I don't write much about war, because strangely enough it doesn't interest me. I also don't know that much about the mechanics of war. (Arguably I don't know that much about most of what I write, but I do try to be accurate and I do try to write about higher politics rather than tittle-tattle, which I am sure cannot be said for some bloggers out there - Guido and Dale are you listening?) I sometimes descend as all bloggers do, into under-researched rant and get bogged down in detail but I do try my best within my time constraints and energy, I promise you that. (You might have guessed this is going to be a reflective post)
Anyway, back on topic, what I do know about war is that essentially it is about the battle for resources - in other words it stems from economics. This is one reason why the EU (and institutions like it - the UN perhaps?) is so important, if we put aside the undemocratic nature of the appointed Commission (appointed at the insistence of nation states), it is essentially a body to sort economic disputes and stop the outbreak of trade wars and military hostilities within Europe - particurlarly involving Germany. In that sense it has been a great success and as the environment and international conflict becomes more difficult we will need the EU and other bodies more and more.
When we look at the environmental problems we face in the future, a lot of time is spent talking about climate change. The Right will rubbish it and the left will talk serious about emissions, energy production and consumption but do very little. I believe climate change is real (not least because I remember as a teenager being knee deep in snow - I don't need an expert to tell me it doesn't snow anymore and that this has happened in just 25 years), but in a way I think we are missing the real environmental problems ahead - that is enviromental degradation caused by over-use of resources rather than a hotter climate. We waste huge amounts of resources - we are literally using up the planet and food stocks from fish to crops are falling. Couple this with the drop in underground fresh water and we can see we are heading for big problems. The 20th century was about wars over oil and energy supplies, the 21st century wars will be about water and food - a far more frightening prospect.
It will start in the developing world with mass starvation - billions will die. The developed world will not be immune to deaths - but generally prices for food and water will soar but remain affordable as we cut back on all our luxury goods. None of this is going to be pretty. But my prediction is that the world population has to come down to about 1 billion from the 9 billion predicted for 2020. We either move to the Left and manage this decline sensibly by redistributing resources or we take the Right-wing view point and scramble for everything we can get. Sadly it seems in times of crisis the Right do quite well. The Left-wing perspective requires long-term thinking, the Right-wing perspective just requires the bigger guns. We will see what happens. I am not optimistic.