Kosovo is an independent country the same way Abchasia is an independent country - in name only. It is a puppet state controlled by Albanian mafia.
I disagree with this, and I suspect that a detailed discussion of the matter would take us far afield and be unlikely to resolve much.
This is also not correct - for example more soldiers participating in the Crimean war were killed by cholera than by weapons. Typhus was rampant among soldiers during the WW1. The use of antibiotics made wounds far less likely to be deadly and so did blood transfusions that were perfected by the 1960ies.
Antibiotics and blood transfusions are relevant improvements. But the death toll totals hold even when one isn't counting deaths from diseases such as cholera.
As for the Taiping rebellion - true, I guess I am too eurocentric. But there was a reason that WW1 was supposed to be the war to end all wars - never before Europe has been that ravaged and only WW2 topped that, so the wars in Yugoslavia or all the conflicts which resulted from the breakup of the USSR were small potatoes in comparison because of the far smaller scale.
But as a percentage basis of total population at the time, WW1 wasn't that much larger than previous European wars. Around 5 million people died in the Thirty Years war when there were around 600 million people alive. By WW1, there were around 1.6 billion people, and around 20 million people died. So by that standard, WW1 was only about 50% worse than the Thirty Years war.
(Incidentally, Blindsight is an awesome book and that's a great sig.)
The part with fewer people dying is only true because WW1 and WW2 set the "standards" so ridiculously high. Well, that and better medical support. Compared to the 19th century wars the second half of the 20th century is pretty much competitive.
Improved medical care has mattered certainly, but that's much more in the last 30 or so years (and is partially responsible also for the decrease in homicide rates). But that's relatively recent; modern emergency medicine did improve after World War II, but the casualty death rate during the Korean War and Vietnam were both close to that of World War II. It is only in the last 20 years that the emergency medicine has improved so much as to really make a substantial difference there, and even then it isn't large enough to explain the entire effect. And the idea that the world wars were so ridiculously high isn't accurate. The Taiping Rebellion and the Manchu conquest of China both had higher total death tolls than World War I for example, even as the world population was much smaller (and in fact they occurred in relatively narrow geographic areas). There's an excellent book which discusses many of these issues (although he doesn't give as much attention to the improved medical care as I would have liked)- "The Better Angels of Our Nature" by Steven Pinker.
"Pascal is Pascal is Pascal is dog meat." -- M. Devine and P. Larson, Computer Science 340