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What Are the Most Peaceful Countries In the World? The Global Peace Index Revealed

The use of economic metrics to gauge the relative peacefulness of a given nation is quite a prevalent technique because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up allowing researchers to give concrete estimates pertaining to that. The Institute for Economics and Peace releases an annual Global Peace Index, and their latest report for 2021 reveals some interesting global trends that indicate that most countries are not that peaceful at all.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that the maximum possible score that a country could receive was 1. However, any additional score that is added on top of this would reduce country rankings. The country that managed to clinch the top spot on this list is Iceland, which is interesting since this is the fourteenth year in a row in which the country came out on top.


H/T: Worldpopulationreview

Iceland has a peace score of 1.1, which is by far the best score out of all of the countries on this list. Coming in second is New Zealand, another country that is famous for its low crime rates and strong social safety nets, with a score of 1.253. Denmark gets to a close third with 1.256, followed by Portugal at fourth with a score of 1.267.

At this point a pattern starts to emerge that clearly indicates that countries in the west are generally more peaceful than their eastern counterparts. Out of the top ten most peaceful countries, all save for Canada and New Zealand are in Europe.

The world’s average peace score, meanwhile, is a rather poor 2.08. This scoring average is brought down by countries like Afghanistan, with a score of 3.631, Yemen with a score of 3.407, Syria with 3.371, as well as numerous others whose peace scores are higher than 3 indicating strife, low education rates and a high rate of crime.

It’s noticeable that almost all of the countries that are at the bottom of these rankings have suffered from some form of western incursion. Afghanistan is a prime example, with this long beleaguered nation state turning into a battleground in the cold war, followed by a period of rule by hardliner terrorist elements that were funded and armed by the United States. Even when this tumultuous era gave way to relative peace and democracy, the US stayed within the nation and further destabilized it, eventually giving rise to the return of the Taliban after they made a hurried retreat.

The United States spent over two decades in Afghanistan with the most powerful military in the world. In spite of the fact that this is the case, they were not able to defeat the Taliban so it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that the US, along with other western powers, share some of the blame in Afghanistan’s extremely low peace score.

Yemen, on the other hand, has been besieged by Saudi Arabia, another hostile state that is in many ways sponsored by the US. The Iranian government’s funding of Houthi rebels in the region, which again is byproduct of US meddling in the middle east, further destabilized matters giving Yemen the second lowest peace score of all.

While Iran is by no means exempt for criticism, their country has been attacked on multiple fronts by the US through sanctions, cyber attacks and currency manipulation. All of the players here have stakes in the region, save for the US itself.

This is a common trend, with the United States meddling in Iraq contributing to the birth of the Islamic State which reduced much of Syria to rubble and brought its peace score to an incredibly high 3.371. Iraq, a country invaded by the US, also owes its instability and lack of peace to meddling from the world’s super power.
The US often justifies its belligerence and invasions by citing dictatorial regimes and terrorist elements in the nations they are attacking. However, few if any are fooled by this. Ever since World War 2, the US has built much of its economic might through its military industrial process. A two decade long failed military occupation of Afghanistan makes more sense when you realize that American companies that produce arms, weapons, military vehicles and planes as well as other such products saw their stock prices shoot through the roof.

Iraq’s invasion, which was done under the guise of toppling dictator Saddam Hussein, was quickly discovered to be a ploy to gain control of Iraq’s abundant oil fields. The US’s interference might have ousted Hussein and led to his hanging, but with Iraq’s peace score of 3.257 one might question what good they did if they did any at all.

All of the world’s problems aren’t the fault of the US, but it’s intriguing to see how dangerous and unstable all of the countries it invaded have become.

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