THERE have been hundreds of intra-state conflicts since the second world war, of all sorts of lengths and with all sorts of death tolls. Putting precise numbers on them is hard.
The sums that are most certain, and probably thus most comparable — those of dead troops belonging to governments or politically organised rebels and used here — take no account of the many more civilians who died in these wars.
By the more formal measure, the 1980s were the deadliest decade after the immediate postwar period (when 600,000 people died in China alone).
The end of the cold war saw a marked drop in the number of conflicts, matched by a lessening in the number of dead combatants. Of the roughly 20 ongoing conflicts noted in the chart, all but a handful began well over two decades ago. See full article in this week’s issue.
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