The Concepts Of International & Domestic Armed Conflicts

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The two types of armed conflict in the world today are international armed conflict and domestic armed conflict. Since the conclusion of World War II, domestic armed conflicts have become more prevalent while international armed conflicts have occurred at lower rates. Although why and how they occur stem from different reasons and interests, they are both destructive to the security and stability of a nation.

Domestic armed conflicts, also known as civil wars, occur within a state. Peacemaking organizations like the United Nations may help settle discrepancies as seen in Burundi. Instances where the U.N. was unsuccessful in mediating matters include efforts in Rwanda, Somalia, and Sierra Leone. Domestic wars occur primarily due to differences regarding religion, ethnicity, territory, and who should have ruling power. An example is the war in South Sudan which started in 2013.

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After President Salva Kiir unseated then Vice President Riek Machar, conflicts emerged within the nation. The two major ethnic groups, Dinka and Nuer, sided with Salva and Riek respectively, creating a massive onslaught that has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths, expected to continue growing, and approximately one million refugees seeking freedom. On top of that, civilians have been killed at an alarming rate, families have been separated, and many are starving.

Another notable civil war is in Syria. This civil war is slightly different from that in Sudan as international powers are involved. Efforts to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad has resulted in an ongoing battle between the two Islamic sects, Shia-Alawite, those who support al-Assad, and Sunni, those who represent the majority of the population. Sometimes, other nations may become involved, complicating matters.

Globalization plays a role in increasing internal conflicts within nations because it results in more interactions amongst nations. As more ideas are introduced, there is a higher chance that difference in opinion would happen. In other words, what one group deems as a favorable outcome may be brought upon with resistance by another. For instance, certain groups might benefit from trade. Thus, they would try implementing policies that would reduce regulations. Other groups see trade as being detrimental to their interests; thus, they would bring about ways to limit it.

A nation becomes divided as there is no common ground. Major world powers may back opposing sides depending on what best suits their interests. For example, China supports the ruling of al-Assad as president due to trade motives and Russia supports his ruling due to economic reasons. On the contrary, the U.S. has shown strong opposition against his ruling and has favored rebellious efforts to remove him from power. This has created a situation of continued warfare as intervention could potentially threaten relationships between countries.

International armed conflicts occur between nations. Although they occur less than domestic armed conflicts today, they have wider consequences when they do occur. The reason is that allies could partake in the warfare, increasing damages done. All in all, both domestic and international warfare should be avoided at all costs.


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