The wars underway are tragic. Unfortunately, wars have been tragic and cost large numbers of lives for thousands of years. The earliest known wars were fought over resources, such as land and water. Over time, wars have become more complex and destructive, focused more on political instability, poverty, and ethnic and religious tensions. Wars now involve larger armies and use more sophisticated weapons. It is not a pretty picture.
I take a look at some of the most notable wars in the past:
- The Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC): This war was fought between Athens and Sparta for control of Greece. The war ended with the defeat of Athens and the rise of Sparta as the dominant power in Greece.
- The Punic Wars (264-146 BC): These wars were fought between Rome and Carthage for control of the Mediterranean Sea. The wars ended with the defeat of Carthage and the destruction of the city.
- The Crusades (1095-1291): These were a series of religious wars fought between Christians and Muslims for control of the Holy Land. The Crusades resulted in the deaths of millions of people and had a profound impact on Europe and the Middle East.
- The Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648): This was a religious war fought in Central Europe. The war resulted in the deaths of millions of people and caused widespread destruction.
- The French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars (1789-1815): These were a series of wars fought between France and other European powers. The wars resulted in the spread of the ideals of the French Revolution throughout Europe and the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte as one of the most powerful figures in history.
- World War I (1914-1918): This was a global war fought between the Allied Powers (France, Great Britain, Russia, and the United States) and the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire). The war resulted in the deaths of over 16 million people and had a profound impact on the world.
- World War II (1939-1945): This was a global war fought between the Allies (France, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States) and the Axis Powers (Germany, Italy, and Japan). The war resulted in the deaths of more than 60 million people and was the most destructive war in human history.
- Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began in February 2022, is the largest ongoing armed conflict in Europe since World War II. The conflict has displaced millions of people and caused a humanitarian crisis. The ongoing war in Ukraine has had a global impact, including rising food and energy prices.
Next, I look at war from a regional perspective:
- Middle East and North Africa: The Syrian Civil War, which began in 2011, is still ongoing, and has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of displaced people. Other conflicts in the region include the Libyan Civil War and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which has now turned into a war which will take many innocent lives. It could expand into a multi-front regional war. The civil war in Yemen began in 2014 and is one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. The conflict has caused millions of people to be displaced and has created a famine. The civil war in Syria began in 2011, and it has caused millions of people to be displaced and has created a humanitarian crisis. The conflict led to the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
- Africa: There are currently armed conflicts taking place in several African countries, including Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic. The civil war in Ethiopia began in 2020, and it has caused millions of people to be displaced and has created a humanitarian crisis. The conflict has also led to a famine.
- Asia: The Myanmar Civil War, which began in February 2021, is still ongoing, and has resulted in widespread violence and displacement. it has been followed by a crackdown on dissent. The military has killed and imprisoned thousands of people. Other conflicts in the region include the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, the conflict in Afghanistan, and the Kashmir conflict between India and Pakistan.
These are just a few of the many wars which have been fought throughout history. Wars have had a devastating impact on humanity, causing death, destruction, and displacement. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, there are 27 ongoing conflicts in the world today.
War is a tragedy, and it has a devastating impact on the people who are caught up in it. It is difficult to say exactly how many people have died from all the wars in history, as there is no reliable database. However, it is estimated over 100 million people have died in wars since the beginning of the 20th century alone. Wars rage on and millions of people continue to be killed or displaced by violence each year.
Wars have a devastating impact on human life and society. Unfortunately, it would be wishful thinking that world leaders have learned from the history of war and how to prevent future wars from happening. It is likely most all of the wars could have been prevented. Many world leaders do not have the skill to resolve conflicts peacefully. The United Nations should be able to prevent war and promote peace. A look at how they are organized offers strong clues for why it doesn’t work.
Russia is a member of all six main committees of the United Nations General Assembly including the committee on Disarmament and International Security and the committee on Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural issues. In addition to the main committees, Russia is also a member of a number of other UN committees and specialized agencies, including the Economic and Social Council, the Human Rights Council, and the World Health Organization. This is the country which bombs schools, hospitals, churches, and cultural sites. Russia is also a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, which gives it the power to veto any Security Council resolution.
There are 193 member states in the United Nations. The total UN budget for 2023 is $3.4 billion. Based on 2019-2021 data, for peacekeeping operations, the United States pays 28%, China 15%, Russia 3%, and Iran .08%.
by John R. Patrick