “even if the war is limited to Gaza and ends soon, it will have significant repercussions throughout the world.” Likewise, terrorism and counterterrorism expert Ethan Bueno de Mesquita recently REMARK that “the war between Israel and Hamas has serious implications for the emerging geopolitical order, with stakes much higher than these local concerns.” Such views follow comment at the start of the conflict, the war had the potential not only to engulf the entire Middle East, but also to spread globally.
Such views should not be dismissed out of hand. The war is already potentially complicating Western support for Ukraine, due to the renewal opposition to the level of aid Washington sends to kyiv to highlight shortcomings ammunition stocks which were already dangerously low. Given the production and inventory shortages hitting the defense industrial base of the United States and other Western countries, they already find themselves in the position of having to divert munitions from Ukraine to Israel. If the war in Gaza ultimately forces Ukraine’s Western supporters to pressure Kiev to seek a settlement with Moscow, it could give Russian President Vladimir Putin a victory, albeit a costly one. This, in turn, could embolden autocrats around the world.