Humans are assholes. Humans react to other assholes by being bigger assholes. It continues to escalate. Unless you happen to be in Africa, in which case you join some random "rebel" group that liked burning raping and pillaging.
I find this a fascinating subject, personally. I studied counterinsurgency and civil war a bit in uni. They're really interesting reasons things fall apart and people decide to start hacking up their neighbors, but there still hasn't been a lot of good research on factors leading to genocide, prevention, etc.
One of the main trends seems to be the collapse of power structures and existing states- the shooting down of Habyarimana's plane, colonial powers leaving africa, yugoslavia collapsing etc. I suppose this gives everyone a chance to settle old scores that have been kept in check by the old regime, particularly in somewhere like rwanda where power and authority was so closely tied to ethnic identity
>>602189 Most genocides escalated under external pressure. See the holocaust or Ruanda. The Holocaust really started after the Invasion of the SU and the Ruandan Genocide escalated so heavily because of the successes of the RPF.
>>603868 This anon is right. Often genocides are born in a power vacuum or are a desperate measure to cling to power and rally a ethnic group to a cause.
>>604087 >Often genocides are born in a power vacuum or are a desperate measure to cling to power and rally a ethnic group to a cause. Genocides also happen as a clearing of space between groups, both for resource advantage, perception of security, and to consolidate power. One interesting aspect of genocides following civil wars is that ethnic groups (in this case simply meaning peoples that strongly identify with one particular group, be that race, religion, or political body) are often quite mixed with other groups geographically, forming pockets of your group in enemy territory. Many genocides begin as one side pushes to clear space in an effort to relieve or protect these pockets. Likewise, there is a rush for the opposition to displace or destroy these pockets in order to shore up their own defenses before the opposition moves in to link up with their isolated brethern-- essentially, there are no firm borders between belligerents following civil state collapse, so borders must be formed in order to protect and consolidate your own people before they are wiped out by the others.It's a vicious cycle predicated on the idea that because it will happen, you have to be the one to do it first to prevent the others from doing it to you.
It is interesting that during the Iraq War, sectarian violence began to subside after major population shifts between Sunnis and Shia took place, essentially consolidating sects within their own neighborhoods, and leaving "empty" space between as No Man's Land. It was this space that Coalition troops moved out into in smaller operational outposts during the 2007 Surge, essentially acting as a third party fence between hostile neighbors. Because the consolidation had already happened during the purges, much of the inter-sect rivalry for territory was complete.
>>604136 Intresting enough the partition of Baghdad into ethnically divided city parts did increase voilence tho. Because the divided sunnites and shiites now had next to no communication and exchange. Its kind of a doomed if you do, doomed if you don´t situation. My best guess is that ethnic cleansings, genocides etc. are a very complex phenomenon that can originate from a multitude of reasons. I read a very compelling argument that ruanda basically was a malthus law kind of situation. There wasn´t enough avalaible farming space and the genocide enabled people to gain farming land for themselves and kill people who where successfull and had a lot of land. Often they killed their neighbours out of jealousy or greed.
Also pretty important for most genocides was a large group of young, unemployed men with little or no economic perspective.
>>604244 I'm not sure where you get that idea about Baghdad. Dividing the sects was a major part of the post-2007 stability. It is too bad the government couldn't use that time to build reconciliation instead of waiting for the US to.leave to continue ethnic persecution, leading to ISIS...
>>604275 I have read about the SURGE, in my understanding the decisive factors were an actual approach to protect civilians and the increased number of boots on the ground actually able to fullfill the garrison duties needed to stabilize a country on the brink of fullscale civil war. I might be wrong about the ethnic divide in baghdad increasing violence tho but the lack of intercultural dialogue and exchange is most definite a factor for ethnic violence.
>>604294 The lack to of dialogue was a problem that prevented rapprochement with the GoI, mostly because of Maliki and his ethnic vision of empowering the Shia, but only under the aegis of the GoI. It didn't play much role in the actual Surge. There were many factors at work in 2007, to be sure. Increased troop numbers helped, but not because of garrison duties. Rather, it was fulfillment of Bush's promise to not abandon Iraq. By 2006-7, Maliki was so obviously corrupt that most Sunnis feared for US withdrawal, as the US was actually keeping the GOI in check. They saw when the Iraqi Army stood up 100,000 soldiers, and that the massive ground lost to ethnic cleansing, that the only way out was to try and make peace while the US was still acting at the moderator keeping the government in line. This was the Awakening, and sending more troops showed the Bush wasn't just making empty promises. So the Surge was many factors coming together at once, but the actual troop numbers were not a major part of the success.
>>604315 I guess we have different views about this then. Ibn my book the SURGE enabled the US-troops to actually enact a meaningful security concept, after they fueled the ethnic violence with the knowledge of baathist elites and the former soldiers of the iraqi army now out of a job and eager to use their military knowledge. In my book it was a similiar fuckup like Vietnam.
The US stumbles in a war unprepared, with no clear shaped realistic goal and doesn´t comit enough ressources in the beginning. This continues until the situation spirals completly out of control, only then enough ressources are commited under competent leadership. At this point the political situation at home turned completly against the war and a continuation isn´t possible.
>>604370 You seem to be placing too much of an emotional view on the events rather than looking at them academically to see what exactly happened and why. I've studied this event at length academically to evaluate if it was actually a policy success or if it was an opportunity that came at the convergence of several key factors, and would not have worked without se factors. I also fought in it, and saw some aspects from the ground. Not measuring dicks here, just stating that you aren't looking at all factors regarding the success of the Surge. This is why the Obama Surge in Afghanistan did little to change the situation there. Regarding the comparison to Vietnam, it really isn't much of a comparison at all other than both dealing with insurgency elements. The big problem that arises in all foreign military interventions is that the external power must be backing a popular government that the people can trust. If the people believe their government is untrustworthy or illegitimate, then no amount of military power will bring lasting peace. That's the failure of COIN: you have to have a real government to back with COIN doctrine. During the Surge, the Sunnis began rapprochement because the US acted as the political moderator keeping Baghdad in check. It wasn't that the GoI was seen as legitimate, but that the US was.
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