War is a possibility, and one with unpredictable consequences not only for the countries of a region plagued by endless conflict, but also for the rest of the world.

The decision by the U.S. to send troops to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to defend oil refineries from attacks like the attack last week on Aramco has provoked an inevitable increase in tension in the area. While the Pentagon has promised that these measures are strictly defensive in nature and that the troops were sent at the request of the two Gulf powers, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard warned that it would turn “any country that attacked Iran into a battle ground.”

The announcement that the U.S. was sending troops and missiles was accompanied by the promise to fast-track the delivery of military resources to both countries to protect against this new form of hostility via drones, practiced by Islamic terrorists and their allies. New sanctions against Iran were also announced, in this case against the Iranian national bank. Saudi Arabia and the U.S. both hold Iran responsible for the attack against Aramco, placing blame on Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

It is therefore not unreasonable to think we are facing an operation of retaliation. There could be unpredictable consequences, both for the countries in this conflict-stricken region and for the rest of the world. Militarily, there is a danger posed by a nuclear Iran to international security; economically, in the rise in oil prices which will affect all major world economies.