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Feb 04, 2024 | 06:51 pm 61 0

Possible military conflicts will shortly be discussed, as well as the role of night vision in it


Possible military conflicts will shortly be discussed, as well as the role of night vision in it

Recently, armed confrontations have become more frequent in different parts of the world. Some are only at the inception stage, others are nearing completion, and others are ushering in the next decade of war. All of them bring death and destruction of infrastructure and cause irreparable harm to the environment. In addition to existing confrontations, there are easily several dozen places on the world map where military conflicts could begin shortly. We will discuss these potential armed confrontations in detail in our article. Also, from it, you will learn about the role that night vision can play in all possible wars of the near future.

Conflict in Yemen

Considering potential military conflicts and the possible role of night vision devices, we should begin with the most likely confrontation. This is the battle in Yemen. The aggressor in this international crisis is the Houthi movement, which controls most of the country's territory, captured between 2011 and 2022. Also under their control is the Supreme Political Council of Yemen, which essentially governs the country. The Houthis' opponent is an international coalition of the United States, Australia, Great Britain, Canada, Bahrain, and the Netherlands. The UAE and Saudi Arabia are partners in providing their territories to deploy troops.

These days, there is an escalation of the conflict, but it has not yet reached a full-fledged war. This was preceded by several events that directly or indirectly influenced the situation. One of the key ones was the exclusion in 2021 of the official Houthi organization called Ansar Allah from the list of terrorist organizations. This was done to ensure that the group that controls most of the territory of Yemen did not interfere with the supply of humanitarian aid to people who found themselves hostage to the situation. This event actually “freed the hands” of the Houthis, and they began to carry out various illegal activities. The UN tried to intervene when, in the spring of 2022, it offered its participation in normalizing the situation in Yemen. The Houthis officially accepted the ceasefire proposal but did not respect the signed agreements.

The following key event was the support of the Houthis and the Supreme Political Council for the Hamas militants. The latter launched missile attacks on Israeli territory in the fall of 2023, thereby unleashing a full-fledged war in the Gaza Strip. Feeling their impunity, the Houthis began to attack Israeli ships in the Red Sea, as well as boats that went to the ports of enemy Hamas. After some time, ships that were in no way connected with Israel were also attacked. In each such operation, the Houthis used modern high-speed vessels armed with anti-tank missiles and machine guns, as well as a large number of drones. The United States sent its warships to the Red Sea to protect sea routes. Their task was to insulate commercial ships, which American troops were not supposed to come into direct conflict with the Houthis. Despite all the warnings, attacks on cargo ships continued. Moreover, US warships, in a short period, shot down more than two dozen missiles and drones that posed a threat to their safety.

At the beginning of 2024, the Houthis were demanded to stop terrorist activities. The United States, Great Britain, other countries, and the UN expressed dissatisfaction with their aggression. The Houthis completely ignored calls for peace and continued to attack ships. After the capture of another cargo ship, international coalition forces launched missile strikes on Yemen, and more precisely on key Houthi targets (airports, air bases, weapons depots, air defense systems, logistics centers, etc.). Several US warships and British Air Force aircraft were involved in this combat mission. The Tomahawk cruise missiles used achieved their targets. Explosions occurred not only in the Yemeni capital but also in several other cities. The second bombing occurred the very next day. Officials from the United States, Britain, and other countries involved in the operation said the strikes were carried out solely to reduce the Houthis' offensive capabilities and improve shipping safety in the Red Sea. To date, there have been no new attacks by either conflicting side. However, there is a high probability of further aggravation of the situation. If this happens, a full-fledged war may begin, which will lead to numerous casualties and destruction.

Night vision was actively used in the confrontation between the Houthis and the international coalition led by the United States and Great Britain. It helped carry out precise missile strikes on Yemeni territory in the dark and hit various Houthi targets. Thus, the Royal Air Force flew Eurofighter Typhoon fighters, which use a helmet-mounted sight fully compatible with a night vision camera and an infrared forward-looking system for aiming and guiding weapons. Judging by the accuracy of the missile strikes, the night vision devices worked perfectly and made it possible to hit targets without civilian casualties. If the situation does not normalize and military clashes continue, various night optics will play an even more critical role in the conflict. Theoretically, it can be used during ground operations. Soldiers equipped with such devices will be able to receive a clear image even in poor visibility conditions and efficiently carry out the tasks assigned by the command. In the case of using tanks and other military equipment, night vision will make it possible to carry out complex maneuvers in the dark, leaving no chance for the enemy. Not only the Americans, British, and their allies may use NVDs, but also the Houthis. These devices can be supplied to them from Iran, their closest ally.

Fight for Taiwan

One of the most protracted conflicts, which has not yet developed into a full-fledged war, is observed in relations between China and Taiwan. Both sides consider themselves fitting in this confrontation, so a peaceful solution is unlikely. Throughout tense ties, China has repeatedly attempted to reunite the island with the mainland. It all started in 1954 when the first of four so-called “Taiwan Strait Crises” occurred. At that time, the confrontation escalated over the disputed status of several islands between the PRC and Taiwan. The Chinese communist regime has declared its desire not only to establish complete control over the disputed territory but also to liberate Taiwan. The country's authorities justified their verbal aggression, and subsequently the military operation, by the fact that the island allegedly posed a threat to the civilian population of the PRC. A few days later, Chinese authorities began bombing the islands using about a hundred aircraft. The latter were predominantly produced in the USSR, so it is not difficult to guess whose interests were defended by the PRC authorities at that time. In response to the aggression, Taiwan's closest allies (the United States) seriously considered using nuclear weapons against China. In 1955, after the aggressor launched a ground military operation on the islands belonging to Taiwan, advisers from the USSR suggested that the PRC authorities consolidate their success with a night operation involving the fleet. However, the lack of night vision devices among the Chinese forced them to abandon this option. To repel the attack, Taiwan, together with the United States, used aviation. Despite all efforts, China has gained control over some disputed islands.

The relative truce lasted only three years. In 1958, the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis began. And here, China became the initiator of military action. Using artillery, his army shelled several islands still under Taiwan's control. The response was almost instantaneous. The same artillery was used for defense, and several clashes were in the air. The only difference from the previous escalation of the conflict was that the islands shelled by China were not included in the list of objects covered by the treaty (Mutual Defense Treaty) between Taiwan and the United States. Because of this, the Americans did not intervene in the battle, and it continued until 1979. At the same time, the most active hostilities were at the beginning, and further clashes were considered only a demonstration of the desire to seize or defend territory.

The third crisis in the Taiwan Strait began in the summer of 1995 and ended in March 1996. The reason for escalating the situation was the presidential elections in Taiwan. Before their start, the Chinese government actively promoted the idea of annexing the island to the mainland. In this regard, great efforts were made to bring pro-Chinese leaders to power in Taiwan. However, all the attempts of the PRC did not influence the opinion of the island's inhabitants; on the contrary, they only strengthened separatist sentiments. Some presidential candidates openly declared their intention to assert Taiwan's independence, which greatly displeased the Chinese communist government. This time, the Americans did not stand aside either. They supported the current president by issuing him a visa and inviting him to the United States. They told the Chinese authorities about their decision, but their reaction to this issue was expectedly adverse. In response, the PRC conducted military exercises near Taiwan, trying to put pressure on everyone who wanted to make the island independent. The United States strongly condemned such actions and sent several warships to Taiwan Bay to demonstrate its intentions to defend Taiwan. At the same time, they were in neutral waters all the time and did not violate the Chinese border, thereby indicating that they respect international law and did not intend to neglect it. Such a strong move surprised the PRC, and they began to look for ways to de-escalate. They also asked the United States not to enter the Taiwan Strait with ships. Washington did not officially satisfy China’s request, but to normalize the situation in the region, it still left its fleet outside the Taiwan Strait. After the elections, relations between China, Taiwan, and the United States normalized.

A new round of hostile relations development between China and Taiwan occurred at the end of the summer of 2022. It was unofficially called the Fourth Taiwan Strait Crisis. The reason for the deterioration of the situation was the visit of the Speaker of the US House of Representatives to Taiwan. During the trip of the American delegation, the Chinese authorities, who had an extremely negative attitude towards this US action, initiated large-scale military exercises near the island. During their conduct, the PRC used its fleet, aviation, and various weapons. Such a demonstration of China's military potential did not force the United States to abandon planned activities. For the safety of their representatives, the Americans sent the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan to Taiwan, as well as fighter jets stationed at Japanese military bases. The current US President warned the Chinese authorities about the possibility of using extreme measures in the event of aggression. In turn, the leader of the PRC also gave a speech in which threats against America were visible. There was no direct military confrontation, but after the visit of the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, China imposed sanctions on various American companies supplying their weapons to Taiwan. In addition, the PRC has blocked access to the mainland to hundreds of Taiwanese firms providing food and some construction materials.

Today, the situation around Taiwan cannot be called calm. The Chinese authorities constantly mention the island in their speeches and say it will reunite with the PRC sooner or later. Moreover, the Chinese leader named the occupation of Taiwan as a top priority for the near future. However, he should have mentioned how he was going to achieve this. The United States is also not going to give up the island, so it constantly reaffirms its commitment to the Mutual Defense Treaty and its desire to help Taiwan in the event of an attack by the Chinese. All this is a basis for severe concerns since a military confrontation between the two superpowers is not excluded shortly.

Considering each stage of the conflict, we can appreciate the importance of night vision for achieving our goals. As mentioned earlier, in 1955, China could not completely capture the islands adjacent to Taiwan due to the lack of NVDs and the ability to conduct night military operations. Decades later, as night optics became more accessible, both sides of the conflict began to use them. It was present in the cockpit of military aircraft in China, Taiwan, and the United States and was also actively used by the navies of all countries. Today, no military development can do without night vision, so there is no doubt that it will play a vital role in a potential future conflict. With its help, opposing armies can gain certain advantages and achieve local successes.


Confrontation between the two Koreas

Another severe military conflict shortly could be a war between North and South Korea. Initially, both warring parties were subordinated to the Japanese Empire until 1945. However, after the end of World War II, the USSR declared war on Japan, after which it began its military operation in Korea. Soviet troops quickly captured a large territory and reached the 38th parallel. The United States occupied the rest of Korea. Each country established its military government in the most significant cities at that time (Seoul and Pyongyang), which was supposed to govern the subordinate part of the country. According to the agreements between the USSR and the USA, they were supposed to unite Korea and make it an independent state. However, with the beginning of the Cold War, relations between the two countries deteriorated sharply, so they began to dictate their terms for the unification of the north and south of Korea. Similar confrontations occurred in the political sphere, where the United States and the USSR tried to promote subordinate Korean leaders to leadership positions. The result of disputes and disagreements was the creation 1948 of two independent states. The US and USSR militaries left their territories but continued to support them actively as international partners.

The north and south of Korea were constantly in conflict with each other. The reasons for disagreements were often fictitious, so no one doubted that a war would break out between them shortly. This happened in 1950. North Korea, which at that time had a massive advantage in military capabilities (thanks to the comprehensive assistance of the USSR, which essentially controlled all processes in the country), attacked the South to seize its entire territory and form a unified Korea. Many politicians of that time called this conflict a civil war and did not intend to intervene. However, the United States thought differently. They and the UN intervened in the situation to help South Korea defend its independence. This event changed the balance of power on the battlefield, and now the South began to advance to the North. As soon as hostilities approached the Chinese border, the Chinese authorities took the side of North Korea, which made it possible to reach almost the same borders as before the start of the war. A truce was born in 1953, but by that time, most of the major cities of both countries had been destroyed, and the number of casualties among the local population exceeded 2.5 million.

The ensuing truce marked the beginning of a new round in developing the conflict between the north and south of Korea. To prevent a new war, the leaders of both countries signed mutual defense agreements with the United States (guaranteed military assistance to South Korea), the USSR, and China (obliged to provide military aid to North Korea). This event reduced military activity in the region. The North became a completely communist country, and the South became anti-communist. The next clash occurred in Vietnam, where military personnel from both countries helped the opposing sides succeed. Their help was insignificant, but they still waged war among themselves. In the 60s, there were many armed clashes, each ending with a temporary truce. These events did not change the borders of the states in any way, but they further quarreled the south and north. In the 70s, neither warring country stopped trying to gain military superiority. So South Korea began creating nuclear weapons, but after condemning this idea by the American authorities, it stopped development. In return, it received fighter jets, ground military equipment, and weapons to defend its territory. North Korea armed itself at the expense of the USSR and established political ties with all communist countries of that time.

By the 80s, South Korea had already become economically developed. This allowed her to host the Olympic Games. A few months before them, the DPRK carried out a terrorist attack, causing an explosion on a passenger plane of a South Korean airline. This event forced the US to place the communist country on its terrorist list. Further events for the two countries developed differently. In the 90s, South Korea further increased its economic power, and US military support made its army one of the strongest in the world. North Korea was doing poorly. The collapse of the USSR deprived them of any support, which is why the country became isolated from the rest of the world. To slightly increase its international status, the DPRK began developing nuclear weapons. This enabled it to sign several international agreements with the United States and South Korea. In exchange for freezing its nuclear program, the North received security guarantees and exclusion from the list of terrorist countries. However, after the terrorist attacks of September 11, America updated the list of terrorist nations, as a result of which it included various dictatorial regimes, including the DPRK.

In the 21st century, North Korea resumed development of nuclear weapons. They also began to create and actively test different types of ballistic missiles near the borders of South Korea. All this caused concern to the South, and they also began to strengthen their army. In this matter, they were helped by their American allies, who supplied air defense systems, new-generation fighters, various ground military equipment, and so on. In the period from 2017 to 2018, several events occurred at once that reduced the degree of tension between the two Koreas. Thus, the authorities of the DPRK and South Korea jointly took part in the Inter-Korean summit. In addition, at the Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, delegations from both countries competed under a standard flag, and demilitarized zones were created along the entire border. These events pointed to improved relations between the South and the North. However, after a year, everything returned to its original state. The violator of the peace was the DPRK, which declared itself a nuclear power, conducted dozens of missile tests of different ranges, and repeatedly violated South Korean airspace.

The situation remains tense these days, and there is no guarantee that war will not break out shortly. Recent events are more inclined to favor a pessimistic scenario, the probability of which is considered relatively high. If there is a military conflict between the DPRK and South Korea, night vision will probably play an essential role. With its help, better-equipped South Korean soldiers will be able to gain a significant advantage and achieve their military goals. South Korea has many modern aircraft and ground military equipment that actively use night vision. Various tests prove its effectiveness, which could become a decisive factor in success in a potential war. It has yet to be determined whether North Korea has night vision devices. Due to sanctions and the country's isolation, it does not have the components to produce its NVDs, but it can purchase them from allies (for example, Russia). In any case, the number of night optics in the DPRK and South Korea will be incomparable, giving the latter a good chance of winning a possible war.

Situation in Myanmar

The state in Southeast Asia called Myanmar has periodically faced the horrors of war for several decades. Since 1948, various events have occurred in the country that led to a change of power, lawlessness, and suffering of tens of thousands of people. The conflict peaked in 2021 when a civil war broke out in Myanmar. Shortly before this, a military junta came to power in the country. She took over most of the country by force and overthrew the legally elected president. The self-proclaimed leaders did not find support among the population, which is why numerous armed organizations emerged to counter the military junta. These well-organized associations were subordinate to politicians and military generals who had been overthrown earlier. In addition, they had enough weapons to conduct combat operations over a long period.

Having not come up with anything better, the military junta began to destroy peaceful cities with artillery, which is why more than 1,500 people were killed in just a couple of months. They also carried out powerful airstrikes, which left a vast number of ordinary people homeless. Fleeing the war, refugees sought to leave Myanmar or move to areas where there had not yet been fighting. By mid-autumn 2023, opponents of the military junta carried out a series of successful operations that made it possible to liberate several settlements. This event forced many to lay down their arms or go to the enemy’s side. Until the end of 2023, there were many armed clashes in which each side periodically celebrated success.

The most active fighting took place near the Chinese border. Due to this, in early 2024, China intervened in the civil war and called on both sides to come to the negotiating table. The long-awaited event took place on January 12. A ceasefire was achieved after a lengthy conversation in which China was one of the participants. The military junta and its opponents agreed to withdraw their troops from the Chinese border, which satisfied all negotiation participants. Later, an agreement was reached not to use any weapons in the border areas and not to capture cities there. The truce did not last long. Just a few hours after it began, the rebels accused the military junta of violating all agreements. This indicated that the ceasefire had been broken, and air strikes resumed on the territory of the forbidden (according to the treaty). Nevertheless, a partial truce was maintained, but at any moment, it could be violated again.

The international community has expressed concern about the current situation in Myanmar. Some organizations have attempted to impose an arms embargo on the warring country. They even requested the UN, which has not achieved the desired results. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations responded to the military developments by blocking Myanmar's access to summits held between 2021 and 2023. In addition, several countries at the level of official representatives sharply condemned the actions of the military junta. Thus, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, and the Philippines spoke out against the self-proclaimed authorities. At the same time, Thailand expressed support for the military junta, which it later replaced with a call to find the right solutions to achieve peace in Myanmar. China, Russia, and the USA also did not stand aside. At the same time, the Americans were not very concerned about the situation in the country, so they only called on the parties to comply with international law and imposed sanctions on the leaders of the military junta. China initially supported the self-proclaimed government, but it took a more neutral position over time. Russia became one of the few countries that openly supported the military junta and even sent them congratulations on the day of Myanmar's independence celebration.

Tensions between the warring parties may cause the end of the truce period. The likelihood of such a development of events is relatively high, so an escalation of the conflict can be expected shortly. Under certain circumstances, during a possible continuation of the war in Myanmar, night vision could play an essential role in the distribution of forces. Theoretically, it could become available to both sides of the conflict, so the option of intensifying hostilities in the dark cannot be ruled out. During offensive operations, opponents will receive much helpful information about their enemies and strike more accurately. During the defense of occupied positions, night vision will help to learn in advance about the enemy’s intentions and take measures to reduce its attack potential.


The territorial dispute between Venezuela and Guyana

A military conflict between Venezuela and Guyana could potentially become severe shortly. This is all because the interests of a dwarf state can theoretically be defended by the mighty armies of the world, which can compete with the Armed Forces of Venezuela. The reason for the tension between the two neighboring countries lies in a territory called Essequibo. Officially, it belongs to Guyana, but it was part of Venezuela many years ago. The latter has repeatedly defended its territorial integrity, waging fierce battles with claimants to its territory. After one of these battles, Essequibo was abandoned and belonged to only some countries for a short period. The no man's land was quickly occupied by the British, who had already colonized the rest of Guyana by that time. Disputes about the ownership of this territory did not stop until Essequibo officially became part of British Guiana in 1899.

In the mid-20th century, Venezuela renewed its attempt to take over Essequibo. At the same time, she wanted to act exclusively diplomatically, so she signed the 1966 Geneva Agreement with Great Britain. Immediately after the appearance of this document, Venezuela announced its desire to include Essequibo in its composition. In turn, Guyana intended to refrain from partaking in this territory and pointed out that Venezuela abandoned Essequibo. Moreover, the dwarf state declared its independence in the same year, further aggravating the situation. However, it never came to a direct military conflict. The change of government in Venezuela froze the Essequibo status review process for more than 50 years. During this period, the disputed territory was a whole part of Guyana.

The situation worsened, and a return to active discussion of Essequibo’s territorial affiliation occurred in the fall of 2023. This was because of the discovery of new natural gas and oil fields. To extract them, Guyana permitted six well-known oil companies worldwide to work in waters that Venezuela also claimed. The latter's government scheduled a referendum for early December in which citizens of the country had to be permitted to defend Venezuela's interests in using marine resources. They also agreed to grant citizenship to tens of thousands of Essequibo residents. To obtain a positive response, the Venezuelan leadership launched a powerful propaganda campaign that mentioned the history of the disputed territory and called on all citizens to be true patriots of their country. Opposition politicians proposed an alternative solution to the crisis. According to it, Venezuela had to file a claim with the International Court of Justice, which would study Guyana's actions in detail and render its verdict. However, the opposition's opinion was not taken into account, and the holding of a referendum became inevitable.

The referendum became the basis of severe disagreements between neighboring countries, which have become good partners over the past 2-3 decades. In November 2023, Guyana called on the Venezuelan authorities to cancel the referendum and abandon the idea of annexing their territory. However, the answer was obvious, and the authorities of the dwarf state hardly liked it. A few days before the vote, the President of Guyana held meetings with soldiers defending the country's border in Essequibo territory. In addition, he raised the national flag in the disputed zone, not far from Venezuela. The response to such actions was an increase in the number of representatives of the Venezuelan armed forces near the border with Guyana.

Meanwhile, realizing the enemy's military superiority, the Guyanese authorities began to look for allies who could help avoid direct clashes. So, at the end of November, joint exercises were held with the Brazilian Armed Forces. This country fully supported Guyana and even tried to bring both sides of the conflict to the negotiating table. Such actions did not lead to anything, so Brazil sent its ground forces to the borders of both states. The purpose of such actions was to anticipate the inevitable war and protect one’s territory from the armies of the two countries. In addition, Guyana turned to the United States for help and even invited them to establish military bases on its territory. The Americans gave a restrained response and only verbally pointed out the need for both sides to comply with international law.

As planned, a referendum was held in early December 2023, in which almost 95% of Venezuelans voted to annex part of Guyana's territory. Immediately after this, the President of Venezuela declared Essequibo the 24th state and demanded changes to the existing geographical maps. In addition, he delivered an ultimatum to oil-producing companies and gave them three months to stop work or start new cooperation, but with Venezuela. Three days after summing up the referendum results, the mobilization of troops was announced, and the capture of Essequibo began. The next day, representatives worldwide condemned Venezuela's actions and called on countries to respect each other's sovereignty. In particular, the United States took the side of Guyana and recognized its territorial integrity. They also announced joint military exercises to take place in 2024. Colombia also expressed its adverse reaction. Many of the country's politicians criticized the current president for not intervening and trying to resolve the conflict diplomatically.

In mid-December 2023, a historic meeting between the two countries' presidents took place in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The primary and only issue they discussed was the territorial affiliation of Essequibo. The meeting went quite calmly, and both sides agreed to create a special commission to deal with all controversial issues. It should include representatives of both countries and some international organizations. The results of the work of this commission are expected in February-March 2024. At the same time, another negotiation is planned between the leaders of countries in Brazil.

Despite all the statements by Guyana and Venezuela about refraining from the use of military force, the likelihood of war is assessed as relatively high. The reason for this is the interest of some influential countries in Guyana maintaining control over the Essequibo territory. In this regard, various local clashes cannot be ruled out shortly, which could develop into a full-fledged military conflict. There is also speculation that Venezuela may wish to annex Guyana entirely. In this case, the reaction of the international community may be unpredictable. In any case, if a war does break out, night vision will be used. With its help, the armed forces of both countries will be able to conduct military operations in the dark and achieve specific successes on the battlefield. If countries such as Colombia, Brazil, and the United States enter the conflict, the range of applications of night vision devices will be significantly expanded. In this situation, night air strikes and various ground operations using modern military equipment will be possible. The latter today cannot do without night optics, so the role of multiple devices in a potential war between Guyana and Venezuela will be significant.

Chaos in Burkina Faso

Nowadays, the most significant number of military conflicts occur in Africa. The situation is unlikely to change, so this continent will most likely retain its status as the most dangerous. Experts highlight the confrontation in Burkina Faso among the many potential armed clashes. This state in West Africa has been at war for several years, and new confrontations could arise. Problems in Burkina Faso began in 2014 when there was an uprising by residents dissatisfied with government policies. Its result was the removal of President B. Compaore, who led the country for more than 25 years. A few months later, Burkina Faso received a new leader in the person of R. M. K. Kabore. This event marked the beginning of a military coup that forever changed the lives of ordinary citizens of the country. The new president could not prevent the activities of such terrorist organizations as Al-Qaeda, Ansar ul-Islam, the Islamic State, and others. This led to numerous crimes throughout the country, in which about 2,000 civilians were killed.

Terrorist activities forced Burkina Faso to declare a state of emergency in 2019. However, these actions did not help normalize the situation. At the end of autumn 2021, protests began in many cities nationwide. They were due to yet another killing of civilians by terrorists. The Burkina Faso military was also injured in this incident. The protesters called on the country's authorities to improve the army's provision and allow it to protect the state from uninvited guests. The consequence of this was the resignation of the Prime Minister of Burkina Faso, which, as it turned out later, practically did not change the situation in the country. At the same time, R. M. K. Kabore had no intention of resigning. In January 2022, on his orders, several influential military personnel were detained who were allegedly preparing an army coup and the overthrow of the current government. The president also introduced many restrictions on the Internet and, in some places, even blocked access to the network.

In January 2022, the protests only intensified. The desire of the people to overthrow the president and transfer power in the country to the military was logical. They were explained by the desire to improve the supply of the army, cleanse the country of terrorists, and provide financial compensation to the families of the victims. At one point, the situation became so tense that protesters opened fire at the president’s residence and car and also burned down the principal office of his party. After these events, R. M. K. Kabore secretly left Burkina Faso, and the next day, the military announced the seizure of power in the country. A week later, the new president of P.-A. was announced. S. Damiba satisfied part of the protesters’ demands and restored the Constitution of Burkina Faso.

After the protesters achieved the desired result, the country finally breathed a sigh of relief. However, the calm did not last long. A new military coup had already occurred in September of the same year. It resulted from growing dissatisfaction with the actions of the self-proclaimed authorities. Their activities led to various terrorist organizations increasing their presence in the country and now controlling about 40% of its cities. To maintain power, P.-A. S. Damiba removed all those responsible for security in Burkina Faso and began to direct all processes himself. This did not go down well with ordinary people, and trust in the newly announced president dropped sharply. A few days later, the first shots were heard near his residence, and clashes began at the military base between opponents and supporters of the self-proclaimed government. These events gave rise to a new military coup, which plunged the country even further into chaos.

On the same day, military personnel led by I. Traore announced the removal of the country's president. They explained their actions by the inability of P.-A. S. Damiba to restore order in Burkina Faso and deal with terrorist organizations. To control the situation, the military imposed a curfew, stopped television, closed borders, and suspended the Constitution. At the same time, P.-A. S. Damiba fled to Togo, where he accepted all the conditions of the military and announced his resignation. Russia played a significant role in the military coups. If, in the first of them, they disguised their actions under the desire of the people and the army to make Burkina Faso a safe country, then in the second, they openly supported the actions of the military junta and acted as coordinators. Russia even became one of the few countries that congratulated the country's new authorities on taking office. Naturally, in each case, the Russians received a particular benefit for themselves and did not consider the opinion of the local population. Russia's actions were noticed. The new military leadership of Burkina Faso, which they helped to seize power, was not supported by most civilized countries and was condemned by many status organizations. For example, after all the events, the African Union Commission called Burkina Faso an unconstitutional country and expelled it from its ranks, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation condemned the coup and called for further dialogue, the United States expressed its concern and desire to return the country to constitutional order.

Today, the situation in Burkina Faso remains unstable. The local population suffers greatly from this, most of whom do not support the self-proclaimed government, although initially they had a positive attitude towards it. This further intensifies the situation and puts the country on the brink of a full-fledged military conflict. Civil war could begin in Burkina Faso as early as 2024 if it happens. Various influential countries and organizations may try to provide military assistance to one of the parties, which could cause the conflict to drag on for many years. In this case, night vision can be essential in achieving the desired results. The army that will have the opportunity to use it will be able to conduct night operations and gain a massive advantage over the enemy. If it comes to supplying both sides of the conflict with modern military equipment, the importance of night optics will become even more significant. In any case, the coming years will be decisive for Burkina Faso, and I want to believe that peace and tranquility will finally come to the country.


Crisis in Niger

One of the most difficult is the situation in Niger. This country in western Africa has been on the verge of civil war for more than a year. The interests of the two warring parties are represented by local political and military leaders and by some countries. Because of this, the situation is becoming even more tense, and the likelihood of military clashes in the coming months is relatively high. All of Niger's problems began on July 26, 2023, when a coup d'état took place in the country. The military removed the current president, headed by General A. Ciani. By the evening of the same day, it was announced on television about the removal of the legally elected government and the creation of the so-called National Council. He immediately introduced several restrictions for the country's citizens, starting with the closure of borders and ending with a curfew. The military junta also announced that it would take strict measures against any international organizations trying to intervene.

The current government did not stop fighting after its removal. They still claim to be the legitimate leaders of Niger. At the same time, the country's Armed Forces refused to obey them and went over to the rebels' side. Many countries around the world were also involved in the conflict. So on the territory of Niger before the start of the conflict, there were bases of France, the USA, and Turkey. After the change of power, the situation around them became tense, and many expected a direct military clash. The Russians played a significant role in the unrest in the country. They received certain benefits for themselves and expanded their influence on the situation in the country.

To normalize all processes in Niger, the African Union Peace and Security Council called on soldiers who supported the military junta to return to their places of permanent deployment and contribute to the restoration of the legitimate government. In case of disobedience, the organization reserved the right to military intervention and resolve the conflict by force. In addition, the economic community of West African countries imposed sanctions, which caused the country's economy to collapse and many processes to be stopped. Despite the measures taken, the situation only worsened. Mass protests by military personnel began, joined by civilian supporters of the coup in the country. Protesters attacked the French and US embassies, shouting slogans in support of the new government. In response, France and the United States warned of adverse consequences if their embassies and those working there were further threatened.

Numerous sanctions and actions by neighboring countries have led to the almost complete isolation of Niger. The country experienced power outages, and all banking operations were suspended. In his televised address, the self-proclaimed head of the country called the sanctions unfair and called on all Niger citizens to defend their homeland. The next day, representatives of the Economic Community of West African Countries tried to negotiate with A. Chiani, but this failed. 

Further escalation led to several countries, in particular Senegal, Nigeria, and Côte d'Ivoire, openly declaring their participation in the military intervention. However, they will do this only after the consent of international partners. At the same time, the duly elected president of Niger called on the United States and other influential countries to intervene in the situation to avoid the complete collapse of the country. The response to such actions was the official appeal of the military junta to the Wagner group, controlled and financed by Russia.

The promised military intervention never materialized. In this regard, the self-proclaimed authorities began to act more confidently. They gave France 30 days to completely withdraw all its representatives from the territory of Niger, as well as the withdrawal of all existing weapons. The same was demanded from the United States. Over the next few weeks, numerous local clashes occurred in the border areas. France completely withdrew its troops from Niger, and the United States officially called the events a coup. While the entire civilized world condemned the actions of the self-proclaimed government, Russia, on the contrary, supported him. Moreover, she sent a delegation to Niger to discuss various issues and expand cooperation between the countries. At the beginning of 2024, several states closed their embassies and announced a complete cessation of cooperation with Niger.

Today the situation in Niger remains tense. There are no guarantees that the actions of the self-proclaimed authorities will not cross the line of what is permitted and that a full-fledged war will not break out in the country with the participation of other countries. If this does happen, the ability to use night vision will become essential to success in military operations. It will allow you to use the dark time of day more effectively and carry out successful operations. At the same time, the probability of using night optics by both sides of a potential war is considered by experts to be relatively high.

Warmongering in DR Congo

The situation in the DR Congo is complex and unpredictable. For the first time since 2002, there is a real threat of hostilities in this country. They can start anytime and cover a large part of the territory. The reason for this was the revival of the M23 group, which was formed in 2012 by deserters of the Congolese army. It included representatives of local people who speak the official language of Rwanda and consider the actions of the authorities of the Democratic Republic of Congo to be genocide against this national minority. At the same time, M23’s statements are only the official version of the reasons for the organization of unrest in the country. In reality, this organization defends the interests of the neighboring countries of Rwanda and Uganda. According to experts, the real purpose of reviving the M23 is the desire of the listed states to annex part of the territory of the DR Congo, which is rich in various natural resources.

Back in 2012, M23 was able to achieve its goals. However, the intervention of DR Congo’s international partners made it possible to oust the occupiers from the country’s territory. The UN Intervention Brigade, which included military personnel from South Africa, Tanzania, and Malawi, played a vital role in this operation. Her actions led to the arrest of most of the group's members and suspending its activities until 2021. In the spring of 2022, the revived M23 occupied several settlements in the DR Congo. A few weeks later, they advanced inland and almost completely annexed the region bordering Uganda and Rwanda. By the summer of that year, the M23 had expanded its combat area and forced many DR Congo soldiers to surrender or flee to neighboring countries.

The interest of Uganda and Rwanda in annexing part of the territory of the DR Congo is proven not only by experts but also by the actions of political figures of the listed countries. Back in 2021, Uganda asked permission from the current president of DR Congo to send in its troops to destroy a local Islamist group that allegedly fled Uganda and hid in the territory of a neighboring country. Permission was received, and Ugandan troops entered the DR Congo. This circumstance angered Rwandan leader P. Kagame. He stated that Islamists also threatened his country, so he would send his forces into the DR Congo without obtaining permission from the local authorities. It was this event that led to the revival of the M23 group. P. Kagame denies this fact in every possible way, but even a poorly educated person will not believe in such coincidences. Official statements indicate that M23 did not receive weapons from Rwanda. They allegedly found it in mines abandoned back in 2013. P. Kagame also states that all members of this organization are initially citizens of the DR Congo; therefore, any actions are only internal problems of the state.

A UN peacekeeping mission was sent to the DR Congo to prevent hostilities. It became one of the largest in history. Peacekeepers were observed near the borders with Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, and other countries. Their task was to reduce tension and prevent armed clashes. The task was partially completed, but at the end of 2023, the UN announced the end of the peacekeeping mission. This was a surprise since, without peacekeepers, the likelihood of resuming hostilities would be as high as possible.

Today, the situation in the border regions is tense. Residents continue to leave border towns, moving to neighboring countries or going deeper into the DR Congo. The vast number of displaced people has created many problems that the Congolese authorities likely need help to cope with. In addition, they are forced to constantly monitor the situation in the region and prevent possible attempts to seize new territories. According to experts, 2024 will be decisive. There may be fresh armed clashes that will change the area of the occupied territory. In most of these battles, night vision can be used. It will significantly help one of the parties, making it possible to use the dark time of day to conquer or liberate new territories. In this case, night vision is unlikely to play a vital role in the conflict, but it can still give a particular advantage to one side or another.

War is a disaster not only for a particular people or state but also for the whole world. Everyone knows about this, but every year, the number of armed confrontations is only increasing. In addition, there are places on almost every continent where such events could begin shortly. In all cases, current battles, as well as military conflicts of the future, will become the arena for the active use of various night vision devices. These devices will give one of the sides a noticeable advantage and open a direct path to ending the war. We hope all the potential confrontations described in the article will never begin and that current military conflicts will end with a quick victory of good over evil. Maybe there will finally be peace on our planet, and people will stop living in constant fear.


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