Living today without statistics is complicated and unusual. Any activity, even a specialist medical examination, brings out the probability of success or failure of the case. And it is therefore understandable if we now want to deepen what the existence of a war near us means, and how often it happens in the world.
But what is meant by war? War can be defined as:
- A state of armed conflict between different countries or different groups within a country;
- A state of competition or hostility between different people or groups;
- A sustained campaign against an undesirable situation or activity.
A general overview of the armed conflicts in progress today can be seen in a simple way on wikipedia, with an initial table of those that have already had more than 10 thousand deaths and the less violent ones. Among the biggest ones alone, we talk about at least 20 wars active in the world at any given time.
Some statistics tend to show that humanity has never been so peaceful and that it has long been going through a period of peace unprecedented in history. Psychologist Steven Pinker has shown, aided by a long series of statistics, that humanity has never been so peaceful. The specter of war recedes a little more day by day. Others, however, argue exactly the opposite, that is, the world is dangerous and denying it would be lulled into illusion. But you know, there are statistics and statistics, many say everything and nothing, they have to be interpreted. The facts, the real ones, are very different.
In fact, if we take a look at the data provided by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), we see that a large part of the globe is affected by armed conflicts. There are many possible reasons for starting a war between – or more often, within – nations. Among these are economic gain, territorial gain, religion, nationalism, civil war and political revolution. Often, the leaders of countries become the main motivators of conflicts by instigating a territorial dispute, trying to control another country’s natural resources, or by exercising authoritarian power over people.
May 8th, 2021, marked the 76th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe, when the Allies won Nazi Germany. While this conflict that has caused millions of deaths on European soil is firmly anchored in the annals of history, conflicts remain a harsh reality today in the east of the continent. In Europe, two conflicts have degenerated into large-scale wars, and to this now a new conflict appeared, the Russian attack that began on the night between 23rd and 24th February 2022, when Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the order to a “special operation” in Ukraine to “demilitarize the country” and “protect the Donbass”. The Ukrainian crisis that began some time ago had already registered a death toll of over 13,000.
The rise of wars has been driven by developments in Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. In the latter, six ongoing wars continued and another five violent conflicts escalated making it the region with the most war-level conflicts in 2021. The Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia alone caused five wars on large scale. Meanwhile, in Asia and Oceania, the Americas, as well as West Asia, North Africa and Afghanistan (WANA), the number of wars has remained constant or has declined slightly. However, conflicts, for example, in Brazil, Libya, Syria and Yemen continued. As in previous years, violent interstate crises such as opposition conflicts in Venezuela or Nicaragua continued to be the most common type of conflict and shaped the landscape of global conflicts. In short, we are anything but peaceful.
The types of existing wars are well reported by the Uppsala Conflict Data Program. The consequences of wars are many and very heavy, although both American and Soviet doctrines claim to obey the “No First Use” theory. But how can all this be true? There are more and more nuclear powers, the asymmetry of conventional forces could push an invaded country to use the atomic bomb. Proxy conflicts between the great powers have never ceased. Global military spending is higher than it was during the Cold War. Wars force millions of people to leave their land, their homes and their jobs, their lives, childhood is torn away from children, a monstrous act.
War is the greatest crime against humanity. In general, everything arises from conflicts of interest resolved with violence. In the animal kingdom, from which man cannot exclude himself, a specimen imposed themselves upon another one through muscles, now replaced with the superiority of weapons. Victory goes to whoever has the best weapons or uses them most skillfully. Violence has won over common sense, there is no reasoning anymore, one of the contending parties will have to abandon its claims or its opposition. All of this is not only sad, but it leaves us in disbelief and proves once again that some men in power are dangerous, and become more and more so as their age advances. Believing in progressive abilities with positive effects on all of humanity is perhaps still possible, but many men who occupy positions of power leave a lot of perplexities.