Is the world a more …
Is the world a more violent place than it used to be? Not really, says this study.

Widespread fears about a world in a perpetual state of war are unfounded, a study says today. It emphasises that the number of conflicts between nations, civil wars, battle deaths, coups and genocides has been falling steeply for more than a decade.

The authors say there are 40 per cent fewer armed conflicts than in the early 1990s. Between 1991 and last year 28 wars for self-determination began but 43 were ended or contained.

In 1992, when the Yugoslav wars of secession began, there were 51 state-based conflicts around the world. The figure dropped to 32 in 2002 and 29 in 2003. The arms trade declined by a third from 1990 to 2003 and the number of refugees fell by 45 per cent between 1992 and 2003.

In 1950 each conflict killed 38,000 people on average. By 2002 that had dropped to 600.

However, the report, which was funded by five nations including Britain, says that the potential for a major upsurge in violence remains.

“The risk of new wars breaking out or old ones resuming is very real in the absence of a sustained and strengthened commitment to conflict prevention and post-conflict peace-building,” the authors say.

Most of the data gathered ended in 2003, the last full year for which statistics were available. That means that most of the deaths caused by the war in Iraq are not included. But by the standards of the bloodiest conflicts since the end of the Second World War, the deaths in Iraq are relatively few. About 27,000 Iraqis and Americans have died.

While war deaths are always tragic and to be avoided, this study shows that such death are indeed dropping, hysteric from the Left about perpetual war notwithstanding. It also shows that the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq resulted in more results for less casualties, which ought to be good news for everyone, especially since it makes further wars less likely as potential aggressors know we mean business.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!