The politics of war

PerryScope
By Perry Diaz

World War I

World War I

When the Great War broke out in 1914, it came to be known as the “War to end all wars” but years later it was known, and to this day, as World War I. Germany lost the war to the western powers and on November 11, 1918, she signed the Armistice of Compiegne; thus, ending the war that was supposed to end all wars. Wrong!

World War II

World War II

On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. Two days later, the United Kingdom declared war on Germany. Thus, the “Second Period” began, which otherwise was known as World War II. On May 7, 1945, Germany surrendered to the Allies, which included the major powers, US, UK, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).

On August 6, 1945, the US dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima followed by a second bomb dropped on Nagasaki on August 9. On August 15, Japan’s Emperor Hirohito announced over radio Japan’s surrender. World War II came to an end. The geopolitical landscape changed with Europe divided into two blocs. The western European democracies and the US and Canada formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) while the eastern European countries, who were taken over by puppet communist regimes after the war, formed the Warsaw Pact to counter NATO. Thus began the Cold War.

Kim Il Sung and Stalin

Kim Il Sung and Stalin

Meanwhile, North Korean leader Kim Il Sung went to Moscow in March 1950 to ask Stalin’s permission to invade South Korea. Stalin gave his permission and on June 25, 1950 North Korea invaded South Korea. Armed with a United Nations resolution, the US led a multi-national expeditionary force to Korea to fight alongside the South Koreans. On October 25, 1950, China entered the war on the side of North Korea. On July 27, 1953, the US, North Korea, and China signed an armistice to end the war. It was a geopolitical stalemate and Korea remained divided. To this day, the two Koreas are still in a state of war.

But no sooner had the Korean War ended than the Vietnam War erupted in 1956 when the French left Vietnam and the US sent military advisers to train the South Vietnamese to fight the Viet Cong. In 1965, a brigade of US marines arrived in Vietnam. It didn’t take too long for the US to get knee deep in the Vietnam quagmire with 543,400 combat troops.

On January 27, 1973, the US, South Vietnam, Viet Cong, and North Vietnam formally signed “An Agreement Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam” in Paris. A cease-fire took effect the following day with the US agreeing to withdraw all troops within 60 days. However, South Vietnam refused to recognize the Viet Cong’s Provisional Revolutionary Government and the conflict continued between South Vietnam and the Viet Cong. On April 30, 1975, Saigon fell and South Vietnam surrendered to the Viet Cong. It was a geopolitical defeat for the US.

Pax Americana

Collapse of the Soviet Union

Collapse of the Soviet Union

In 1991, the Cold War ended when the Soviet Union disintegrated and all the republics in the union went their separate ways. This signaled the end of Stalinist communism in Europe. The remnants of communism – China, North Korea, and Cuba – survived; however, communism ceased as a threat to world peace. The US remained the sole superpower.

After a decade of relative peace, the new millennia began with an attack on America on September 11, 2001 by al-Qaeda suicide bombers. The following month, the US invaded Afghanistan to go after al-Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden. On May 2, 2011, a team of US Navy SEALs killed bin Laden in his hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

US troops are scheduled to leave Afghanistan at the end of 2014. Afghanistan is America’s longest war; however, from a geopolitical standpoint, it was a victory for the US.

On March 20, 2003, the US invaded Iraq on the belief that Saddam Hussein was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction. No WMD was found but Hussein was captured and subsequently executed. On December 15, 2011, the Iraq War officially ended with the withdrawal of all American troops. It was a geopolitical victory for the US.

While the US was fighting two long wars, Russia and China were busy building their military capabilities. Recent events in Ukraine and the South and East China Seas saw the emergence of Russia and China from a low-profile leave-me-alone-I-am-not-causing-any-trouble stance to an aggressive land-grabbing behavior.

Tensions in the east

Xi Jinping

Xi Jinping

When Xi Jinping took over China’s three most powerful positions as President, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, China took a quantum leap in her attempt to dislodge the US as the world’s only superpower. In 2012, China grabbed Scarborough Shoal from the Philippines. The following year, China imposed an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) covering most of East China Sea, which overlaps Japan and South Korea’s airspace over the Senkaku islands and Socotra Rock, respectively.

Recently, it was reported that China was creating artificial islands on several reefs and shoals in the Spratly archipelago. It is believed that China is going to build naval and air bases on these outcroppings in the South China Sea. Once these artificial islands are fortified, they will provide China with the ability strike at the countries — the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam — with overlapping claims on the Spratly islands, which China claims exclusively as an extension of her territory.

Tensions in the west

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin

This year, Russia grabbed Crimea from Ukraine and annexed it. It is also believed that Russia is behind the unrest in East Ukraine where pro-Russia separatists are fighting Ukrainian forces. It is also believed that Russia would eventually invade East Ukraine and create Novorossiya (New Russia), which covers a large swath of southeastern Ukraine.

The question is: How would NATO react to a Russian invasion of Ukraine? Since Ukraine is not a member of NATO and therefore doesn’t benefit from the provisions of NATO’s Article 5, which says that an attack on a NATO member is an attack on all NATO members. However, it is expected that NATO wouldn’t idly stand by and watch Russia run over Ukraine just like when Hitler’s Germany ran over Czechoslovakia in 1938, which triggered World War II.

Nuclear-War.4Looking back to all these turmoil and unrest going in flashpoints around the world, it makes one wonder what’s driving Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping into taking the risk of a nuclear Armageddon with their aggressive disposition? Or is it their megalomaniac thirst for power that propels them to go to war against those who resist them?

History tells us that nations tried to settle geopolitical conflicts by going to war. It also tells us that war seldom settles geopolitical disputes. Yet war has always been the favored way — Napoleonic complex — of settling geopolitical conflicts. Indeed, one can say that geopolitics and war are mutually complementary – war as an instrument of geopolitics and geopolitics as the seed of war. But what ends war is diplomacy, which begs the question: Why not substitute diplomacy for war to settle geopolitical disputes, which would make Planet Earth a lot safer?

Ahh, strange as it might seem, such is the politics of war.

(PerryDiaz@gmail.com)

 


8 Responses. Have your say.

  1. Pons Tucay says:

    WW III coming? I’d better dig up my bunker and stock up on emergency food and water!!!

  2. don givens says:

    War is a way for countries to show their military muscle. It is also to make money and maintain political status quo or to show off at the expense of their citizens and the citizens of the countries they invaded. It is also a way of grabbing territories and to use those territories natural resources for their selfish goals. For more info google : The Brotherhood, the Manipulation of Society. Every events in this world from medieval times to the present was planned and being planned by the New World Order or NWO.

    Cool heads and diplomacy is a way to solve problems.

  3. Jaime says:

    Not so. Diplomacy does not end wars. A Treaty is signed and accepted after a war is ended. Diplomacy works only when two warring parties are of equal strength and know one is strong enough to destroy the other. In any other case diplomacy does not work because the stronger party will just do what it wants. This is what China is doing. Russia is now backing off its threat to take over East Ukraine because the West is showing its strength and Russia knows it cannot win…. It stands to lose too much economically.

  4. Ben Rivera says:

    The answer to Perry’s question of what’s driving Putin and Xi Jinping taking the risk is obvious. The U.S. under Obama has shown weakness in its foreign policy of “leading from behind” and created a power vacuum that these 2 tyrants and dictators want to fill in. When the U.S. abdicates its role and responsibility as a super power, men like Putin and Xi are emboldened and pounce and grab any territory they can get knowing that the U.S. will not do anything other that to issue meaningless “red line” threats.

  5. Guy Guerrero says:

    GREAT ARTICLE PERRY. DELIVERED LIKE A GEOPOLITICAL PROFESSOR. ERUDITE LECTURE.

  6. Jose Samilin says:

    War will only turn everything to dust.

  7. Mac Flores, Jr. says:

    The way I see it, war is inevitable between disagreeing parties, if mediation, arbitration, diplomacy and other legal intervention failed.

    But War is a necessary evil to a certain extent in order to defeat, invade an enemy or to acquire or dominate the property/rights of another.

    War as an instrument of Economics is a major factor in altering the law of supply and demand. War also reshapes the landscape of earth and its environment.

    To others, war is needed to achieve peace.

    Is WW3 inevitable? Yes, I think so – but I hope this should not happen in present generation. Will WW3 triggers the end of the world based on prophecy? This is anybody’s guess and research.

    In my opinion, the Bible which is rich in history and prophecy that connect to the present, more than outweigh the reading materials that influence our thinking on world events that transpired every day, including the so-called “Brotherhood and Manipulation of Society”.

    This article of Mr. Perry is very informative. It summarizes in few paragraphs and pictorial the World Wars we knew, the pocket of wars in-between and another World War about to come.

    May the world’s history-back known big-time land and sea grabbers have fear in the Lord.

  8. Antonio Palma says:

    Mr. Perry Diaz, great summary of world geopolitics! I agree, diplomacy is indeed the only means to make this Planet Earth a safe place to live in. Believe it or not, the absence of God is the root cause of all these world problems. The teachings of Jesus Christ will surely help.

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