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Causes of World Conflict

Free Policeman walking near Tanks Stock PhotoConflict across the world commonly presents itself in the form of wars, between opposing countries, who fight for any number of reasons. An example of a war currently being fought is the one between Ukraine and Russia, due to Russia's invasion in February 2022.

The following represents some key causes of world conflict.


As in the case of Ukraine/Russia, one country invades another country to take the land. Sometimes, it might be land the invading country used to own, and they are seeking to regain it. This becomes a war when the defending country counter-attacks. 


One country tries to change the political structure of another country, using force to make it happen. If the country decides to defend itself, war breaks out.


One, or a group of countries, chooses to protect a weaker country that is being attacked. This is how Britain became involved in World War I. In 1914, the Germans instigated the 'Schlieffen Plan,' marching through Belgium to get to France. This broke the promise that Britain, along with Germany, had made in an 1839 treaty (The Treaty of London), that Belgium would remain neutral in any future European wars: it would be left out of any fighting. Germany broke their promise by sending its soldiers into Belgium. Britain felt it had a duty to defend Belgium, so it declared war on Germany. World War I had begun. 


Sometimes one country can incite tensions against another, which can lead to war. A current example of this is the tensions between China and Taiwan. Taiwan is an independent nation, however, China views it as its territory. In 2022, China increased tensions by conducting military drills close to Taiwan, including flying drones overhead. In August 2022, Taiwan fired live rounds at one of these drones. This type of incident can be a cause of world conflict.


Another major type of world conflict is civil war. This is when the fighting is between groups within a country. It is often because the country is unstable, with different groups fighting to take over and improve the country. Or just to take power. There are a number of civil wars being fought around the world, including in Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen, with many thousands of lives lost.

You can find out about current world conflicts here, where you will find a map of the world and information about each one.