A conflict becomes polarized when the support to opposing sides of competing (arms supplying) countries subsumes the local dispute within the dispute between the supplying countries themselves. The transformation of border, ethnic or class conflicts into cold war issues implies that resolution will have to be sought within the international context. Because more parties are involved, the conflict may be harder to resolve. Polarization alters the supplying country's commitment because the delicate distinction between military assistance and military intervention cannot always be maintained. The intervention of supplying countries not only exacerbates wars once they have broken out, but also increases the risk of direct confrontation between them.