David Rothkopf has made a list of the 10 most dangerous countries (in respect to their action's potential for large scale warfare) in the world:
9. Iraq and Saudi Arabia (Tie)
8. The European Union
7. Nigeria and Congo (Tie)
6. Israel and Palestine (Tie)
1. The United States
My list would be a slightly different. Personally, I would probably switch the positions of Iran and China, an Saudi and Russia. I believe the militant Islamism in these countries pose a larger danger to world peace even though their weapons of mass destruction are currently limited, their willingness to use such weapons is higher. Both China and Russia are historical conundrums which have shown limited empirical ambitions the last 20 years (apart from cracking down on religion.)
In addition, I think the EU should be removed and replaced with the UK. The continent is too war weary, and the Swedish and Swiss ideals of absolute impartiality towards foreign atrocities means that only wars of sovereign self defense will be fought.
What do you think about the list, and how would your personal list look like?
North Korea has, at best, some local capabilities. Even China is supportive of a one state Korea solution, and prefers the capital to be Seoul. They are definitely a threat to regional stability, but they have no real supporters. On the other hand, they do sponsor Iran, Syria, Venezuela, etc with weapons technology, which is part of the reason why some of those countries come high up on the list.
Perhaps it should replace EU/UK?
That actually has a link to Chavez also. He is know for support of leftist terrorgroups in Latin America which finance themselves by selling (especially) cocaine to the US. This passes through Mexico and due to drugs being illegal and highly profitable, creates vast underground gangs which utilize strategies reminiscent to prohibition gangs in the US.
For Venezuela to be a large scale threat, they'd probably have to get the Bomb first and then blockade oil sales to the US. I don't think they are doing the first part, but they are aggressively pursuing a campaign to restrict OPEC sales to the US.
"10 most dangerous countries (in respect to their action's potential for large scale warfare) in the world"
What does he mean by "their action's potential"?
There is an expression "War is foreign policy by other means" which is quite applicable. Think of the statement as measuring the probability of a country engaging in conflict combined with the country's engagement effect on the world as a whole.
I.e. Germany vs Poland (1939) was a regional conflict which got world wide implications, while Germany vs Austria (1938) did not.