By Vivek Pattanayak in Bhubaneswar, March 21, 2022: Every war – whether between neighbours, or group of countries in the region, or a global war has effect on alignment and realignment of nations on short-term and on long-term basis and has consequences on the national, regional and world economy having effect on society.

In the last 175 years of the world history starting from the Franco-Prussian war, the same is undeniably true of first and second world war, the Korean war, the Indo-China war and then Vietnam war, first Gulf War, second Gulf war, Afghanistan war, one conducted by Soviet Union and other by US led by NATO, apart from the Sino-Indian war in 1962 and Indo-Pak wars of 1947-48, 1965, and 1971.

Apart from these wars even internecine conflicts have their consequences as can be seen of events leading to break-up of Yugoslavia, Eritrea’s secession from Ethiopia, long Sudan’s civil war leading to creation of South Sudan, emergence of East Timor after struggle between the Christian population and Indonesia, now raging hostilities in Ethiopia and long conflict in Congo.

Of course, the Syrian war, emergence of ISIS and insurgency in Libya after the fall of Gaddafi, and armed struggle in Yemen fall under the same category. These are wars of rival groups based on sects and tribes. In all such conflicts whether wars among countries or civil wars human misery is intense apart from loss of lives both military and civilians, destruction of properties and displacement of population and trauma of refugees.

Even in civil wars foreign countries get involved first by supplying arms ammunitions and then supporting the cause of one party or the other depending upon their own perception of national interest, sometimes based on racial, religious, sectarian, linguistic and tribal considerations, and so-called ideological consideration like defense of democracy and liberty or promotion of socialism and communism to contain capitalism and imperialism. Arms merchants, military contractors and industries producing arms and ammunition have vested interest in armed conflicts.

First World War ended in demise of the Austro-Hungarian Empire leading to emergence of a numerous nation-states in the Eastern Europe known as balkanization. It also ended the Ottoman Caliphate bringing up the Arab nationalism to the forefront creating authoritative presence of the British and the French in the region under mandates of the League of Nations which increased their influence which continued till the middle of the last century.

It seeded the idea of homeland for the Jews which after World War II with arrival of more of the European Jews created Israel. What effect it had on the Middle East with displacement Palestinians after wars in 1948, 1967 and 1973 and other militancy are well known.

The most notable achievement of the postwar period after WW I was the establishment of the League of Nations, first international organization for preservation of peace in the world. It also brought International Labor Organization creating a forum for labor unions along with sovereign states. The Permanent Court of International Justice was established.

The Second World War ended with division of the world between the Western powers and Communist block although it created UN and its system which in turn developed and codified international law, in particular brought the focus on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and consequent international legal instruments concerning human rights and created IMF and World Bank.

It was also the beginning of the divisive Cold War. Along with peace came demise of colonialism and imperial power.

Soon after the World War II came independence of India and its partition which was followed by awakening of Asia and Africa and liberation of these countries long suppressed and also oppressed by the Europeans and Americans through exploitation of their natural resources and slavery.

Both UK and France were gravely affected by the devastation of the war both economically and militarily and had no capability to retain the colonies and empire. No wonder the British empire collapsed like house of cards.The domino effect was also seen in the French colonies, he Dutch empire and in the Portuguese territories.

Sequel to the war was rise of Americanism and spread of the English language eclipsing French in Asia recognition of Russian, Chinese, and Arabic as official international languages in addition to English, French, and Spanish.

With fall of Japan although the KMT ruled China freed Manchuria from the occupation, the Communists came to the seat of power under Mao ,and more notably brought liberation of Korea which also unfortunately got divided between North and South because of the cold war. Taiwan under KMT regime was supported by US as the legitimate China creating a confrontational relationship between the Communist China and US which continued for decades.

Germany was divided into West Germany and East Germany until the socialist bloc got dissolved in 1991.

National aspirations grew in the French colonies in East Asia with the final expulsion of the French from Indochina. The same cold war also divided Vietnam into North and South until the US was roundly defeated by the Vietcong.

The Korean war had its economic impact and showed weakness of US power when it could not subdue North Korea supported by the Communist China.Nationalization of the Suez Canal by Egypt although started a war involving UK and France, the Americans did not join possibly because of their experience in Korea.

The Vietnam War ended in a major defeat of US and loss of glory and prestige of America until restored in the first Gulf war with Iraq having been ejected out of Kuwait by the coalition led by US with tacit support of Soviet Union, then under Gorbachev.

The war in Afghanistan weakened the Soviet Union which occasioned its ultimate dissolution. The US effort to gather the Jihadis from across the world to defeat Soviet Union in Afghanistan brought Islamic terrorism with Al Qaeda under Bin Laden who turned out to be a Frankenstein.

Terrorist attack on 9/11 on the mainland of US was the direct consequence of the rising Islamic terrorism .As this kind of invasion had never taken place even on an imperial power, to quote Noam Chomsky, on their heyday, it stunned the world. There was near unanimity in the world to fight against the Islamic terrorism.

Even Russia – then just recovering from the trauma of fall of Soviet Union, and US came closer to contain the Islamic terrorism, Russia having a share of it in Chechnya.

War in Yugoslavia split the country into several nations. What was known as the Balkan nationalism against the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the aftermath of the first World War produced Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia,Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, and finally Kosovo after seventy-five years, nationalism having spawned sub-nationalism.

Bush, the senior after the fall of Soviet Union and victory in Iraq had talked of a new world order which turned out to be uni-polar world.End of Cold War, failure of the socialist and communist system in East of Europe and assertive American uni-polar diplomacy, the might of US media enabled the Western corporate capital to move beyond their national borders, and with coincidence of emergence of Internet and IT revolution, general pervading sentiment pushed the world towards economic globalization.

A brilliant analysis has been made in the book “When Corporates Rule the World” by David Corten. Clarion call for liberalization, corporatization and privatization had its effect on the developing countries including China and India, apart from other countries.

Romantic model of Marx which had inspired many in Latin America and Africa was given a goodbye.

What impact the new model had on the poor and developing countries has been graphically described by Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel laureate in his seminal book, “Globalization and Its Discontent.”

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