Based upon data from correlatesofwar.org, listed below are the top 5 countries which have been involved in more inter-state wars than any other in the last two hundred years:
France 19, Russia/USSR 16, China 14, UK 13, USA 13
The data above should not be a surprise. The tragedy that has unfolded in Syria over the last few years is not one only of a civil war but more significantly the inter-play and manoeuvring of world powers, in what may be described as the new ‘Great Game’, a macabre term coined by British aristocrats to describe warfare and colonisation involving significant powers with the frivolity of a child’s pastime.
There are two primary competing geopolitical theories on world domination, Heartland (advocated by Halford Mackinder) and Rimland (as advocated by Spykman). The theories provide strategic significance to countries countries such as Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, therefore, it is not by coincidence that these countries have been at the heart of recent military conflicts.
So don’t for a moment think that there is any form of altruism involved with the respective states and their involvement in Syria, the ‘Great Game’ is an aged one and we are just experiencing a new phase of its development.
In the end I think it’s important to think of this in the most human context; our hearts once they have become consumed by an attachment to resource and its maximisation and towards the domination of fellow humans, the extent of suffering that we are prepared to unleash knows no bounds.