While most eyes are currently on the Middle East, a troubling situation is brewing in Southeast Asia that the rest of the world should at least keep its peripheral vision on.
Multiple countries are laying claim to potentially rich oil and natural gas reserves in the South China Sea.
These claims have spawned multiple verbal battles between Vietnam, China and the Philippines over the past week. China demanding Vietnam stop explorations for oil in the area prompted Vietnam to plan live ammunition drills for Monday, and the war of words appears to be escalating beyond mere verbal threats.
Oil and natural gas are certainly two of the more contentious subjects around the world, and with that much potential wealth involved, countries tend to get trigger-happy when their interests are threatened. Although no violent action has taken place yet, when it comes to Southeast Asia, no threats can be deemed idle.
With the Korean War and Vietnam conflict not too far in the rearview mirror and China desiring a stronger presence in its region and worldwide, world leaders would be smart not to turn a blind eye to the situation.
Although intervention is still a ways down the road, the United States and other countries must start hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.