Friday, September 16, 2016

Peace? Not In My Lifetime

If you are unaware, there has been a decade long decline in peace. The last decade has seen a historic decline in world peace - interrupting a long term improvement in peace since World War II.

Terrorism is at an all time high.

Battle deaths from conflict are at a 25 year high. The total number of conflicts has jumped sharply in recent years, rising from 31 in 2010 to 40 in 2014.

The number of refugees and internally displaced persons increased dramatically over the decade, doubling from 2007 to 2015, to approximately 60 million people.

Deaths from terrorism increased by 80 per cent from last year’s report with only 69 countries not recording a terrorist incident. The intensity of terrorism also increased with the number of countries suffering more than 500 deaths from terrorist acts more than doubling, up from 5 to 11. The rise in political instability was globally distributed with large changes within many countries spread across many regions. Among the countries with the largest deteriorations were Djibouti, Guinea-Bissau, Poland, Burundi, Kazakhstan and Brazil.

Someday, I'm going to climb into my clothes basket
and fly away. To Alaska, probably.
The total number of conflicts has jumped sharply in recent years, rising from 31 in 2010 to 40 in 2014. This increase in the number of internal conflicts has led to a concurrent rise in battle deaths. In 2014, owing largely to the conflict in Syria but also the increasingly protracted conflict in Yemen, battle deaths hit a 25 year high. This number is likely to increase when 2015 data is released.

Although the majority of deaths in 2014 occurred in Syria, there were a number of other conflicts that resulted in high numbers of battle deaths. In total, 11 conflicts resulted in more than a thousand deaths each in 2014, with conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan resulting in more than 10,000 deaths each.

However, it is important to place today’s violence in historical context. While the total number of battle deaths did reach a 25 year high in 2014, the last 25 years have been relatively peaceful compared to the preceding 25. From the period 1990 to 2014, there were more than 50,000 deaths in a year on six occasions. By contrast, from 1965 to 1989 there were more than 50,000 deaths on 24 occasions.

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