What defines a frozen conflict

1d ago
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What defines a frozen conflict Wars are defined by their winners and losers. But some conflicts seem to last for decades without yielding a clear result. These are called frozen conflicts and a number of them exist today,... From: The Economist Views: 1

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Wars are defined by their winners and losers. But some conflicts seem to last for decades without yielding a clear result. These are called frozen conflicts and a number of them exist today, mainly in Eurasia. What defines a frozen conflict? First, it needs the support of a large power with the funds and the willingness to sustain the dispute. Russia is good at this. Ever since the break up of the Soviet Union, Moscow has taken sides in a number of spats in the Caucasus region. It has backed rebels in South Ossetia and Abkhazia since the early 1990s. Both are part of Georgia. In 2008, Moscow sent in its tanks to support South Ossetian separatists. Second, the supporting power usually has a financial or strategic interest in the contested area. Ukraine, a country largely dependent on Russian gas imports, is a prime example. The countries not only have political and cultural connections, but companies in the industrialised east of Ukraine such as the aircraft manufacturer, Antonov, are important suppliers to Russia’s armed forces and its heavy industry. Frozen conflicts can thaw; escalating into full-scale shooting wars at short notice. In Nagorno-Karabakh a backwater conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, soldiers on both sides still exchange fire even though a ceasefire was signed in 1994. If frozen conflicts prove hard to end, it is probably because powerful interests don't want them to. For more multimedia content from The Economist visit our website: http://econ.st/1sWSMMP