Conflicts have gotten rarer near the end of the century as new technology and universal health-care finally became available to the third world. Even the fires of terrorism have cooled in the wake of the Second Cold War, with its horrors and inhumanities still fresh in the minds of the people, from the old United States to the ravaged Indian subcontinent. Class struggles are ascending to the political battlefield now that every nation is guaranteed fair representation in the UN, and the global standard of living is slowly on the rise down to the most impoverished corners of the planet. Countries have solidified, stabilised around a restructured United Nations that successfully polices the world governments. Fragmented clumps of smaller nations, frightened at first by the vast power blocks accumulating around China and the European Union, have banded together into powerful political leagues of their own -- then found themselves with no neighbours they could safely fight. For the first time in the history of mankind, there is law and order across more than three quarters of the world.