Quick & Dirty Guide
to Wars In The World
June 17, 2007:
You'd never know it from the headlines, but, overall, things quieted down in
the past year. Violence has diminished, or disappeared completely, in
places like Nepal, Chechnya. Congo, Indonesia and Burundi. This continues a trend that began when the Cold
War ended, and the Soviet Union no longer subsidized terrorist and rebel groups
everywhere.The current wars are basically uprisings against police states
or feudal societies, which are seen as out-of-step with the modern world. Many
are led by radicals preaching failed dogmas (Islamic conservatism, Maoism),
that still resonate among people who don't know any better.
The War on Terror has become the War Against
Islamic Radicalism. This religious radicalism 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 by Moslems, 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 on some social or political
problem. The current violence is international because of the availability of
planet wide mass media (which needed a constant supply of headlines), 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 gain attention. 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 Moslems.
Normally, 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
("war on Islam"), and some of the Western media have picked up on
this bizarre interpretation of reality. Historians like to point out, for
example, that the medieval Crusades were a series of wars fought in response to
Islamic violence against Christians, not the opening act of aggression against
Islam that continue to the present. 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 pundits 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, not the other way around.
While 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 many little wars that get
little media attention outside their region. 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 actually comprise about 95 percent of all the casualties.The Islamic
terrorism looms larger because the terrorists threaten attacks everywhere,
putting a much larger population in harms way, and unhappy with that.
Current wars are listed in
alphabetical orders. Text underneath briefly describes current status. Click on
country name for more details.
Taliban comeback are
trying to make a come back, but without much success. A sharp increase in
Taliban activity in 2006 brought forth a sharp response from government and
NATO forces. This years Spring Offensive was a flop. Independent minded tribes,
warlords and drug gangs remain a greater threat to peace, prosperity and
true national unity, than the Taliban (which is based across the border in
A few hundred Islamic
rebels fading away, but still feisty. The population is not happy, and a
general uprising remains a threat because of dissatisfaction with the old
revolutionaries that refuse to honor election results, share power or govern
Main rebel group (UNITA)
defeated, but some smaller ones have appeared to fight over oil wealth. This
war is basically over.
The Greater Albania
Movement is driven by part time Albanian nationalists, full time gangsters,
political opportunists, Kosovo separatists and a growing number of Islamic
radicals.Bosnia continues to attract Islamic terrorists, despite the
local government becoming increasingly hostile to these foreign troublemakers
and alien Islamic conservatism.
Dictators brew rebellion
by suppressing democrats and Islamic radicals. But not much violence, just a
lot of potential.
Rebel movements grew and
united, aided by government backed Arab militias from Sudan. There was a three
month mini-war with Sudan in mid-2006, but ended in a draw by years end. More
unrest is caused by refugees from tribal battles in Sudan.
The confrontation with
Taiwan continues, as do hostilities with neighbors, separatists, dissenters and
ancient enemies. China speeds up modernization of its armed forces, but in ways
Westerners have a difficult time understanding (China is developing major Cyber
War capabilities, and using them now.) China has become major secret supplier
of cheap weapons to bad guys everywhere.
After over three decades,
leftist rebels losing support, recruits and territory.Leftist demagogue
in Venezuela threatens to support rebels, and is providing sanctuary for
Colombian rebels.The drug gangs and rebels have merged in many parts of
the country, and war in increasingly about money, not ideology.
Multiple tribal and
political militias, plus an increasing number of bandits, continue to roam the
countryside. Peacekeepers and army action have reduced the the size of these
violent groups, but not eliminated them. However, there are fewer places
that the bad guys can roam freely. Attempts to merge rebels into army has not
Border dispute with
Eritrea festers, and invasion of Somalia bogs down in local clan feuds.
Internally, rebellious Moslem groups are a constant threat, especially with
more active support from Eritrea.
Peacekeepers keep a lid on
two century old violence between the rich and the poor, and the criminal and
political gangs. Peacekeepers have busted up many of the gangs, and sharply
lowered the crime rate.
Kashmir is but one of many
rebellions that beset the region. India also has tribal and Islamic rebel in
the northeast, and Maoist (communist) ones in between. Pakistan has Islamic
radicals in the north, and rebellious Pushtun and Baluchi tribes along the
Afghan border. The Taliban has become stronger in Pakistan, where it
originated, than in Afghanistan. India and Pakistan have nukes, making
escalation a potential catastrophe. As a result, recent peace talks have
lowered the possibility of war, but both sides continue an arms
race.Pakistani Islamic radical groups continue to support terrorism in
India and Afghanistan, and have joined a coalition of other groups to overthrow
the military dictatorship controlling the Pakistani
government.Pakistan has always been a mess, and does not appear to be
Islamic terrorists and government corruption create a volatile situation that
is slowly calming down. Islamic terrorists have been greatly diminished, as
Islamic moderates flex their traditional popularity. Aceh, however, is becoming
a stronghold for Islamic conservatives. Newly independent East Timor has been
unable to govern itself.
Minority of Islamic conservatives
have veto power over the reformist majority. The supply of peaceful solutions
is drying up. After that comes another revolution. Half the population consists
of ethnic minorities (mainly Turks and Arabs), and these groups are getting
more restive and violent. Meanwhile, the Islamic conservatives are determined
to build nuclear weapons, rather than improving the economy and raising living
standards. Unrest and terrorist violence becoming more common, and government
seeks foreign adventures to distract an unhappy population. .
Sunni Arab minority tries
to make peace with the majority Kurds and Shia Arabs. This is not happening
because some Sunni Arab Islamic radicals still back terrorism attacks against
government and Shia Arabs (who are considered heretics). Many Sunni Arabs are
fleeing the country, and this appears to be how the war will end, with nearly
all the Sunni Arabs dead or expelled. That sort of thing is an ancient practice
in this part of the world. U.S. "surge" campaign has hurt the Sunni
Arab groups in Baghdad.
Jewish and Palestinian
radicals continue to confront peacemakers. Palestinians are tired of
terrorism, even though they still support it, and are no longer trying to work
out a peace deal with Israel. Palestinian economy has collapsed as foreign
charity dried up because the people elected Hamas (Islamic terrorists) party to
power. Civil war with corrupt Palestinian old guard (Fatah) has split
Palestinians. Iran backed Islamic radicals in Lebanon have revived fears of
civil war up there. have dragged Lebanon into a war with Israel, that left Lebanon
a mess.Meanwhile, Israeli economy booms as Israel carries out its plan to
wall itself off from the Palestinians (who don't seem to be able to do anything
The north and the south
finally make a deal over money, religion and power. All this is watched over
by peacekeepers set up between the factions.
North Korea continues to
destroy its economy, in order to maintain armed forces capable of invading
South Korea and keeping its own population in bondage. A nuclear weapons test
changed nothing, although continued famine in the north has prompted China to
send more and more troops to the border. North Korean military declines
in power, as lack of money for maintenance or training cause continuing
rot.Government split into reform and conservative factions, making change
difficult to achieve.
Kurds continue 5,000 year
struggle to form their own country. But Iran cracks down on its Kurds, while
Turkey threatens to move more troops into northern Iraq.Iraqi Kurds
refuse to expel Kurdish separatists, despite threat of Turkish invasion. Kurds
believe they will get control of some Iraqi oil fields, providing cash for all
manner of opportunities.
Chaos, collapse and tired
of fighting. There is peace, but no prosperity.
The passing of one-party
rule, the growth of drug gangs, and increasing corruption in the security
forces, has triggered growing violence and unrest.The U.S. border is like
a war zone.
states" (countries with populations that cannot govern themselves) are
found here. Fiji has another coup, Tonga suffers major riots by
Radical communist rebels
still struggle to overthrow a popular monarchy, but now do it inan
alliance with political parties. This has stopped Maoist violence, and
greatly reduced the powers of the monarchy, and triggered uprising by other
unhappy groups (more radical Maoists, hill tribes, ethnic Indians). .
Too many tribes, too much
oil money and too much corruption creates growing violence. The tribes in
the oil producing region (the Niger Delta) are getting organized, and a lot
more violent. The northern Moslems want more control over the federal
government (and the oil money).Local rebels threaten loss of most oil
revenue, which is getting the governments attention.
POTENTIAL HOT SPOTS
Various places where the
local situation is warming up and might turn into a war. Zimbabwe and Yemen are
hot right now.
Islamic 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. Both of these movements
are losing and the Moslems are negotiating a peace deal. The communists are
taking a beating, and not willing to talk yet.
Rebuilding and reforming
the Soviet era armed forces continues. The war against gangsters and Islamic
radicals in Chechnya has been won, but the Islamic radicals continue to operate
in other parts of the Caucasus. Russia returns to police state ways, and
traditional threatening attitude towards neighbors.
RWANDA & BURUNDI
War between better
organized and more aggressive Tutsis and more numerous Hutu tribes. It's been
going on for centuries, but the latest installment has finally ended, with the
last Hutu group in Burundi giving up.
A failed state. It was
never a country, but a collection of clans and tribes that fight each other constantly
over economic issues (land and water).The new
"transitional" government, was nearly wiped out by an
"Islamic Courts" movement (which attempted to put the entire
country under the rule of Islamic clergy and Islamic law). When Islamic Courts
threatened to expand into Ethiopia, Ethiopia invaded and wiped out the Islamic
Courts. The Islamic radicals have turned to terrorism, and Eritrea continues to
provide support. The country remains an economic and political mess, a black
hole on the map.
Tamil minority (19th
century economic migrants from southern India) battles to partition the
island.A long ceasefire ends and fighting has resumed. Tamils (the
LTTE) are losing this time. LTTE will not go quietly.
Moslems in the north try
to suppress separatist tendencies among Christians in the south and Moslem
rebels in the east and west. All this is complicated by development of oil
fields in the south, and Moslem government attempts to drive Christians from
the 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. The government uses Arab nationalism and economic ties with Russia and
China to defy the world and get away with driving non-Arab tribes from Darfur.
Malay Moslems in the south
are five percent of the population, and different. Most Thais, are ethnic
Thais and Buddhist. Islamic radicalism has arrived, along with an armed effort
to create a separate Islamic state in the three southern provinces. Islamic
terrorists grow more powerful month by month, and refuse to negotiate. They are
still a minor, but high media profile, problem that the government may
deal with using traditional Thai approach (much violence).
Religion and tribalism
combine to create a persistent rebellion in the north, which was aided by
Sudan. But now the northern rebels have been worn down, and the unrest is just
about done with.Final peace deal with LRA rebels being negotiated.
WAR ON TERROR
has created a international backlash and a war unlike any other. The only
terrorist victories are in the media. On the ground, the terrorists are losing
ground everywhere. There least refuges are chaotic places like Iraq, Iran,
Syria, Lebanon, Somalia, Gaza, the Sahel, a few of the Philippine islands, and
tribal regions of Pakistan. They are being chased out of Iraq, Somalia
and the Philippines, while Pakistan is under constant pressure to do the same.
Iran continues to support terrorism in the face of much local disapproval.
Syria and Lebanon are in chaos because of Iranian subsidized factions. Gaza
going the same way. Islamic radicals are a traditional reaction to tyranny in
their region, and inability to rule effectively. Economic and diplomatic ties
with the West are interpreted as support, leading to attacks on Western
targets that created a devastating counterattack. Result of this in the Moslem
world has been dramatic, finally forcing leaders and people to confront their