( A Fifteen Minute read)
As you read this, there are more than 40 conflicts unfolding in countries around the world. You could not be blamed for thinking that most of the world is in conflict.
They all seem to overflow into one great swam of human misery that occupy our News on a daily basis.
These days wars are more to do with identity based in historical, geographical, political, social, cultural and economic realities.
The EU endeavors to appease these differences, however the European Community needs to stop worry about protecting yesterday’s accomplishments rather than facing tomorrow’s challenges.
THIS IS HIGHLIGHTED BY ENGLAND PENDING DEPARTURE LEADING TO THE QUESTION:
DOES A DEFINABLE, IF NASCENT EUROPEAN IDENTITY EXIST OR IS IT LIKE ALL OTHERS.
It should come as no great surprise that most EU citizens regard themselves as belonging within a number of culturally defined groups and do not normally feel that these overlapping identities are incompatible.
As we are now witnessing with England’s departure and the divide between northern Europe and the Southern Europe.
The critical moments that lead to war are those when one or more identities take precedence over the others. So the objective of the EU must be to reach a stage at which regional, national, European and other identities are regarded as compatible rather than competitive.
This stage has not yet been reached and it may be argued that reaching this plateau is the major challenge which the Union faces in the next century.
It is extremely difficult to construct a European cultural project which embraces both the differences in European cultures and their common roots but in a world now driven more and more by technology that must be the objective, not isolation.
Europe is by far the most peaceful region in the world. Yet the continent is not immune to war – Britain, France, Belgium and others are heavily involved in external conflict in the Middle East, and face a growing threat to peace from international terrorism.
It is not inevitable that the logic of unity and interdependence will prevail and there is a consequent danger of a return to a dangerously fragmented Europe with potentially devastating consequences.
So given all the dire warnings from either side about the security of Europe if Britain leaves the EU, does the IEP foresee a change in the region’s fortunes in the event of Brexit?
In the short-term it’s unlikely to have an effect.
The longer-term ramifications, more for Britain than for [the rest of] Europe, would probably depend on what the economic outcome of a British exit would be. If there’s a further deterioration in the economy in England we may well witness an increase in violence.
This is a country that is full of places of worship that are thronged with glorification of war, saturated with historical blood, building two new aircraft carriers, while its people are on trolleys in hospitals.
Leaving the EU for all the wrong reasons, expecting to retain all the advantages of being in the EU but none of the responsibilities and costs.
A self-inflicted position.
At the moment they have the best trade deal possible – the best one imaginable – which is a customs union and access to the European Single Market and the European Economic Area.
We are now further away from world peace than at any time in the past 10 years – and it’s creating a global ‘peace inequality’ gap.
There are now just 10 countries which can be considered truly at peace – in other words, not engaged in any conflicts either internally or externally, completely free from conflict.
The lack of a solution to the refugee crisis and an increase in deaths from major terrorist incidents have all contributed to the world being less peaceful in 2016.
Many of the conflicts don’t get the media or policy attention of the wars in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan or Ukraine, and they may not have the same geopolitical or economic importance.
All wars need arms so who is supplying the arms:
Fueling the deadly conflicts for profit.
War kills. And war sells.
Where do nations from every corner of the planet look when they want to increase their arsenals?
Ten countries are responsible for the vast majority of all major arms exports, accounting for 90 percent of global sales with the United States, the world’s largest arms dealers.
The world’s top six major arms exporters are the United States, Britain, Russia, Germany, France and China. Together, they account for 74 percent of the total volume of exports.
Sales are in the region of $31.bn
If you don’t believe me here below is a link to interactive map.
The map is part of a series of articles from IRIN around the concept of forgotten wars.is an interactive map of the current conflicts in the world.
It examines the root causes, human cost and potential for peace of conflicts in Myanmar, Casamance, South Kordofan, southern Thailand, and Mindanao in the Philippines.
The map marks each conflict with a red dot.
It is sized to represent how long the battle has been going on, with the
larger dots representing those that have lasted the longest.
To see more about each conflict, click on the dot.
This brings up a fact box explaining the nature of the conflict, when it began and how many deaths have resulted from it.
Syria has been embroiled in civil war, that is also the biggest and most complex proxy war the world has witnessed.
Mexico’s drug war, fueled by 54 ruthless cartels lust for territory, cash, power and violence has slaughtered as many as 85,000 people since 2006.
Mali, AL-Qaeda took root in the country’s north. Around 4,000 people have been killed in Mali since 2012.
Afghanistan, Taliban and IS.
Iraq, the 2003 US-led Iraq war killed up to a million Iraqis, gave birth to Islamic State.
The conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have been going for well over a decade, then it spilled into Syria in 2011, and afterwards into Libya and Yemen.
Yemen, AL-Qaeda and IS have fighters in Yemen, over 7,600 people have been killed in the past two years.
Pakistan, since the 9/11 outrage in 2001, war has been raging between the Taliban, IS.
Lebanon, Nearly a quarter of Lebanon’s population is made up of Syrian refugees and sectarian division has risen as IS battles with the Shia militant group Hezbollah.
Libya, 35,000 people have been killed since the Arab Spring uprising.
Democratic Republic Of Congo, more than 70 groups are fighting despite the presence of 20,000 UN troops.
Somalia, Al-Shabaab had 9,000 fighters in Somalia. IS has a foothold in Somalia and is trying to recruit Al-Shabaab fighters.
India,a fragile ceasefire since 2003 with Kashmir, but still exchange fire across the contested border.
South Sudan, over 50,000 people have been killed and more than 1.6 million displaced since war broke out in 2013. It has raged for more than 60 years.
Egypt, at war against Islamist militants in the Sinai.
Central African Republic, 6,000 people have been killed in the Central African Republic, with 25 per cent of the 4.6 million population displaced.
Ukraine, Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.
Nigeria, 50,000 people have died in the war between regime forces and Islamic State-affiliates Boko Haram.
Israel -Palestine, has forced tens of thousands of Arabs from homes in land grabs.
Turkey, fighting the Kurdish Workers Party the PKK, is hostile to the Kurdish Democratic Unity Party’s armed wing, the YPG, but has good relations with the Kurdish Peshmerga of Northern Iraq. The Turkish and Syrian Kurds are fighting IS and others in Syria but are against the Turkish government.
North Korea, technically, it has never stopped being at war with the South since 1953.
East China sea, South China Sea.
Will any end soon. Not likely.
This autocracy must stop.
The shelf-life of weapons is often longer than the governments and situations they were sold to.
Britain – is now the world’s second largest arms exporter after America – around 120,000 people are employed in weapons dealing.
Two-thirds of UK weapons have been sold to Middle Eastern countries.
If Europe is to escape the cauldron of fragmentation and national strife our shared bonds of European identity must be more broadly defined, given concrete expression and have the flexibility necessary to create an outward-looking and self-confident union of people’s.
The logic of global socio-economic interdependence that spells integration and the logic of ethnicity and nationality that demands separation both apply.
If England leaves the EU without a satisfactory solution to the Irish Border it could reignite one of the longest conflicts in the world going back 700 years.
To make the Irish less Irish backfired once and it will again.
With the coming Climate Change, doubts about the science are being replaced by doubts about the motives of scientists and their political supporters.
Once this kind of cynicism takes hold, is there any hope for the truth?
Climate change deniers argue they are only trying to discover the truth.
We should all be sceptical about that.
No Technology, No Artificial Intelligence, No inequality adjustment, No Frontiers, No Nuclear weapons, No alliances, not anything is going to stop migration.
Where will the next War be?
It will be between the countries relying on the Nile for power and water.
The toll of decades-long conflicts – from Colombia to the Ogaden, from Kashmir to Western Sahara – will be just as devastating for the people who do not live there.
All of the above presupposes that the development of Europe’s cultural identity is a worthy and attainable goal.
Europe, when you think about it, is a pretty small place. Jump on a plane in London and you can be all the way across the continent, in big old Russia, within just a few hours.
Europe stresses the importance of a continuing dialogue between the present and the past.
All human comments appreciated. All like clicks chucked in the bin.