Read the article "Intrastate Conflict: Data, Trends and Drivers" by Ernie Regehr (Also in Course Documents) Write a one-page, double-spaced response addressing Intrastate Conflict: Fought for Greed or Grievance?

Question description


Kiev, capital of Ukraine, is the scene of tank battles, buildings in flames, and many dead. Much of this country has become virtually ungovernable. The European Union and the United States are searching for a compromise while Russia tries to bring Ukraine back into the Russian orbit.

There are indications of direct Russian involvement in support of rebel forces inside Ukraine. The CIA released satellite images that support claims Russia has fired artillery and rockets across the border and armed, trained and financed separatist forces inside the Ukraine.

Other Serious Armed Conflicts:

Central African Republic – Sectarian fighting between Muslims and Christians erupted.

Libya – Armed militias that overthrew Gaddafi in 2011 are now fighting various factions.

Somalia – African Union troops, many from nearby Uganda, restored government control of the major cities. This left Shabab militants in the rural areas the ability to carry out bombings.

Israel/Gaza – The Israel-Palestine conflict escalated to current fighting with Hama in the Gaza Strip.

The United Nations defines “major wars” as those military conflicts inflicting 1,000 battlefield deaths per year. Most conflicts today are civil or “intrastate” conflicts—wars born of religious, ethnic or racial hatreds. Often tribalism or identity based politics mobilizes conflict through the use of fear, corruption, religion, even the media. One aspect all have in common is that most deaths and victims are civilians. There is no regular army using heavy weapons. Instead, child soldiers and criminals use light weapons and perpetrate crimes such as rape, starvation, and ethnic cleansing.

More conflicts occur in Africa than any other continent. Serious armed conflict cause incredible economic and social damage to many states.

Intrastate Conflict involves organized armed forces capable of sustained combat and effective resistance. The result is a minimum of 1,000 battle-related combatant fatalities within a 12-month period. This new type of war does not involve superpowers. Rather, regional powers, mercenaries and conflict parties traffic in drugs, blood diamonds, trafficking and blackmail.

Greed and Grievance

Greed – Often the main “cause” of conflicts. Can involve gold, diamonds, oil. It is also based on diaspora—Ethnic groups or nationalities scattered among several countries.

Grievance – Used to “prolong” conflicts. Can involve a religious sect, class, ethnic group, political party affiliation, or basic inequalities.


  1. Review the material in your Text on Intrastate Conflicts.
  2. Read the article “Intrastate Conflict: Data, Trends and Drivers” by Ernie Regehr (Also in Course Documents)
  3. Write a one-page, double-spaced response addressing Intrastate Conflict: Fought for Greed or Grievance?
  4. Submit your Response Assignment using the link above.

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