Warfare seems endemic to mankind. Nations around the world are driven by conflict. But is the impetus to war decreasing? Håvard Hegre finds statistical grounds for hope.
In my view, perhaps the most evident shortcoming is that our predictions ignore the importance of political systems – the institutions that regulate how leaders are recruited and how they make decisions. We leave this out since we have no credible forecasts for changes to political systems over the next 40 years, but it is evident that many internal armed conflicts are fought over the nature of the political system, in particular in non-democratic middle-income countries.
Phi Beta Iota: The author wisely concludes with the identification of the critical factor in determining whether political units go to war or not: the political leadership itself. Although traditional conflicts are indeed reduced in occurrence and duration, lesser forms of great violence, including banking greed called by some “financial terrorism,” poverty and hunger and disease, trade in women and children, and the systematic growth of the prison population through various schemes all lacking in ethics, are the new form of war by the elite against the masses. War is no longer about nation on nation, but rather about the 1% on the 99%. War is no longer about uniformed military using conventional weapons, but rather about the use of all other means to impoverish the many for the benefit of the few. In brief, the world is being “led” by criminally insane people who earnestly believe that they can survive a global meltdown of entire populations and their economies.