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Trend and pattern of armed conflicts since the Cold War - Essay Example

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Trend and pattern of armed conflicts since the Cold War 1. Introduction The continuous change in the social, political and economic characteristics of countries worldwide has led to the development of conflicts for protecting the interests involved in the various phases of this process…
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Trend and pattern of armed conflicts since the Cold War
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Download file to see previous pages the period that followed ‘the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1989 and the disintegration of the USSR in 1991’ (Colas et al. 2006, p.71). It is proved that the post-Cold War period has been characterized by the change in trends and patterns of armed conflicts internationally. It seems that the end of confrontation between the East and the West – as this confrontation has been developed through the Cold War – led to the beginning of new forms of armed conflicts in countries around the world; at the same time, certain forms of armed conflicts, as existed in the past, have still remained active; for instance, the Civil Wars (the Rwanda and the Sudan wars) and the Interstate armed conflicts (Gulf war). In any case, since the Cold War armed conflicts have been changed drastically, being characterized by the end of phenomena, like the short – term duration of conflicts and the fight towards a country’s enemy; armed conflicts in the post Cold-War era have been characterized by the development of terrorism, the control of Black market and the increase of their duration, in the context described below. 2. Armed conflicts in the post – Cold War era; trends and patterns 2.1 Conflict - overview In order to understand the change in the nature of armed conflicts since the Cold War it would be necessary to refer to the term ‘conflict’ as used today in order to describe the battles developed internationally. Traditionally, the term ‘conflict’, as a concept referring to military interventions, has been related to the following two missions: a) the protection of a country’s borders from invaders and b) the invasion in other countries and the occupation of their territory aiming to improve the invader’s strategic or economic position. Today, the term conflict describes a different situation: the use of weapons for protecting specific interests or to gain access to critical natural/ energy sources. Of course, such conflicts existed also in the past – i.e. in the pre-Cold War period; however, at that period, these conflicts involved in countries and not in groups, as today. Reference should be made at this point to the categorization of armed conflicts, in order to understand the level of their effects internationally. Armed conflicts are likely to be categorized in accordance with the related deaths; in this context, the following three types of conflicts can be identified worldwide: a) the minor armed conflict – ‘at least 25 deaths annually’ (Feste 2003, p.153), b) the intermediate armed conflict –‘at least 1,000 deaths in total, but fewer than 1,000 deaths annually’ (Feste 2003, p.153) and c) the war – ‘at least 1,000 deaths annually’ (Feste 2003, p.153). On the other hand, armed conflicts can be state-based, i.e. supported – directly or indirectly – by the state, in terms of the participation of the national army; there is also the case of the non-state armed conflicts, which are developed among groups or communities without the active involvement of the local government. It should, further, noted that the state-based conflicts can be further categorized into interstate (between states), intrastate (within the state), extrastate (between the state and a group outside the state), the Civil wars and the state-formation conflicts; these categories must be taken into consideration when having to characterize and evaluate the type of armed ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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