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The idea that inter-ethnic conflict has exploded since the end of the Cold War is somewhat of a misconception in my opinion The idea that the number of ethnic conflicts has recently exploded ushering us into a violent new era of ethnic pandemonium is one of those optical illusions that round-the-clock and round-the-world television coverage has helped to create Ethnic conflicts have consistently formed the vast majority of wars ever since the event of decolonization began to sweep the developing countries after 1945 However it is apparent that the majority of all conflicts over the past 50 years ethnic or political have occurred in the developing world The 3rd World seems much more subject to these insurrections than the democratized 1st World Although the number of ethnic conflicts has continued to grow since the Cold War ended it has done so at a slow and steady rate remaining consistent with the overall trend of conflict over the last 50 years In 1990 and 1991 however several new and highly visible ethnic conflicts erupted as a result of the dissolution of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia The clashes between the armies of Croatia Serbia and Slovenia and the agonizing battle that pitted Bosnias Croats Muslims and Serbs against each other occurred on Europes fringes within easy reach of television cameras The wars in Azerbaijan Chechnya Georgia and Tajikistan while more distant were still impressive in the way that they humbled the remnants of the former Soviet colossus Many observers mistook these wars for the start of a new trend Some were so impressed that they began to reclassify conflicts in Angola Nicaragua Peru and Somalia - once seen as ideological or power struggles - as primarily ethnic conflicts The state-formation wars that accompanied the Leninist extinction now appear to have been a one-time event - a flash flood rather than a global deluge Many of these battles have already been brought under control Indeed
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