Civil Wars vs Terrorism

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Civil Wars vs Terrorism

Civil wars occur a lot more than most may think, and with as much media coverage that there is nowadays, it doesnt seem rare anymore to have a terrorist attack. These are two very sad events. A civil war is defined as a war in which the main participants are within the same state, such as the government and a rebel group (pg.

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237 of textbook). Terrorism is defined as the use or threatened use of violence against noncombatant targets by individuals or nonstate groups for political ends (pg. 264 of textbook). Civil wars and terrorism do not appear to be the same on the outside, but with further digging, it is easy to see how the two might go hand-in-hand. These two groups definitely have their differences, but they share very similar characteristics during bargaining failure.

In civil wars, most of the time, there is a rebel group fighting against the government. There may also be a rebel group fighting against another rebel group with a different ideology. Scholars say that in order for a war to be considered a civil war there must be at least 1,000 deaths related to the war, and the deaths have to be made up of both sides. Therefore that means that a tyrant ruler can not poison their civilians and kill 1,000s and call it a civil war. From 1945 to 1999, interstate wars were responsible for the deaths of 3 million people, while civil wars killed more than 16 million (pg. 237 of textbook), civil wars can be extremely costly for civilians. A main cause of civil war is a group using violence to fight for, typically, a political interest. Sometimes, foreign countries will get involved and help a rebel group because they share the same ideology.

For example, a foreign country may send aide through money, resources, troops, training, or sometimes even sanctuary. A foreign country getting involved in a civil war can get very complicated. Another negative impact of a civil war is there may be a lot of refugees trying to flee the country and move into another country. That problem in itself creates a domino effect of problems with it. This can create a burden for neighboring states that feel like they have to bring these people in. There is typically a crime and conflict increase that come with the people as well. Since there are many factors that influence foreign states, the United Nations describes civil wars as threats to international peace and security. Because of this, they can send peacekeepers to try and intervene when necessary. The textbook says, of the 69 peacekeeping operations by the UN in 1948-2014, 39 were conflict within one state and 12 were for both international and civil dimensions.

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