Christian Science Monitor has recently posted a list of five island territorial disputes in Asia. For academics and pundits who argue that the next century will be an Asian Century these disputes will need to be resolved peacefully and diplomatically otherwise, the Asian Century has the potential to be more war-like and barbaric than the last. The article is available here: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2011/0803/East-Asia-s-top-5-island-disputes
Before anyone chafes at the suggestion that war can be waged over reletively small island chains, we must remember the Russia-Georgia conflict of 2008 over South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the conflict between India-China in 1961, Israelis and Palestinians continued fighting over settlement building in the West Bank, and countless others that haven’t been fought over large swathes of territory, but rather just a few miles of territory that both sides claim.
While some academics, political pundits, and fiction writers have been focussed on the notion of another world war, thousands of smaller wars continue without attention for years. The pretense for war doesn’t have to be a big issue defending national security interests against a belligerent neighbor state complete with large battalions and tank movements, it can be over just a few miles.
The modern description of war has been focused on conflicting ideologies like Western vales verses fundamentalist Islam and capitalism/democracy verses Communism. But wars over disputed territory that often though not always has religious significance can be just as devastating as any war of conflicting ideology or religion. While these territory wars are not as deadly or well known as the bigger conflicts, they still have a profound impact on citizens daily lives and a states foreign policy.