Why Do Civil War Occur? Contrast Two Contemporary Conflicts to Explain Why Politics Turns Into Violence?

Topics: Iraq, Iraq War, Saddam Hussein Pages: 8 (2878 words) Published: August 29, 2013
Why do civil war occur? Contrast two contemporary conflicts to explain why politics turns into violence?

This paper will define civil war and why does it occur. In addition, it will cover civil war in Somalia in 1991 till present and Iraq civil war in the 2006 to 2008 before the invasion of US. These two countries will be used to explain why politics turn into violence. The causes of civil war are due to many factors such as nationalism, failed state, economy, territorial ambition, religious difference or ethnicity, bad leaders, competition of political ideology, natural resources, grievance or greed and insurgency. However, this paper will cover failed state, religion difference or ethnicity, bad leader, national resources, geopolitics, economy, insurgency, greed and weak state to explain politics turning into violence in Iraq and Somalia.

Civil war is defined as any equipped battle by both sides locally that involves soldierly fighting internal, the active participation of the national government and effective resistance. The civil war is divided into internal or intra state war and interstate or extra state war, which can be colonial and imperial. The main distinction between the two was that the internality of the war to the territory and the participation of the government as a combatant. There are some other requirements that can further distinguish civil war from other forms of internal armed conflict, which involves the state violence to be sustained and reciprocated and the war exceeds a certain threshold of deaths that is typically more than 1,000 people ().

However, Civil wars tend to be hard to differentiate from other forms of political violence, which becomes difficult to understand when the war has started and when ended. Firstly, it’s already difficult to separate the difference between extra state and intrastate wars, like the Russian civil war in Chechnya in the 1990s, which was thought to be decolonization war similarly to Cameroon’s war of independence in 1954. Secondly, the quantity of organization compulsory of the parties to differentiate between a civil war and a one-sided, state-sponsored violence is still unclear. In some cases, although a functional government has ceased to exist, it was still coded as a civil war like in Somalia after 1991. In other cases, like in Kenya’s Rift Valley from 1991 to 1993, the seemingly disorganized intercommoned clashes was lead by the government fighting a war by proxy using militias but was not classified as a civil war. Elsewhere, criminal networks or ragtag militias are indistinguishable from rebel organizations. Thirdly, relying on a numerical threshold of deaths for identification of wars is not always a great idea as there can be some problems that need to be dealt with for unreliable reporting and incomplete recordings. Lastly, it’s important to be able to know how to determine when an old war stopped and a new one started but also how to distinguish the end of civil war from the beginning of a period of politicized, extremism, or other form of violence, given that the violence during the civil war is typically discontinuous. However, large measure of disturbance is caused by civil war and noncombatants are beleaguered which creates displacement and achievement to control a territory. Also, in a war which has be going for at least more than one year where death rate is more than 1,000 annual on average is considered a civil war.

State that is on the brink of collapse is described as an absence of legitimacy, capacity and effective use of political organizations, which are collective factors in causing civil war. These qualities are necessary in a state while if there is a lack of these qualities within a country can make a state suffer from internal conflict. However, countries having these characteristics are less likely to be affected by civil war. Horizontal and vertical authority or legitimacy that is an important concept to have in...
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