What put a shift in the establishment of the ‘new wars’?
Once the theoretical difference between ‘old’ and ‘new’ wars has been established, as seen above, the use of case studies can aid in determining whether or not there is a distinction. The civil war in Angola in the 1990’s and how the war effort was financed, as well as the identity politics in the Syrian civil war, can be used to demonstrate a shift towards new wars. At the end of the Cold War, international economic backing for both the Movimento Popular de Libertaçāo de Angola (MPLA) and Uniāo Nacional para Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) was withdrawn after a UN Security Council meeting. UNITA was able to capture and control key diamond fields in Angola and use this exploitation of natural resources to fund their own war effort. Furthermore, a report made by a UN-appointed panel concluded that the war was fought to control key mineral resources and details the exploitation of these minerals through the use of confiscation, extraction, forced monopoly and price fixing, i.e., predatory methods of financing. Moreover, turning to the Syrian civil war, some analysts dispute that the conflict was formed due to sectarian fault lines: specifically the minority Alawite sect and the Sunni majority.