All countries are at war with their immediate neighbours sooner or later — or have been throughout history. The same applies to adjacent regions, or to adjacent groups within regions right down to the original small hunter-gatherer groups in which man was a species for 200,000 years in pre-historic times.
The same doesn’t apply to democracies — so some Western politicians tell us in order to prove that our voting system is superior to, say, the Chinese mandarin system. They’re wrong, of course. France and Germany have been at war — major warfare — three times in the last 150 years. Not all neighbouring nation-states have been at war, however, but this is only because the highly centralised nation-state has only fully emerged in the last century.
There can be no more major wars — not even between France and Germany! — because they’re far too costly and would bankupt them completely. Unlike the two World Wars, America can’t afford to lend the necessary money. China wouldn’t either — it’s amore solipsist country than most and has enough on its plate raising its total population to Western living standards.
There’ll be plenty of minor wars, particularly in the Middle East and Africa — at least if the 2016 Global Peace Index is any guide. In terms of peace, there were 81 countries in the last year that became more peaceful and 70 that became more disruptive. Unfortunately this is within a context of a decade that is less peaceful than the decade before.
Increasingly, warfare is becoming that of smaller skirmishes, civil wars and terrorism. In these cases, the ‘democracy’ of relatively cheap high-performance portable weapons such as Kalashnikoffs applies.
Considering that the smartphone — now becoming accessible to the poor — enables the rich advanced countries to show off their panoply of consumer goods while most of the world’s population still don’t earn enough to have a nutritious diet means that, like it or not, the world is likely to have civil wars and terrorism for a very long time yet.