Six Global Hotspots to Watch

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Mediterranean Sea

Recent discoveries of oil and natural gas in the eastern Mediterranean have raised the specter of conflict in a part of the world already plagued with its fair share of violence and instability. Recent offshore finds -- such as Israel's Leviathan gas field, discovered in 2010 -- have reignited old disputes over maritime borders and sovereignty between Mediterranean countries like Cyprus, Lebanon, Turkey and Israel. Staking its own claim to the disputed waters and the energy riches thereunder, Turkey in Sept. 2011 dispatched three warships to a disputed drilling site off the coast of Cyprus. Israel and Greece followed up the next year with joint naval drills gaming out scenarios involving the Turkish air force, as well as the defense of natural gas platforms. "As the region's fleets begin to operate in close proximity and with greater frequency, even a minor accident or provocation might be mistaken for an act of aggression," explains Yuri Zhukov of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. (AP Photo)

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