The World at War

"What is best in life?
To crush your enemies,
have them driven before you and
hear the lamentation of their women.
  • Conan the Barbarian

    "The greatest enjoyment of a man is
    to overcome his enemies,
    drive them before him,
    snatch what they have,
    to see the people to whom they are dear
    with their faces bathed in tears,
    to ride their horses,
    to squeeze in his arms their daughters and women."
    Genghis Khan, from Jami' al-tawarikh
    (Ilkhanate's "History of the World")

    You have no idea how much
    it contributes to the general
    politeness and pleasantness of
    diplomacy when you have a
    little quiet armed force in the
    George Kennan (1904-2005)

  • Then out spake brave Horatius
    The Captain of the Gate:
    “To every man upon this Earth
    Death cometh soon or late.
    And how can man die better
    Than facing fearful odds,
    For the ashes of his fathers
    And the temples of his gods

    "One crowded hour of glorious life
    Is worth an age without a name.
    Thomas Osbert Mordaunt (1730–1809)

    "We all end up dead,
    it's just a question of how and why....
    Every man dies, not every man really lives...
    Fight and you may die,
    Run, and you will live. At least for a while.
    It's all for nothing if you don't have freedom..."
    Alba gu bràth! ["Scotland forever!"]
    attributed to William Wallace

    “Rascals, do you want to live forever?”
    King Friedrich the Great of Prussia
    at the Battle of Kolín 18 June 1757

    Current Wars

    worldwideWar on Drugs 1971 -->
    AfghanistanPashtun Taliban Insurgency2001 -->
    AzerbaijanNagorno-Karabakh 1990s-202?
    BrazilFavela War1980s-->
    Burkina FasoPersistent State Failure 1966 -->
    CameroonAnglophone Secession 2017 -->
    Central African RepublicPersistent State Failure1980s-->
    ChadSahel Jihad2015 -->
    China Uighur 1996 -->
    Congo (Zaire) Congo War1998-->
    European UnionOp Sophia2015-->
    HaitiState Failure2021-->
    India Kashmir 1970s-->
    India Naxalite Uprising 1967 -->
    Iraq Civil War 2014 -->
    Libya Civil War2014
    MexicoDrug War2006 -->
    MozambiqueISIS Cabo Delgado 2017 -->
    Myanmar Insurgencies1945 -->
    NigerIslamist Insurgency 2018 -->
    NigeriaCivil Disturbances 1997 -->
    NigeriaBoko Haram 2009 -->
    PakistanKarachi Political Violence2007 -->
    PakistanDeobandi Jihad2001 -->
    PakistanPashtun Jihad2001 -->
    PakistanBalochistan2004 -->
    Russia North Caucasus Insurgency 1992 -->
    Somalia Civil War 1991-->
    South Sudan Tribal Warfare2009-->
    Sudan - Fourth Civil War2023-20??
    SyriaSyria Revolution2011
    ThailandIslamic Rebels2001 -->
    TurkeyKurdistan1984 -->
    UkraineRussian Agression 2014 -->
    United StatesDjibouti2001 -->
    Yemen Civil War2011 -->
    " ... war had been literally continuous, though strictly speaking it had not always been the same war. For several months during his childhood there had been confused street fighting in London itself, some of which he remembered vividly. But to trace out the history of the whole period, to say who was fighting whom at any given moment, would have been utterly impossible,... Oceania was at war with Eurasia and in alliance with Eastasia. In no public or private utterance was it ever admitted that the three powers had at any time been grouped along different lines....

    ".... national leaders, their advisors, and their bureaucracies are capable of gross overconfidence, sloppy analysis, lapses of objectivity, wrong-headed preconceptions, disregard of facts that cast doubt on those preconceptions, zeal at the cost of rationality, suppression of debate, punishment of dissent, and other failures, fallacies, and fantasies that can lead to wrong choices and bad results. The propensity of human beings to blunder seems as great in matters of war and peace as it is in daily life. Not every decision to go to war is a blunder: sometimes it is a rational, even best, choice. Similarly, not all wars are avoidable or, for that matter, ought to be avoided..."
  • Blinders, Blunders, and Wars: What America and China Can Learn
    David C. Gompert, Hans Binnendijk, Bonny Lin
  • Other Conflicts

    AlgeriaInsurgency 1992 -->
    BeninIslamic Insurgency 2017 -->
    BurundiCivil War 2015 -->
    ChinaSino-India Border Dispute1962 -->
    China Senkaku Islands 1968 -->
    China South China Sea 1988 -->
    ComorosPersistent State Failure 1975 -->
    Georgia Civil War1991-->
    India Assam 1985 -->
    India Kashmir 1947 -->
    Indonesia Papua / West Irian1963-->
    IranConfrontation with America2019-->
    IsraelOp Northern Shield2018
    Israel Palestine 1967 -->
    Israel Great March of Return2018 - ??
    IsraelGaza Conflict2019-??
    Korea Korean War1953 -->
    Kyrgyzstan Civil Unrest2010 -->
    Laos Hmong Insurgency2000 -->
    MaliTuaregs / Islamists2012-2018?
    Namibia Caprivi Strip 1966-->
    Pakistan Kashmir 1947 -->
    PalestineCivil War2007-->
    Peru Shining Path1970s-->
    PhilippinesMaute Group 2017
    Sudan Darfur1983-->
    SudanAbyei Area2011-->
    United StatesPhilippines 1898 -->
    UzbekistanCivil Disturbances2005 -->

    "War is essentially an evil thing. Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world. To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."
    Judgment of the International Military Tribunal

    "Violence, naked force has resolved more conflicts throughout history than any other factor. The contrary opinion, that violence doesn't solve anything, is wishful thinking at its worst. People who forget that always die."
    "War is not violence and killing, pure and simple; war is controlled violence, for a purpose. The purpose of war is to support your government's decisions by force. The purpose is never to kill the enemy just to be killing him . . . but to make him do what you want him to do."
    Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

    “The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion […] but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact; non-Westerners never do.”
    Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations

    The Review Conference of the Rome Statute, held in 2010 in Kampala (Uganda), adopted, inter alia, a set of amendments relating to the definition of the crime of aggression and the provisions for the exercise of the Court's jurisdiction. The International Criminal Court may exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression after 1 January 2017, once thirty States Parties have ratified the amendments, and subject to a decision by the Assembly to activate that jurisdiction.

    The “crime of aggression” means the planning, preparation, initiation or execution, by a person in a position effectively to exercise control over or to direct the political or military action of a State, of an act of aggression which, by its character, gravity and scale, constitutes a manifest violation of the Charter of the United Nations. An “act of aggression” means the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations.

    Death is nothing, but
    to live defeated and inglorious
    is to die daily.
    -- Napoleon Bonaparte

    In war, moral power is to physical as three parts out of four.” -- Napoleon Bonaparte

    "How easily people can fool themselves
    into believing wars can be won by some
    wonderful invention rather than by
    hard-fighting and superior leadership."
    General George S. Patton

    Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
    Or close the wall up with our English dead!
    But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
    Then imitate the action of the tiger:
    Stiffen the sinews, conjure up the blood,
    Disguise fair nature with hard-favoured rage:
    Swill’d with the wild and wasteful ocean.
    Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide;
    Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
    To his full height. On, on, you noblest English,
    Dishonour not your mothers: now attest,
    That those whom you call’d fathers did beget you.
    Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
    And teach them how to war.

    Henry V, Act III, Scene I

    Blood and destruction shall be so in use
    And dreadful objects so familiar
    That mothers shall but smile when they behold
    Their infants quarter'd with the hands of war;
    All pity choked with custom of fell deeds:
    Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war;
    That this foul deed shall smell above the earth...

    Julius Caesar: Act III, Scene 1

    he which hath no stomach to this fight,
    Let him depart; his passport shall be made
    And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
    We would not die in that man's company
    That fears his fellowship to die with us.
    This day is called the feast of Crispian:
    He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
    Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
    And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
    He that shall live this day, and see old age,
    Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
    And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:'
    Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
    And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'
    From this day to the ending of the world,
    But we in it shall be remember'd;
    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition:
    And gentlemen in England now a-bed
    Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
    Henry V | Act 4, Scene 3

    "Men, this stuff that some sources sling around about America wanting out of this war, not wanting to fight, is a crock of bullshit. Americans love to fight, traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle. You are here today for three reasons. First, because you are here to defend your homes and your loved ones. Second, you are here for your own self-respect, because you would not want to be anywhere else. Third, you are here because you are real men and all real men like to fight.

    When you, here, every one of you, were kids you all admired the champion marble player, the fastest runner, the toughest boxer, the big-league ball players, and the All-American football players. Americans love a winner. Americans will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win all of the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war; for the very idea of losing is hateful to an American.

    You are not all going to die. Only 2% of you right here today would die in a major battle. Death must not be feared. Death, in time, comes to all men.

    Yes, every man is scared in his first battle. If he says he's not, he's a liar. Some men are cowards but they fight the same as the brave men or they get the hell slammed out of them watching men fight who are just as scared as they are. The real hero is the man who fights even though he is scared. Some men get over their fright in a minute under fire. For some, it takes an hour. For some, it takes days. But a real man will never let his fear of death overpower his honor, his sense of duty to his country, and his innate manhood.

    Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best and it removes all that is base.

    War is a bloody, killing business. You've got to spill their blood, or they will spill yours. Rip them up the belly. Shoot them in the guts. When shells are hitting all around you and you wipe the dirt off your face and realize that instead of dirt it's the blood and guts of what once was your best friend beside you, you'll know what to do!

    I don't want to get any messages saying, "I am holding my position". We are not holding a goddamned thing. Let the Germans do that. We are advancing constantly and we are not interested in holding onto anything, except the enemy's balls. We are going to twist his balls and kick the living shit out of him all of the time."

    Patton, June 5, 1944, speech to US troops in England]

    "Perpetual peace is no empty idea,
    but a practical thing which,
    through its gradual solution,
    is coming always nearer its final realization..."

    Stefan Lindemann defined armed conflict as "a civil war if: (a) the parties are politically and militarily organised, and they have publicly stated political objectives; (b) the government is a principal combatant; (c) the main insurgent organisation(s) are locally represented and recruit locally, though there may be additional external involvement and recruitment; (d) the conflict causes at least 500 to 1000 deaths during the first year or at least 1000 cumulative deaths in the next three years; (e) the conflict is characterised by sustained violence, with no three-year period having less than 500 deaths; and (f) the weaker party is able to mount effective resistance, measured by at least 100 deaths inflicted on the stronger party."

    United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said 30 March 2022 two billion people – one-quarter of humanity – are living in conflict areas today, as the world experiences the highest number of violent conflicts since the end of World War II in 1945. He told the UN Peacebuilding Commission that last year 84 million people were forced to leave their homes because of conflict, violence and human rights violations. “And this year, we estimate that at least 274 million will need humanitarian assistance,” he said.

    The Armed Conflict Database is an annual survey is published by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London, the past few years have seen a considerable increase in the number of war victims. The number of war dead rose from 56,000 in 2008 to 180,000 in 2014, even though instead of 63 only 42 armed conflicts were counted. In 2013, for the first time since the end of the Second World War, more than 50 million people were refugees.

    In 2015 Globally, conflict fatalities amounted to 167,000, which was less than the 180,000 documented in 2014. The last edition of the Armed Conflict Survey covered 42 conflicts around the world. This new edition deals with 37 conflicts, a slightly smaller figure.

    The United Nations defines "major wars" as military conflicts inflicting 1,000 battlefield deaths per year. In 1965, there were 10 major wars under way. The new millennium began with much of the world consumed in armed conflict or cultivating an uncertain peace. As of mid-2005, there were eight Major Wars under way [down from 15 at the end of 2003], with as many as two dozen "lesser" conflicts ongoing with varrying degrees of intensity.

    Most of these are civil or "intrastate" wars, fueled as much by racial, ethnic, or religious animosities as by ideological fervor. Most victims are civilians, a feature that distinguishes modern conflicts. During World War I, civilians made up fewer than 5 percent of all casualties. Today, 75 percent or more of those killed or wounded in wars are non-combatants.

    Africa, to a greater extent than any other continent, is afflicted by war. Africa has been marred by more than 20 major civil wars since 1960. Rwanda, Somalia, Angola, Sudan, Liberia, and Burundi are among those countries that have recently suffered serious armed conflict.

    War has caused untold economic and social damage to the countries of Africa. Food production is impossible in conflict areas, and famine often results. Widespread conflict has condemned many of Africa's children to lives of misery and, in certain cases, has threatened the existence of traditional African cultures.

    Conflict prevention, mediation, humanitarian intervention and demobilization are among the tools needed to underwrite the success of development assistance programs. Nutrition and education programs, for example, cannot succeed in a nation at war. Billions of dollars of development assistance have been virtually wasted in war-ravaged countries such as Liberia, Somalia, and Sudan.

    Globally, armed conflicts result in unprecedented waves of population displacement, both within and across borders. Armed conflicts are associated with direct consequences like deaths, diseases, stress, migration and environmental destruction; indirect socio-economic disruption in the form of institutional, infrastructural and human capital destruction; and opportunity costs like famine due to disruption of agriculture as well as poverty due to disruption of commerce and education.

    Conflicts disrupt the socio-cultural set up of communities and destroy sources of people's livelihood. Post-conflict socio-economic reconstruction needs to encompass programs that restructure people's morals and values through counselling. HIV/AIDS prevention programming in post-conflict communities should deal with socio-cultural disruptions that emerged during conflicts. Some of the disruptions if not dealt with, could become normalized yet they are predisposing factors to high risk sexual behavior (HRSB).

    Pervasive conflict and war often catalyze the disintegration of communities and families as well as the disruption of social norms governing people's sexual behaviour. Men who lose their status in their communities or families due to armed conflict are more likely to resort to alcohol abuse and to engage in HRSB.

    Most women also become vulnerable given their increased dependence on men for physical or economic security. Since many displaced persons are forced to leave their homes, women may be forced to trade sex with armed men or other people supposed to protect them in exchange for food, water, shelter, protection and other basic commodities. Such "survival sex" might involve sex with men infected with sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. Women are also likely to suffer at the hands of boys and young men who become child soldiers and are forced to become violent and abusive as part of their training.

    Living in IDP camps affected people. Cultural values and norms lost their sting. Children stopped respecting their elders. Dishonor of sexual sanctity through transactional sex and practices like incest mirror the consequence of exposure to conflict. Men lost their wives and daughters to soldiers. Soldiers took people's wives since they had more money. HRSB was associated with concentration of people in camps where idleness and unemployment were the norm. Reports of girls and women who had been victims of rape and defilement by men with guns are common. Signs of living in conflict include food insecurity, poor and overcrowded housing, learned helplessness, and apathy. Many people display persistent worries, hopelessness, abuse alcohol and suicidal ideas.

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