As Sa'iqa wrote:Africa wasn't held in the state of artificial underdevelopment - let's begin with that.
Most African countries had been developing quite fast during colonial times and that growth had continued for some time after decolonization - until local warlords began replacing western-educated administration with graduates from Lumumba University in Moscow...
So since the African countries established contact with Europe; they had the oppurtunity to trade with them and benefit from technological advances in Europe? Actually, they were in an absolute state of stagnation while under Europe; limited infastructure was built such as railroads, local political elites were educated and religious missions & schools were established but all this was done with the intention of keeping these territories as raw material and manpower suppliers to their respective European empires; and for the most part this is all that these policies achieved.
In terms of African doctors, engineers, industrial specialists, politicians, military officers, etc... well simply put - a huge amount of them were educated exactly in countries like the USSR, China, Cuba, Poland, etc.. and for free.
There was very little economic growth, technological advancement, progress in education levels in these places from the 18th-20th centuries compared to Europe, and compared to what they could have achieved by themselves even if they'd just remained as independent tribes and started trade with Europe and gradually started organizing themselves into statehood at their own pace. In fact there were actually countries/empires in Africa yet they were all absorbed too with the exception of Ethiopia.
Seecondly - ethnic or religious conflict in Europe are an exception, not a norm.
Religious conflict in Europe was pretty much non-stop since the fall of the Rome - starting with campaigns against pagans (and conversely, pagan raids against Christians), wars between Catholics & Orthodox, then later Catholics and Protestants, oppression and forced conversion of Jews flared up from time to time all over Europe, and of course the crusades and wars against Muslim empires in the Middle East, Balkans, Iberian peninsula, etc...
Ethnic conflict was non-stop too albeit it wasn't called ethnic conflict back then, it was just the standard way of waging war; burning villages, killing villagers, raping, plundering, etc... Suffice to say people's homelands and borders changed very rapidly back then, and many were wiped of the map completely, assimilated or otherwise forgotten to history.
Sometimes the two were mixed together; such as when Oliver Cromwell campaigned in Ireland in the mid-17th century.
True that such warfare took a hiatus in the 18-19th centuries in Europe with the advent of more civilised conduct in warfare as well as the expulsion of the Ottomans from Europe for the most part. Instead, countries in Europe started to wage war in Europe more for territory for the sake of it and eventually the ruling Imperial monarchies there gobbled up just about every independent country that was still left in Europe.
However, just because ethnic and religious conflict took a break in Europe (oh yeah except against the Irish and a couple others); don't assume that the Europeans stopped fighting that way in the rest of the world. In North & South America, Africa, Asia, Australasia, etc... religious warfare, forced conversion, even genocide and biological warfare was as high on the agenda as ever.
And it was all without exception - the Europeans doing it to the natives. Never the other way 'round.
Since 1945 there has not been any major war with an exception of the war in Yugoslavia.
And what about not since 1945? Who else compares to Europe if we judge by what happened there from 1939-1945?
The Japanese in China/Korea/Southeast Asia, Khmer Rogue in Cambodia, Mao's Great Leap Forward and Rwandan Genocide did reach the general same levels of brutality & inhumanity mind you; albeit without quite the same amount of industry, collateral damage and scale.
Anyway, if we leave out the Caucasus/Moldova/Northern Ireland/Cyprus than I guess it's true but then of course you're forgetting the multitudes of wars across the world since 1945, most of which involved European empires/countries trying to maintain their territorial holdings outside Europe or maintain their influence/install friendly elites in states that declared independence from them.
Perhaps one of the most successful was France, which fought a non-ending series of brutal wars and interventions stretching from West Africa to Indochina and successfully managed to entrench their military and political influence in these countries; the most recent example being Mali where the French sponsored a coup d'etat against the government some years back and then last year intervened again, this time to protect their new friendly government there from an invasion by the very same people that they aided against Gaddaffi with military airstrikes in Libya just a short while before.
I think it's enough to look at wikiepdia list of ongoing wars - roughly three quarters of all wars currently waged involve Muslims as at least one side.I think that means something.
How many wars currently being waged involve a Western power?
Last edited by flamming_python on Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:32 pm; edited 3 times in total