War and Peace | Editorial

The vast sprawling wars of the 20th century are unlikely ever to be replicated, and have been replaced by clusters of smaller but longer lasting wars that are part and parcel of the deterioration in world peace over the last decade. Many of the ‘new’ wars are parent to terrorist groups and acts and there is no indication that this state of affairs is going to improve any time in the near future. There are the great intractables — Palestine and Israel, Kashmir-India-Pakistan — that have burned for generations, alongside the ‘new’ wars of Yemen and Africa. Wars cost real money and can be measured not only by dead and injured and the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) places the cost in trillions of dollars with the costliest conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa.
The European migrant crisis is ongoing in the wake of the wars in Libya and Syria and more than a million people from Africa and the Middle East have tried to reach Europe either by crossing the Mediterranean or the land route usually via Turkey which is taken by Afghans and even some Pakistanis fleeing oppression or the internal conflicts which continue to plague the nation. An analysis of data from a range of think tanks, banks, research institutes and universities indicates that in 2017 violence cost the global economy $14.18 trillion or around $2,000 a head. The most peaceful region of the world — ranked as Europe — is impacted by the conflicts of the least peaceful even if not directly involved via support for proxy wars. In theory the most peaceful and stable places globally — Iceland and New Zealand for instance — could add that notional $2,000 a head to their economies says the IEP, and there is no reason to doubt the figure.
Peace is locked to economic wealth. Doubtless the arms dealers and manufacturers — many situated in the most peaceful and stable countries — will be happy to see this continue in perpetuity, as the eternity of war has a commercial facet that is equally undeniable as the link between peace and prosperity. Our collective futures rest in conflict, not peace.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 8th, 2018.
Source: https://tribune.com.pk/story/1730185/6-war-and-peace-3/

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