|Antigua and Barbuda||28%|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||15%|
|British Indian Ocean Territory||N/A|
|British Virgin Islands||N/A|
|Central African Republic||40%|
|Cocos (Keeling Islands)||N/A|
|Congo (Dem. Republic of)||46%|
|Falkland Islands (Malvinas)||N/A|
|French Southern Territories and Antarctic Lands||N/A|
|Heard Island and McDonald Islands||N/A|
|Iran (Islamic Republic of)||24%|
|Korea (Dem. Peo. Rep. of)||23%|
|Korea (Republic of)||16%|
|Lao People's Democratic Rep.||38%|
|Macedonia (The former Yugoslav Republic of)||17%|
|Micronesia (Federated States of)||31%|
|Moldova (Republic of)||16%|
|Northern Mariana Islands||N/A|
|Papua New Guinea||38%|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||23%|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||31%|
|Sao Tome and Principe||43%|
|Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands||N/A|
|Syrian Arab Republic||36%|
|Tanzania (United Rep. of)||45%|
|Trinidad and Tobago||25%|
|Turks and Caicos Island||N/A|
|United Arab Emirates||17%|
|United States of America||20%|
|Virgin Islands (U.S.)||N/A|
|Wallis and Futuna Islands||N/A|
|West Bank and Gaza||42%|
That's a read on what countries have the highest populations under the age of 15 as of 2012. Anything stand out? Do you notice that the higher your percentage of young people, the greater the likelihood that the country is involved in some kind of violent turmoil?
That's because you can't have wars without able-bodied young men to fight them.
That's not a new insight of course. Neil Wiener made that observation a pillar of his career, and deep thinkers all the way back to Aristotle have noted the same phenomenon.
Which raises a question; if we've known for three thousand years that a surplus of young males leads to violent conflict, why don't we find them something else to do?
The answer lies in the fact that too many older rich men have learned to profit from the endeavours of the young. Disputes between Liechtenstein(16% pop< 15 years of age) and Switzerland (15%) tend to be resolved by middle-aged men with brief-cases and law degrees. Disputes between Eritrea (42%) and Ethiopia (41%) tend to be resolved (or not) by young men with guns.
But both Switzerland and Liechtenstein are home to many investors who profit handsomely from the conflicts raging between Eritrea and Ethiopia.
If you look at the two countries most ravaged by American wars of choice in the past 15 years, Afghanistan (46%) and Iraq (43%), you realize immediately that the trillions spent annihilating those societies could have easily been spent providing every young man in those countries with a mud shack and a couple of acres to grow a garden. While that might have kept them too busy to wage war, it wouldn't have done a damned thing for the plump white shareholders at Boeing and Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics and all the rest of them.
Wars also provide an opportunity for countries to ship their restive youth to neighbouring conflicts. For example, both Uganda (48%) and Rwanda (42%) have kept the home fires relatively peaceable by exporting their youthful hotheads to the DRC (46%) to keep the flames of war burning brightly there.
A similar phenomenon plays itself out in the North. America's "volunteer army" would be an impossibility were it not for the dearth of opportunity available to so many young Americans. All those dispossessed young inner-city blacks and trailer trash honkies could stir up a lot of hoo-ha on the home front. It's so much better for everybody (except them and their victims) if we ship them to Iraq and Afghanistan to "keep us safe."
Same with the hordes of young Muslims fleeing the Arab ghettoes of Europe to lose themselves in the hell that is Syria. That's an invaluable safety-valve for the great cities of the continent. This media-generated fear-wave about what they might get up to if they come "home" to Sweden and France and Britain is largely hypothetical. The vast majority are going to Syria to die, but before they do, they will fire off many made-in-the-USA rounds from many different Western armament suppliers, which will make those plump shareholders very happy and even more plump.
So do not despair, dear reader. War may be immoral, but it is never senseless. It makes perfect sense for the people profiting from it. And when, as in America, those are also the people making foreign policy, don't expect this bonanza to whither away any time soon.