New York — a long-term refugee destination?

Written by Staff Writer Written by Staff Writer CNN The crisis in Syria has claimed the lives of more than 320,000 people and displaced 7.3 million. With a 4-year-old, you might be forgiven for…

New York -- a long-term refugee destination?

Written by Staff Writer

Written by Staff Writer

CNN

The crisis in Syria has claimed the lives of more than 320,000 people and displaced 7.3 million.

With a 4-year-old, you might be forgiven for thinking that the current situation is nothing like it was in the 1960s. Faced with the threat of nuclear annihilation, the world scrambled to provide a viable alternative to America’s heavy nuclear arsenals. The outcome: the “Star Wars” project to ensure continuous global nuclear deterrence.

The threat of nuclear war was abated, but there was little scope for optimism. Following the Cuban Missile Crisis, the end of the Cold War saw the West orient towards an improved economic system and an increasingly open political system.

History

Climbing economic growth rates in the 1970s and 1980s left a crowded financial system, while technological advances allowed the transmission of information faster and better than ever before.

Perhaps most importantly, there was peace in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf Cooperation Council nations, created in late 1972. And in fact, the Gulf states’ young, prosperous population is credited with offering a boon to the region. In August 2014, average per capita income was estimated at $14,500.

Current developments

With Iran emerging as a major world power and Saudi Arabia developing large-scale oil and gas reserves, and with its capital surrounded by rich countries, the Gulf was once again thrust into the center of international attention.

Most analysts predict that there will be a cooling of relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, driven by sectarian tensions and factionalism.

For the time being, Iran is not thought to be exercising nuclear weapons. It is now pursuing a path toward the bomb, but it is widely agreed that a nuclear bomb remains out of reach at least until 2020. Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, is widely believed to have the bomb.

What the future might hold

This global upheaval appears to be forcing people to seek a new home. This year, the numbers fleeing the Middle East reached a record high. As Syria and Iraq descend into civil war, the region’s leaders are attempting to instill stability through civil war.

Two million Syrians are displaced within their country, while another five million are hosted by countries such as Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Iraq alone is accommodating three million refugees.

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