In 2005, the post-Cold War trend of more peace, and less war,
continued. Overall deaths are down, although there are still a lot of places
that are not safe for tourists. These places are not safe for journalists or
historians either, so getting really accurate current information on some
of these conflicts is difficult.
on Terror has become the War Against Islamic Radicalism. This
movement has always been around, for Islam was born as an aggressive movement,
that used violence and terror to expand. Past periods of conquest are regarded
fondly, and still called upon to inspire the faithful. The current enthusiasm
for violence in the name of God has been building for over half a
century. Historically, periods of Islamic radicalism flared up periodically in
response to corrupt governments, as a vain attempt to impose a religious
solution. The current violence is international because of the availability of
planet wide mass media, and the fact that the Islamic world is awash in tyranny
and economic backwardness. Islamic radicalism itself is incapable of mustering
much military power, and the movement largely relies on terrorism to strike a
blow for the cause. Most of the victims are fellow Moslems, which is why the
radicals eventually become so unpopular among their own people that they run
out of new recruits and fade away. This is what is happening now. The American
invasion of Iraq was a clever exploitation of this, forcing the Islamic
radicals to fight in Iraq, where they killed many Moslems, especially women and
children, thus causing the Islamic radicals to lose their popularity among
the West does not get involved in these Islamic religious wars, unless attacked
in a major way. Fighting back is considered, by Moslems, as culturally
insensitive, and some of the Western media have picked up on this bizarre
interpretation of reality. For example, the Crusades were a series of
wars fought in response to Islamic campaigns against Christians, not the
opening act of aggression that started everything. Thus, the current war on
terror is, indeed, in the tradition of the Crusades. And there are many other
"Crusades" brewing around the world, in the many places where
aggressive Islamic militants are making unprovoked war on their Christian
neighbors. Political Correctness among academics and journalists causes them to
try and turn this reality inside out. But a close look at the violence in
Africa, Asia and the Middle East shows a definite pattern of Islamic radicals
persecuting those who do not agree with them.
Islamic terrorism grabs most of the headlines, it is not the cause of many
casualties, at least not compared to more traditional wars. The vast majority
of the military related violence and deaths in the world comes from dozens of
little wars. Actually some of them are not so little. While causalities from
terrorism are relatively few (usually 5,000-10,000 dead a year worldwide) , the
dead and wounded from all the other wars are much more numerous (more than twenty
times as much as terrorism).
operations continue in places like Iraq,
In all these countries, civil war is the main cause of conflict. The usual
trigger is a dispute over scarce resources, or territory that has changed hands
in the past. There are no traditional "invasion" type wars
going on at the moment. However, some of the conflicts involve the use of
irregular troops to "invade" a neighbor and try to conquer disputed
territory. This is the case in Kashmir,
where Pakistani irregulars have been invading this disputed territory, trying
to take it from India. Another example is Darfur,
where Arabic Sudanese tribes chase black African tribes out of disputed
territory. A major threat of war these days comes from China,
which threatens to take Taiwan by force, and uses nationalism and military
threats to try and control neighbors..
current conflicts arise from the ease with which one can establish a private
army. Calling the leaders of these forces warlords is pretty accurate, as these
guys live off war. Stealing, or extorting, what they need, these groups have
flourished on the availability of cheap Cold War surplus weapons from Eastern
European and Russian arsenals. Africa is awash in warlords, with armed groups
controlling turf in Ivory
Warlords also hold sway in places like Sri
and several other places where there is no fighting (the Warlords have imposed
peace via intimidation).
warlords have become a worldwide problem, with gunmen openly organizing and
operating as private governments. The real governments prove helpless in
dealing with the warlords, who openly play to the mass media and local
political movements. While warlords have not exactly become respectable, they
have become accepted as a "cannot ignore" part of the political
landscape in much of the world. Western nations, with their superior armed
forces, are reluctant to take on the warlords. Doing so generates complaints at
home that, "it's not worth the cost, " "it's not our
business" and is generally viewed with hostility by the international
community as an unwanted resurgence of "colonial imperialism". Part
of this has to do with the clever way the warlords play the media game. It's a
new generation of warlords, and eventually the world is going to have to deal
with them. The warlords are often hospitable to Islamic terrorists, and this
directly threatens Western nations.
2006, the Islamic radicals will continue to fade, and more warlords will
attract media attention, followed by military (peacekeepers) and economic
pressure (cutting off humanitarian aid the warlords plunder) to go straight.
Even warlords who have kept a low profile (like those in Burma and Central
Asia) will come under pressure.
wars are listed in alphabetical orders. Text underneath briefly describes
current status. Click on country name for more details.
fighting back, but continues losing ground as new government slowly extends
control. But independent minded tribes, warlords and drug gangs still stand in
the way of peace, prosperity and true national unity.
rebels fading away, but a general uprising looms because of dissatisfaction
with the old revolutionaries that refuse to honor election results or share power.
rebel group (UNITA) defeated, but some smaller ones have appeared to fight over
Greater Albania Movement is driven by part time Albanian nationalists, full
time gangsters and a growing number of Islamic radicals.Bosnia continues
to attract Islamic terrorists.
brew rebellion by suppressing democrats and Islamic radicals.
has broken out, for the moment, but there is unrest because of the tribal
battles in Sudan.
confrontation with Taiwan continues, as do hostilities with neighbors,
separatists, dissenters and ancient enemies. China speeds up modernization of
its armed forces.
over three decades, leftist rebels losing support, recruits and
tribal and political militias, plus an increasing number of bandits, continue
to roam the countryside.
is but one of many rebellions that beset the region. But India and Pakistan
have nukes, making escalation a potential catastrophe. Recent peace talks have
lowered the possibility of war, but both sides continue an arms race.
pirates, Islamic terrorists and government corruption create a volatile
situation that is slowly calming down.
of Islamic conservatives have veto power over the majority of reformers. The
supply of peaceful solutions is drying up. After that comes another revolution.
Meanwhile, the Islamic conservatives are determined to build nuclear weapons.
Arab minority makes peace with the majority Kurds and Shia Arabs. But Sunni
Arab Islamic radicals still back terrorism attacks against government and Shia
Arabs (who are considered heretics).
and Palestinian radicals continue to confront peacemakers. The Palestinian people
got tired of terrorism and are trying to work out a peace deal with Israel.
north and the south fight over money, religion and power.
half a century, North Korea continues to destroy its economy to maintain armed
forces capable of invading South Korea.
continue 5,000 year struggle to form their own country.
collapse and tired of fighting. There is peace, but no prosperity.
"failed states" (countries with populations that cannot govern
themselves) are found here.
communist rebels battle to overthrow a popular monarchy.
many tribes, too much oil money and too much corruption creates too much
places where the local situation is warming up and might turn into a war.
minority in the south wants it's own country, and expulsion of non-Moslems.
Communist rebels in the north fight for social justice and a dictatorship.
and reforming the Soviet era armed forces and fighting gangsters and Islamic
radicals in Chechnya.
between better organized and more aggressive Tutsis and more numerous Hutu
tribes. It's been going on for centuries.
failed state. It was never a country, but a collection of clans and tribes that
fight each other constantly over land and other economic
issues.Attempting to establish a new government.
minority (19th century economic migrants from southern India) battle to
partition the island.
in the north try to suppress separatist tendencies among Christians in the
south. Complicated by oil fields in the south, and Moslem government attempts
to drive Christians from oil region. Battles over land in the west pit Arab
herders against black Sudanese farmers. Both sides are Moslem, but the
government is backing the Arabs.
in the south have a different religion than most Thais, and are different
ethnically as well (they are Malays). Islamic radicalism has arrived, along
with an armed effort to create a separate Islamic state among the few million
people in the area.
and tribalism combine to create a persistent rebellion in the north, which is
aided by Sudan.
terrorism has created a international backlash and a war unlike any other.