Reuters TV segment on Project for Study Of the 21st Century (PS21) report on rising death tolls in 2014. A study of the 20 deadliest wars showed them killing 29 percent more people than the previous year with Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan the three deadliest wars www.projects21.com
Death Toll in 2014’s Bloodiest Wars Sharply Up on Previous Year
By PS21 on
The body count from the top twenty deadliest wars in 2014 was more that 28% higher than in the previous year, research by the Project for the Study of the 21st Century (PS21) shows. Almost every major war in 2014 saw a significant increase in casualties.
According to analysis of a variety of data sets, 2014 saw at least fourteen conflicts that killed more than 1000 people, compared to only ten in 2013.
Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan remained the three deadliest wars, unchanged from the previous year but with all three seeing a significant spike in fatalities
Nigeria was the fourth deadliest, its number of deaths almost tripling on the previous year as the conflict with militant group, Boko Haram, intensified.
“Assessing casualty figures in conflict is notoriously difficult and many of the figures we are looking at here a probably underestimates,” said PS21 Executive Director, Peter Apps. “The important thing, however, is that when you compare like with like data for 2014 and 2013, you get a very significant increase. That says something very concerning.”
Many of the most violent conflicts involved radical Islamist groups – particularly Islamic State, the Taliban, Boko Haram and various Al Qaeda franchises.
Sudan and South Sudan remained amongst the world’s bloodiest wars. Indeed, if the two countries had remained unified, their combined death toll would have pushed them to the number three spot above Afghanistan.
Ukraine, at peace in 2013, became the eighth bloodiest war, its death toll exceeding Somalia, Libya and Israel/the Palestinian territories.
The spike in violence appears part of a broader multi-year trend. Research published last year by the Australia and US-based Institute for Economics and Peace showed a steady decline in world peace and rise in conflict related violence every year since 2007, bucking a multi-decade improvement since the end of World War II.
View the full report here. A discussion with Steve Killelea on rising global conflict trends is at the bottom of this post.
PS21 Executive Director Peter Apps discusses the report for Reuters TV
By Peter Apps (Reuters, March 20, 2015)
If you were watching the news last year, it was hard to escape the impression the world was falling apart. Now the data is in. And yes, it turns out the world’s most violent conflicts got a lot bloodier in 2014 — almost 30 percent bloodier, in fact.
According to an analysis of data from the world’s 20 most lethal wars last year, at least 163,000 people died in conflict. That compares to just under 127,000 in the 20 worst wars the previous year, a rise of 28.7 percent.
That’s a pretty disturbing spike by anyone’s terms. And if you look at the first few months of 2015, the violence doesn’t seem to be waning.
What’s even more worrying is that this seems to be part of an ongoing trend that now goes back eight years. According to the Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), global violence — as defined by a range of measures from conflict deaths, to displaced persons, to homicide rates — has been rising since 2007.
This news is in many ways surprising because up to 2007, the data suggested the world was becoming a much safer place.
According to the IEP, global violence had been broadly subsiding since the end of World War Two. Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker traces it back even further. Since the dawn of prehistory, Pinker’s research suggests, mankind has been becoming less violent.
So what is going wrong now? And how bad could it all get?… MORE
«Iraq and countless other conflicts are reminders that wars do not end on a set timetable»: http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2015/04/02/US-delays-Afghanistan-troop-withdrawal;-will-others-follow.aspx#.VRzjKcLcvrI.twitter …