Once upon a time there were two neighbouring countries whose leading political parties ran on black money funded by overlapping groups of elite friends, who also ran the media of these countries, monopolized many essential resources and who sold weapons to the militaries of both sides and made enormous profits.
They had a secret strategic partnership: everytime one country's leadership started losing popularity because of corruption or bad governance or some scam coming to light, the other country would do something like firing on the border, killing a key commander or hanging a captive or attacking a base or city or so. While it would never be something that translated to all-out war, it would bring matters to a "boil" and successfully distract that country's people from the problems they were uncovering at the time, making them focus all their attention on the "external enemy" instead.
The owned media of both countries would also be put on the job to establish "public demand" for war through highly dramatized and selective reporting, nonstop warmongering rhetorics instead of news, daily clamouring for a "surgical strike", "moo-tod jawab" (jaw-breaking answer), "sending a signal" etc to make it look like the leadership has to now meet the public's "need" for "revenge" and "justice". Old war stories and hero stories would be looped over and over for stoking nostalgia of the good old days when we could all just kill each other, and the public would be told they have an obligation to live up to the honour of their heros and founding fathers.
While conveniently omitting the fact that these two countries have the world's highest rates of child malnutrition and lowest rates of real literacy for primary school children, can't fix even one issue that much poorer countries have already resolved, are buying globally rejected goods and obsolete polluting technologies in the blind dash for development and are already the laughing stock of the world.
After a few weeks of belligerent posturing, the obvious control mechanisms would kick in, other nations would intervene, plead both to avoid all-out conflict, not wipe out all life on the planet, etc and the leaderships would "grudgingly" accept to step-down despite "public demand for bold action" as a sign of their "maturity" and "statesmanship". Some meetings with lots of good food would resume as "peace talks", all just passing time for the next conflagaration.
By this time the original issues would be long forgotten, some heavy expenditures like troop mobilizations and weapons purchases (and so commission!) would already be done and so the leaders and their elite bosses would go laughing all the way to their banks.
At this time anyone who dared to question the leadership could easily be accused by their herd-mentality and patriotism-high friends of being a traitor and anti-national and all voices of sanity were ridiculed.
This way the leaderships of both countries stayed in power for long, with their own mutual rotations of two parties (again with the same black money funders so duopolies faking to be opponents) to keep up the illusion of democracy.
Untill one day the peoples of the two countries realized that they have a lot more in common with each other than they have with their own leaders, that their real enemies were the ones pulling the strings from behind the scenes, and that the first step to truly secure their country and stop these attacks, firings etc was to stop voting for candidates running on questionable black money funding sources in the next elections.