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Thursday, October 12, 2006


Today's Wars

You might be interested in a review of conflicts in the world today:
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.

Many 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 all over the continent. The violence in and around Israel is largely because of warlord organizations like Hamas and Hizbollah, which are funded by Moslems seeking to destroy Israel.
Read the whole piece. Note the reference to warlords. You may want to consider this when we take up Power and Prosperity and discuss the idea of roving bandits.

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