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Dutch Dennis
Sunday, February 18th, 2007, 10:01 PM
I am a bit of a military history enthusiast. I spend way too much money on books about past conflicts. I try to formulate an understanding of the motivations behind the choices various commanders have made in their strategic approaches to combat and the tactics involved.

What I would like to discuss is people's various ideas about what sort of armed conflict Europe could experience in the next decade or two. Observations or opinions about possible groups/parties involved, causes/reasoning behind the conflict, forms the conflict would take, etc

To start off with I will give an example of a conflict I consider possible and likely of occuring within a decade or two.

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The split between Big-City globalisation and small-town relocalisation.

The governments of Western European states are increasingly becoming more centralised and will eventually merge to a large extent into the EU, as can already be seen today. With this centralisation more and more voices of the smaller communities and cultures are being pushed out of the picture in favour of large-scale homogeneity.

As small communities increasingly feel powerless and ignored animosity develops. Big-City residents start to think of small town and rural residents as slow, backward, simple, etc. And small town and rural residents think of Big-City residents as decadent, cosmopolitan and cultureless, along with developing a feeling of exploitation by the financial powers of the cities.

Cities are like desert islands. They are dependent upon most, if not all, of their basic needs from outside sources. Electricity, water, food, raw materials, etc.

Some people outside of the big cities have become fed up with the big cities and their exploitative behaviour. They take matters into their own hands and carry out a number of small scale acts of sabotage against power pylons and water mains supplying a few of the big cities.

The authorities, always appreciative of an excuse to broaden their powers and control, take this 'unprovoked' attack upon their 'freedom loving' cities as a rallying cry to pass new legislation and laws. Broader police powers, increased surveillance of the public, approved ID requirements at all times, etc.

The small-town and rural population perceive this response by the state as an over-reaction. Surely a power disruption for a day or two isn't such a big deal. But the decreased freedoms everyone now has is felt strongly by these people as they don't make much sense in communities where almost everyone knows everyone else.

As a result, a small number of people feel the need to mimick the acts of sabotage in their own regions. A similar reaction results on the part of the state. Further alienating the small-town and rural population, but not the Big-City population. The public outcry in the cities is strongest from Big-Business and the not-for-profit organisations they fund. I the up-coming elections most candidates run on a platform of increased security measures and proposing new laws and increasing international security cooperation.

As can be expected, this increasing lack of freedom in the name of 'Freedom' further serves to alienate and frustrate the small-town and rural populations, pushing more and more to carry out acts of protest and sabotage aimed against the cities.

The state, realising that the 'threat' is originating outside of the cities, in the country-side and small towns, mobilise increasing numbers of police to 'secure' the rural areas, even though the overwhelming majority of real crime is committed in the big-cities by big-city residents. Again, this further incites a feeling of distrust, exploitation and excessive use of force in the minds of the small-town and rural population.

Instead of helping to curb the frequency of the acts of sabotage, the state's policies and tactics only serve to further polarise the population. The Big-city population increasingly view the rural population as uncivilised and stuck in the past. The urban dwellers just don't understand why the rural population is resisting the modernisation and progress that the cities promote.

The rural population don't understand why the urban dwellers are so willing to become virtual slaves to the cultureless, valueless and materialistic internationalism that their global capitalism is promoting.

And, thus, you have the foundations for the development of a low-intensity insurgency, which may eventually develop into a full-scale civil war.

Angelcynn Beorn
Wednesday, February 28th, 2007, 03:30 AM
Can't say i see it as realistic, i can't think of a single instance of a country spontaneously bursting into civil war without any deeply felt religious or political divisions.

The most likely future conflict i can think of is going to happen at one end of Europe or the other: the Balkans or Ireland.

I can realisitically see Serbia and the Albanians kicking off again some time in the immediate future, especially once America's forces get tied down even more in Iraq and Iran.

In Ireland i can see the troubles kicking off again big style. As the politicians tie Ulster closer and closer to Eire, i can see the Loyalist paramilitaries stepping up a gear and beginning to attack symbols of unification, and eventually carrying the fight south into the Republic. Basically the traditional 'troubes' being reversed.

Of course, that's just my personal opinion. :)