The connection with the fact that the wars of our time are essentially civil wars is clear: In an internal conflict, at least one non-state group is often a party to an armed conflict either with the government of a country and / or with other non-state groups in the same country. Such groups can span a scale ranging from international mercenaries and local warlords via privately employed supply and security workers via strongly religious-ideologically motivated warriors to the youngest child soldiers. With this range, the distinction between combatants and non-combatants is also blurred. The dispute is mainly about government power or about a territory within a country (see text box The core of the dispute ).
The decommissioning goes hand in hand with a tendency to discipline the forces. In general, non-governmental groups have far weaker – if any at all – training in international law that has set limits on how war can be waged or captured by hand. Thus, the conduct of soldiers in conflicts is often also far more undisciplined. Soldiers who rape, massacre and plunder – often under the influence of drugs or alcohol – are part of the picture of new warriors. Sometimes such behavior is even part of their strategy. The civilian population must be intimidated.
According to ALLUNITCONVERTERS.COM, several of the conflicts in Africa (West Africa, Sudan, Congo), the Caucasus and Afghanistan are mentioned as examples of new wars, which by the way are not so new after all. From several quarters, “the new wars” are seen as a return to the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648) and the wars before the Peace of Westphalia (cf. the emergence of the territorial state with a monopoly of power within its area of authority). Soldiers in large groups then went around plundering and harassing the civilian population. Similarly, we see the state apparatus in several developing countries weathering in a vicious circle on the way to becoming a so-called “failed state” – state where the state apparatus is barely able to deliver even a minimum measure of security, development or a certain welfare of its inhabitants. Is it state-dissolving wars that will be the hallmark of the future, such state formation has been the last couple of three hundred years? And is this state dissolution amplified by the fact that weak and new states in the south hardly have time to establish themselves because the pressure of globalization is so strong?
Another feature of the new wars is an increasing tendency for asymmetry in the relationship between conflict actors . They are different and far from very strong, especially if one party is called the United States. The parties are not equal opponents of the state who are fighting a battle with clear fronts – a battle starting with an official declaration of war, major battles and a marked end to the war. And the victims are mainly civilians; formerly they were military. In most conflicts, battlefields make up only a small proportion of conflict victims; most are indirect victims. They die from the effects of the war – diseases, lack of medicine, malnutrition and malnutrition.
Non-governmental groups generally do not have as many resources as states and therefore hardly go out in open arms against government soldiers with heavier equipment (even in many developing countries). It’s going to be a raw party. Rather, they focus on an exhausting, protracted war with needle-stick operations and varying intensity of warfare. Yes, sometimes with such low intensity that the war seems to be dormant. The 11.09.-terrorists struck where one hardly expected it and should basically have our weapons only with simple knives! Sometimes we find actors who do not want to end the war at all because they tend to continue it (warlords / warlords). They earn income from drug production and smuggling, human trafficking, resource extraction (diamonds…). These types of warriors and conflict actors reinforce the tendency to discipline and easily attract criminals.
In the most serious and media-covered war code sites today in Iraq and Afghanistan, Iraqi resistance groups and the Taliban are not at all jealous of the United States / NATO. It is said that the inferior in an asymmetrical war does not have military say as a goal, but economic exhaustion of the enemy. Such exhaustion also means that the costs of rebuilding a (civil) war-torn country have become immense. It is enough that they exhaust and paralyze populations and lead to misuse of small funds in some developing countries. How easy is it then to mobilize young men in need of work and preferably also for status and new-fashioned props such as ipods, sunglasses or other?
8: What is security?
What is security – or lack of security – about? For a long time, unrest was associated with threats, usually unequivocal military threats between states and with ditto clear enemy image. This is no longer the case. The security of the individual has come more into focus, not least human rights. In addition, one speaks rather of a multidimensional and complex risk picture, which is difficult to over-code. Risks can be the risk of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, environmental destruction, terrorist acts, organized crime, rapid proliferation of social, economic and political instability, state collapse, civil war.
Threats have thus been replaced by the more diffuse risks and unclear fronts. The enemy may even be in the middle of us. Yes, he can actually be ourselves when he comes, for example, in the form of our own environmental destruction.
Conflict – the core of the dispute
Behind disputes over government power or territory, we find the more underlying causes of conflicts:
- conflicts of interest – disputes over the distribution of money and material goods – among other things about land, taxation, location of activities etc.
– dispute over more intangible matters. Here we often find conflicts with ideological or seemingly ethnic-religious signs.
Conflicts often become extra difficult to resolve when abuse of power and discrimination fall along ethnic-religious boundaries, including systematic prioritization of own groups and voters.