The Geography of War and Peace – from Death Camps to Diplomates

According to many, we live in a time of war that was ushered in by the attacks of September 11, 2001. Paradoxically, in the prior three years, between 3.1 and 4.7 million people had been killed in conflict in the Congo alone. Numerous other wars raged across the globe. Clearly, to say that a time of war has emerged only since 9/11 is, on the one hand, ethnocentric and plain wrong. On the other hand, awareness of war among the general population of the Western world emerged after 9/11; perception rather than reality drives commentators to define the current period as one of conflict and not peace.It seems almost certain that the current generation of young adults will grow politically mature in a time when the whole world is aware of war. War has been a prevalent occurrence; in the last few decades one can cite Vietnam, the Falk-lands, Chechnya, Iran and Iraq, Sierra Leone, Nicaragua, and Kashmir, to name only a few. The attacks of 9/11 were, from a global perspective, just one more horrific instance of human carnage. However, geopolitically, targeting the United States on its own homeland has created significant changes. War, the “hot war” on terrorism rather than the Cold War, is dominating global geopolitical imperatives and the national debates of many countries (the United States, the United Kingdom, Iraq, Iran, North and South Korea, and others). As the sole superpower, the United States has set the agenda.


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