It began as war between Protestants and Catholics and then expanded as many of the great powers of the day entered the conflict. Some nations grew in influence because of the war and others were devastated. I invite you to read more about the gritty details if you’re interested.
P. S. Flushed with success, the Swedes then went to war with Russia and were handed their hats. Then they became a less than great power once again.
In the Syrian Civil War, Syria’s enemies, Israel and the US (the little and big satan, respectively) are winning because they’re staying out of the fighting. The US is present in the area because it showed up to defeat ISIS under President Trump’s leadership, but that doesn’t extend to the Civil War in any significant extent.
The US clearly projects power by its presence East of the Euphrates and we’ve read on several blogs how the Russians and their proxies wanted to take the Americans down to Chinatown (kick their butts to Pizza Hut) and it turned out very badly for them. The problem that the Russians and their friends have is that they feel if they can beat Arab militias and the Syrian Army, the Americans should be a push-over. (too bad/so sad)
|Click to enlarge the map and reveal
territorial exchanges in the 30 years
Syria is the biggest looser and Turkey is close behind as the world finds that the might of Turkish armor and combined arms can’t dislodge a thousand or so Kurds. Russia looks like a Potemkin Village since their military is severely taxed by merely keeping it in the field in the face of a logistics train less than 900 sea miles in length over unopposed (sea or air) access. The Russia issue reflects the Spanish in the Thirty Years war. That effort effectively started the slide to the end of the Spanish empire by exhausting what strength they had left. I don’t see that happening to Russia, but it confirms their modern status as a regional power and no more.
Iran would be a big loser but for the Obama nuke deal which gave them the cash to keep going. The great power playing the English role is China. They stuck their nose under the tent, then backed off because the only winners never showed up to the game.
Then there are the Saudis and the fringe players who have tried to keep a chip in the game to thwart Iranian imperialistic fervor — are they Holland?