One of the most striking realizations to come from the tense standoff in Ferguson, Missouri is just how closely the scene resembles images of crackdowns on protests in conflict-filled countries around the world. Seeing police officers in full military gear, firing teargas and rubber bullets at crowds of protesters, is something that western audiences expect from the streets of Kiev and Cairo, but not a St. Louis suburb.
The armored officers in Ferguson are indicative of the growing trend of militarization in America's police forces, one that Alec MacGillis of the New Republic reports has put hundreds of millions of dollars and substantial military equipment into state and local law enforcement. Another investigation by the New York Times found that there have been over 93,000 military machine guns received by state and local law enforcement since 2006. Filled with weapons of war, it's no surprise that Ferguson looks like a conflict zone.
The WorldPost presents a series of images that show just how closely police in Ferguson resemble forces in regions of unrest and conflict across the globe. Each of these conflict situations is unique and has its own distinctive history. Yet as people around the world have noted, the parallels to Ferguson are powerful, and deeply troubling.