Even though it was mostly Dutch citizens on the plane that crashed in Ukraine, one local expert says this is an incident with the potential to affect all of us, regardless of nationality.
The conflict between Ukraine and Russia has been going on for years, but according to Dr. Lowell Barrington of Marquette University, this is now a conflict that affects the entire world.
"What this has shown as shooting down an airliner... is that when you ignore what looked like a civil war and a war contained in small areas, those can quickly become international conflicts," said Dr. Barrington. Adding that it's not a complete surprise that things got so violent.
"Could we have expected something major to happen? yes. but I don't think anyone thought something like a civilian airliner would be shot down," said Dr. Barrington.
As reported, evidence shows Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down by a surface to air missile from an area controlled by Russian backed separatists.
"Russia has both supplied the separatists and not just small arms... major weapons that separatists have used against aircraft of ukranian military," said Dr. Barrignton.
That's why Doctor Barrington says it's important we don't look at the conflict as something distant.
"It's easy to say that its a long away from us... that this doesn't affect americans. But this conflict has shown it can take really unusual and dangerous turns so its certainly something we should keep an eye on," said Barrington.
He also added we should care about this conflict because countries that neighbor Eukraine are NATO members. That means if those countries are attacked, the U.S. is legally obligated to intervene and protect them.