More and smaller wars

The post-WWII period has not been as peaceful as is usually presumed:

We may think the world enjoyed periods of relative freedom from war between the Cold War and 9/11 but the new research by Professor Mark Harrison from at the University of Warwick’s the Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy, and Professor Nikolaus Wolf from Humboldt University, shows that the number of conflicts between pairs of states rose steadily from 6 per year on average between 1870 and 1913 to 17 per year in the period of the two World Wars, 31 per year in the Cold War, and 36 per year in the 1990s.

Professor Mark Harrison from the University of Warwick said: “The number of conflicts has been rising on a stable trend. Because of two world wars, the pattern is obviously disturbed between 1914 and 1945 but remarkably, after 1945 the frequency of wars resumed its upward course on pretty much the same path as before 1913.”

One of the key drivers is the number of countries, which has risen dramatically – from 47 in 1870 to 187 in 2001.

As the historically aware observer increasingly gathers, the second-worst president in the history of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, has an awful lot for which to answer. It is largely his pre-neocon vision of world democratic revolution and declaration of U.S. support for tribal self-determination around the globe that is behind this increase in the amount of international conflict. I note that this study does not take the rising amount of intra-national violence into account, or the historical picture would likely look even worse.