Global Deaths in Conflict Since the Year 1400

What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. CD4P commented on Jun 30

    Saw much of the “Apocalypse WWI” show on The American Heroes Channel recently. 10 million soldiers killed, 20 million wounded. And then there was the major flu influenza which killed another 30 million in 1918 around the world.

  2. RiverboatGambler commented on Jun 30

    The most interesting thing here is not that we are on all time lows but rather the length of the current downtrend.

    We are now going on 70 years of downtrend post WWII. The next closest looks like about 40 years from 1640 – 1680.

    What has fundamentally changed that could make this not be an outlier? Lifespan?

    Very interesting in the context of cycle theories like The Fourth Turning.

    • kaleberg commented on Jun 30

      RiverboatGambler: The Thirty Year’s War ended in 1648. My guess is that everyone was so disgusted with the war and its effects that it took a while to work up steam for the next fight. Until fairly late in the 20th century you’d hear Germans say that something in miserable shape “was just something the Swedes left.” The war was ended when Queen Christina in Sweden decided it had gone on long enough. She later abdicated and retired to the Vatican, probably concerned for her sole.

      World Wars I and II were pretty horrific. The Europeans were pretty damned sick of war by 1945. The whole EU, political and economic flow from the European revulsion with those two wars.

    • bear_in_mind commented on Jul 1

      @RiverboatGambler: Remind me not to bet on your roulette numbers.

      The unsettling thing about this long-series analysis is two-fold: 1) Once these trends commence moving in one direction (either up or down), they seem to persist for DECADES; and 2) The current trend (see: “Military Death Rate”) is definitively on an upward trajectory.

      It doesn’t specify the exact trigger of the trend change, but looking closely at the place on the timeline is awfully suggestive tha the U.S. invasion of Iraq was the initiator in reversing the post-WWII downward trend.

      So much for the short-lived, post-Cold War “Peace Dividend”…

    • bear_in_mind commented on Jul 2

      Dear Riverboat Gambler: You might want to pull out a magnifying glass because the military deaths are climbing sharply and that’s with the latest, greatest (pretty incredible really) medical advances saving lives that would have been lost just a decade ago. Between that and the apparent secular nature of these trends seem to fly squarely in the face of your rose-colored perspective. Care to expound?

  3. Lyle commented on Jun 30

    Note that the web site that this chart comes from has many other interesting charts Here is a link to the root of the site: It provides the charts bundled into a set of presentations. Including ones looking at longer term issues of violet death rates and the like.

  4. Whammer commented on Jul 1

    Interesting how the civilian death rate has dropped to the point where it is minimal compared to the military death rate.

  5. NoKidding commented on Jul 1

    Nuclear weapons, the easy way to destroy far away enemies, has been avoided because the various costs are so very high.

    Large scale conventional bombing suffers from inefficiency and bad optics.

    Targeted drone assualts make killing foreigners efficient and inexpensive. For example, one human in the Western world kills one or more specific humans in the not-Western world from across the globe using radio controlled weapons. No radiation, no flattened obstetricians, increasing efficiency, and falling cost of technology.

    In combination with recent federalization of decision making power, particularly domestic spying and the non-criminalization of the US government killing its own wayward overseas citizens, I see a wonderous new era on the horizon.

    • bear_in_mind commented on Jul 2

      @nokidding: Your thoughts on the deterrent power associated with nuclear weapons assumes a fairly rational world populated with fairly rational homo sapien actors. Sounds like science-fiction to my eyes and ears. I’d welcome you to conduct a 5-10 minute foray using Google or DuckDuckGo on the topic of nuclear near-misses, accidents, live (untriggered) nuclear warheads falling from military aircraft, and take your thesis for another spin.

      As U.S.-operated drones rain down Hellfire (missiles) on brown-skinned folks not named Smith, Jones or Thomas, you have to grasp that this too will change. How long can that technology remain under the exclusive control and purview of the US military “intelligence”?! Maybe a decade, at most? Then what shall those military death figures look like?

      During the post-Berlin Wall “peace dividend” era, our country has spent infinitely more blood, treasure and prestige on advancing our ability to kill, destroy and incarcerate lives than we have in saving and improving lives. IMHO, it is nearly inevitable that this misspent era will come home to roost in unpredictable ways over the next 20-30 years. We can always pivot and change course, but that may have little or no bearing on what others will do.

Posted Under