Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Peace Is the Seeming Exception

Lest you think peace is the international norm, several regional brushfire wars and quasi-wars are simmering below the general level of awareness. Today’s RealClearWorld has two examples: low-level violence in the tensions between Algeria and Morocco over who controls Western Sahara, plus irregular ‘war’ along the borders between Belarus vs. Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia.

Meanwhile, India and Pakistan continue to squabble, and occasionally fight, over the fate of Kashmir. Russia and Turkey back opposites warring sides in Libya and Syria, and China continues to push other bordering countries (Vietnam, Philippines, Japan) out of the South China Sea. 

Yemen is still a shooting war, parts of Syria and Iraq ditto, several Central African countries experience Islamist insurrection and violence, Burma/Myanmar is never exactly peaceful, eastern Ukraine is threatened by a Russian military buildup just across the border, and the Balkans continue to hover just below the outbreak of genocidal violence. 

Plus Brexit seems to have turned up the heat under the tensions in Northern Ireland. One of these days Gaza will resume hostilities with Israel. And Azerbaijan and Armenia have unresolved issues.

The Western Hemisphere is, by comparison, a relatively peaceful place at the moment. Since the Colombian ceasefire, there hasn’t been much political group-on-group warfare, unless you count the gangs shooting at each other in our larger cities and the drug cartels ‘at play’ in Mexico.