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Why Is There Armed Conflict?

This special report will provide case studies on conflict and general explanations of why there is conflict between nations and groups of people. 

There is a  fundamental explanation of conflict, Hunger Notes believes.  Everyone needs to live, and more than just live, people want to prosper.  There are two fundamental ways to obtain a living: production of goods or taking goods or resources away from others.  Production can be for one's own use, such as subsistence agriculture.  In the modern world, most production is for exchange.  The auto industry produces cars, sells those cars and thus provides income for those in the auto industry to make purchases of other goods possible.  This is the world of production (and standard economics). Unfortunately, a major way to obtain income is to take it away from others.  This has been the major way to live well throughout history.  Conquer people and territory, keep them subjugated (or try to), and take a share of the goods produced.  Slavery for example, captured people, took them thousands of miles from home, and forced them to work for others' benefit, under pain of death or torture. The standard form of establishing a government in history was by conquest. Fighting for land, resources, and control over people continues to this day.  In the future, we will provide an expanded section on this and other, often related ideas, about conflict. See also Hunger Notesvery closely related section on harmful economic systems

Conflict continues to rage throughout the world today. It involves no less than 100 million people. It has created a vast number of refugees. Following are first, links to the CIDA and World Bank websites on conflict, and secondly, some useful articles on countries and regions in conflict, which illustrate the specific issues involved.

Conflict Websites

The World Bank

The Canadian International Development Research

The Peace and World Security Studies Center. Bookmarked is a good introduction to the issue of natural resource conflict.

Countries and Regions in Conflict


Cocaine Trade Causes Rifts in Colombian War -- Paramilitary Discord Imperils Anti-drug Plan, Peace Efforts  Scott Wilson (Washington Post, Sept. 16, 2002. You will leave this site.)

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Land as the Source of Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: Israel Continues to Expand West Bank Settlements  Daniel Williams (Washington Post, May 31, 2002. You will leave this site.)

Sharon's Stealth Plan Expands Israeli West Bank Settlements  Jackson Diehl  (Washington Post, July 21, 2002. You will leave this site.)


At the Heart of Rwanda's Horror: General's History Offers Clues to the Roots of GenocideEmily Wax (Washington Post, Sept.20, 2002. You will leave this site.)

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