A Brief History and The Reasons of Wars in The Last Century

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Currently, the Russia-Ukraine crisis is the hot news around the world. Every media is covering this tension. This is just one situation happening based on geopolitical desires and narratives. But before, there were countless wars and political crises that ended in civilian devastation. So, let’s see a brief history and the reasons of wars in the last century.

World’s major media channels predicted an attack by the Russian Federation on Ukraine on February 16. Some of the experts have even named the exact time of the invasion. However, their predictions did not come true till now but there is a huge tension over this situation. Historically, there are many reasons for the Russia-Ukraine situation starting a war. But the reason is for every war remains one which is nothing more than “Word and deed”. And Russia-Ukraine situation is not different from that. Let’s dig deep into the reasons for the wars of this century.

The World War I

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the First World War began. The reason for this was the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand by a Serbian student. The assassination took place at the very beginning of World War I in the city of Sarajevo in June 1914.

Austria-Hungary then protested against Serbia and called for an investigation by Austrian police to identify terrorist organizations targeting Austria-Hungary. However, the response of the Serbs did not satisfy the empire.

So, for the insanity of a Serbian student, the first world war began which caused millions of civilian lives. We could say that even if the Serbian government was involved in the killing, it is a justifiable reason to start a world war.  

Image from the first world war
Image from World War l

The World War II

The reason for the Second World War was the attack of a group of provocateurs on a radio station in the German city of Gleiwitz. During that attack, the media broadcasted the message: “Gleiwitz radio station – in Polish hands.”

And depending on the media narrative, on September 1, 1939, Germany invaded the territory of the Polish state. Moreover, they also avoided a major treaty just signed a week ago. And ironically, the treaty was the non-aggression treaty with the USSR (the so-called Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact).

Though there were many other reasons for wars, that media narrative started it all. Isn’t it a very silly reason to start another world war? Yes, it was! How could world leaders justify the mass killing of 70-80 million people most of which were innocent civilians?  

Israeli Occupation of Palestine

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The longest conflict of this century started in 1948 with the existence of the state of Israel. Israeli occupation and apartheid continue to worsen under the nose of the international community. But what are the reasons of wars between Israel and Palestine?

Israel wanted its own nation only for the European Jews. They do not even consider Arab Jews as equal to Israeli Jews. It means if you want to live in peace with equal rights, you have to believe in Zionism.

This belief and the extremist approach of Israel made 5.2 million Palestinian Muslims, Christians, and Jews landless on their own land. The war continues and the Palestinians continue to fight for their own home. Moreover, the Israel-Palestine war is so deadlocked, it remains the longest conflict in the history of this century.  

Israel-Palestine Crisis Why is It So Deadlocked
A Palestinian woman confronts Israeli force

The Football War

In the summer of 1969, there was a short-lived armed conflict between El Salvador and Honduras. And it lasted for six days. We can also recognize this war as the “Football War”.

This war started with another stupid reason. The Honduran national team lost the football match to the national team of El Salvador. It did not even happen in the world cup rather in the qualifying round of the 1970 World Cup. During the 6 days of the war, 3000 thousand people lost their lives including civilians.  

Iran-Iraq War

The Iran-Iraq war began in 1980 due to an assassination attempt on Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz. By the way, the assassination attempt was conducted by the Iranian government rather than by pro-Iranian Shiite Dawa militants.

Though the assassination attempt fueled the war, the main reason for the war was to gain control of the Shatt al-Arab waterway. Besides they also wanted to take control of the three islands of Abu Musa and the Big and Small Tombs of Iran.

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Iraq wanted to pull the stunt on behalf of the UAE according to the annexation of Khuzestan in favour of Iraq. More interestingly, the annexation was supposed to prevent the spread of the Islamic revolution in the region. But it ended up in a major war in this century.

The then Iranian President Ali Khamenei visits a battlefield
The then Iranian President Ali Khamenei (Present Supreme Leader) visits a battlefield

Falkland War Between Grate Britain and Argentina

Falkland War is the result of an act of Argentine works and it took place in 1982. In history, we also know this event as the Falklands or Malvinas War, which lasted several months.

On the uninhabited island of South Georgia, Argentine workers hoisted their flag. And this became the reason for the war. The Falkland Island under the rule of Great Britain. But some Argentine workers went to dismantle an old whaling station without any landing permit. But after dismantling the whale hoisted the Argentine flag. And later the contribution of the Argentine Navy led to clashes between the Argentine landing party and the British Marines and, in fact, led to war.

At the same time, neither Argentina nor Great Britain formally declared war on each other. For both sides, the hostilities were a resumption of control of their legitimate territory. The war ended in victory for Britain, which still controls the islands.

Azarbaijan and Armenia War

In early 1988, there was another armed conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh. The ethnic conflict escalated into a six-year war. The reasons of wars between the two countries were the “Sumgait pogrom”. It was ethnic unrest between the Azerbaijani and Armenian populations in the Azerbaijani city of Sumgait.

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At the same time, the military clashes did not stop after the signing of the armistice. Thus, in the fall of 2020, the Second Karabakh War broke out – between the armed forces of Azerbaijan and the formations of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh.

A very popular image from the Bosnian War
A very popular image from the Bosnian War

The Bosnian War

In 1992, an interethnic armed conflict broke out in Bosnia and Herzegovina (the Bosnian War), leading to the killing of a group of Bosnian Muslims at a Serbian wedding in Sarajevo. This is the stupidest reason among all of them that lead to war. From a wedding killing to a war between two countries. Moreover, this war ended up with more than 1 lakh dead bodies including soldiers, civilians and children.

Chechnya War

The First Chechen War began in late December 1994 and lasted until August 1996. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991, President-elect Dudayev announced Chechnya’s withdrawal from the Russian Federation. In response, a state of emergency was declared in Chechnya, but it could not impose the de facto rule.

As a result, in the spring of 1993, clashes between the president and parliament escalated in Chechnya, following the dissolution of which an armed opposition began to form in the northern regions of the republic, backed by Moscow’s financial and human resources.

After the defeat of anti-presidential forces, many Russians were taken, prisoner. In December 1994, Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed a decree to conduct a military operation in the Chechen Republic.

But the Chechen Republic defeated Russia’s First Chechen War. So, Russia was forced to conclude with a peace agreement under which Russian troops were withdrawn from the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. To date, many influential political and military circles in Russia consider this state of affairs shameful.

In 1999, the Second Chechen War began, which lasted almost 10 years. It was preceded by the invasion of Dagestan by illegal Chechen formations of Shamil Basayev’s Islamic Peacekeeping Brigade.

An Afghan woman is taking in distress with the US Marine
An Afghan woman is taking in distress with the US Marine

American Invasion of Middle-East

9/11 gave birth to a catastrophic war in the Middle East. In 2001, a group of Islamic militants attacked and took down the world trade centre. In response, the US was looking for a way to put its foot in the Middle East.

Following 9/11, the US military attacked Afghanistan in the name of the war on terror. Though the invasion of Afghanistan was to gain geopolitical power, they ran the story with War on Terror propaganda.

During the period of the US invasion of Afghanistan from 2001 to 2021, more than 2,41,000 people gave their lives. And a majority per cent of the death includes innocent civilians and children. It was not Afghanistan significantly affected by the invasion but the whole middle east including Pakistan.  

Just after two years of the Afghan invasion, US President Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair decided to invade Iraq. The primary reason was to dismantle the weapons of mass destruction. The propaganda was a complete joke and the UN did not find any evidence of weapons of mass destruction. In between, more than half a million Iraqis lost their life. And those who are alive, the country has become a hell for them.

In the Middle East, Syria and Lebanon are the other two nations where the US is directly involved. The propaganda was “Arab Spring” but we can say without hesitation, it is another form of the American invasion.   

Russian Military Operation “Force for Peace”

This is yet another Russian invasion attempt that went in vain. In 2008, the Russian military operation “Force for Peace” took place. The reason for this was the armed attacks of South Ossetian separatists on Georgian villages in South Ossetia and the retaliatory shelling of the city of Tskhinvali by Georgian troops.

Russian tank near Ukrainian boarder
Russian Tank near Ukrainian border

The Russia-Ukraine Crisis

In March 2014, Russia’s occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and hostilities in the Donbas began. And there are several reasons for wars but it all started with one statement by the fugitive President Viktor Yanukovych to the President of Russia. He requested to bring troops to the territory of Ukraine.

At a meeting of the UN Security Council on March 3, 2014, Vitaly Churkin, a representative of the Russian Federation, showed a copy of a letter from Yanukovych. The copy stated that he called for the introduction of Russian troops in Ukraine.

A few days earlier, the Federation Council supported the appeal of the President of Russia and agreed to the introduction of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukrainian Crimea.

And now we are witnessing another war that can go on a global extent and may give birth to another world war for that matter.

There are many wars like these but had to skip them due to the length of the article. But these are enough examples to understand the reasons of wars in this century. These wars and invasions are the results of words, greed, and geopolitical games. And none of these reasons can justify the killing of millions of people around the war.

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