I have been working on this map, collecting news articles and documenting trends over the past couple years, and was surprised when it revealed that the world is deeply divided by two major spheres of influence that dominate and dictate global affairs.
The two major organizations at the center of this are NATO, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) headed by Russia and China. Both are military organizations with each member state promising to protect each others interests and come to aid in the event of war.
This setup creates an interesting situation whereby, at its most basic level, if any two nations from differing alliances go to war, it has the potential, through the domino effect, to bring war to every continent of the world. It is this fear of global conflict that creates such tension points as North and South Korea, Israel and Iran and Pakistan and India.
Ultimately, the global powers of the United States, Russia and China don’t want to go to war but neither is willing to cave to the influence of the other. This simple division of the world helps to explain almost every decision made on the global stage in recent years and will be a good prediction of how nations will interact in the years to come.
Though it is impossible to completely predict the actions of nations and any attempt at doing so will warrant critique, I do believe the map reflects an extremely realistic situation that has been forming. Though I will agree that many nations would not align themselves with China and Russia, and that East Asia is a new boiling point, especially with tension in the South China Sea, many nations are allied with other nations that are allied to China and Russia, thus the domino effect culminating in global conflict.
Though Africa might not be cut and dry, the domino effect extends even into these areas as states align themselves with regional powers that ultimately connect back to the SCO.
The cold war might be over as you say, but a more accurate comparison would be to Pre-World War I. Just as today, the world was deeply divided by alliances and it only took the action of one crazy man to send the entire precarious system crashing down. Nations are quickly realizing that joining together to protect each other’s interests is a much more effective manor are gaining regional power and influence and protecting their own sovereignty. It is through this realization that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, having only a few official members, is able to garner so much influence around the world.