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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Boys Will Be Boys: Unsolvable Geopolitical Conflict Gets Militarized, Becomes Even Less Solvable

Things are not looking very good in Ukraine. According to news reports, Russian military incursion is imminent, the so-called national unity government--something that was part of the agreement with the French-Polish-German foreign ministers acting as EU mediators--fails to include representatives of the pro-Russia, predominantly ethnic-Russian eastern and southern regions (in other words: fails the terms of the agreement) and Kyiv's streets are patrolled by right-wing thugs, armed with bats. Meanwhile, the Russian Federation began issuing passports to members of the Ukrainian special forces recently dismissed for their use of live weapons against civilians.

All this will solve absolutely nothing--except for one problem: The European Union's moral / political dilemma (ok, it won't quite solve it, but postpone it indefinitely, which, in politics, is basically the same thing) of having enticed the small but very outspoken, vaguely western-oriented segments of an entire country to start an uprising that they cannot finish. Ergo, the uprising is taken over by the politically, let's just say, considerably less sophisticated elements of the extreme-right "sector."

While the politics, public life, safety and the future of Ukraine all go to hell, the EU is giving a brilliant presentation of what it is: It sits pretty without offering any attractive, reasonable, etc., alternative, let alone basic help to the country involved. Even the "talking with the Russian government" is done not by the directly involved, neighboring European Union but the United States, from 5000 miles away. As every news reading person in the world knows, meanwhile, the US doesn't exactly have an exemplary position on military self-restraint when it comes to military occupation of foreign lands.

Military research is definitely not my area of expertise, so, I am wondering if anybody actually has knowledge of any good, unbiased and reliable study on the distribution of 
  1. permanently stationed troops abroad,
  2. incursions into the territory of a neighboring state (with which the invading country used to have a shared state for three generations until twenty-some years ago), and
  3. unprovoked military occupations of foreign lands in general,
--preferably in a global historical-comparative context? With relative intensities, etc., by occupying and occupied states? Kind of like a global historical-comparative matrix of violent, male stupidity?

I'd be grateful for any pointers. If you have a link, please paste it in the "comment" field.

As for Ukraine--the unsolvable geopolitical crisis is now militarized, ergo it has just become even more unsolvable.

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cover page of the book

cover page of the book
image used for the cover design by Anannya Dasgupta