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War is a reciprocated, armed conflict between two or more non-congruous entities, aimed at reorganising a subjectively designed, geo-politically desired result. In his book On War, Prussian military theoretician Carl Von Clausewitz calls war the "continuation of political intercourse, carried on with other means." War is an interaction in which two or more opposing forces have a “struggle of wills”. The term is also used as a metaphor for non-military conflict, such as in the example of Class war.

War is not necessarily considered to be the same as occupation, murder, or genocide because of the reciprocal nature of the violent struggle, and the organized nature of the units involved.

A civil war is a war between factions of citizens of one country (such as in the American Civil War), or else a dispute between two nations that were created out of one formerly-united country. A proxy war is a war that results when two powers use third parties as substitutes for fighting each other directly.

War is also a cultural entity, and its practice is not linked to any single type of political organization or society. Rather, as discussed by John Keegan in his History Of Warfare, war is a universal phenomenon whose form and scope is defined by the society that wages it. The conduct of war extends along a continuum, from the almost universal tribal warfare that began well before recorded human history, to wars between city states, nations, or empires.

In the organised military sense, a group of combatants and their support is called an army on land, a navy at sea, and an air force in the air. Wars may be conducted simultaneously in one or more different theatres. Within each theatre, there may be one or more consecutive military campaigns. A military campaign includes not only fighting but also intelligence, troop movements, supplies, propaganda, and other components. A period of continuous intense conflict is traditionally called a battle, although this terminology is not always applied to conflicts involving aircraft, missiles or bombs alone, in the absence of ground troops or naval forces. Also many other actions may be undertaken by military forces during a war, this could include weapons research, prison internment, assassination, occupation, and in some cases genocide may occur.

As the strategic and tactical aspects of warfare are always changing, theories and doctrines relating to warfare are often reformulated before, during, and after every major war. Carl Von Clausewitz said, 'Every age had its own kind of war, its own limiting conditions, and its own peculiar preconceptions.'.

War is not limited to the human species; Ants engage in massive intra-species conflicts which might be termed warfare, and chimpanzee packs will engage each other in tribe like warfare. It is theorized that other species also engage in similar behavior, although this is not well documented.

Etymology

From late Old English (c.1050), wyrre, werre, from Old North French werre "war" (Fr. guerre), from Frankish *werra, from Proto-Germanic *werso (Compare with Old Saxon werran,Old high German werran, German verwirren "to confuse, perplex"). Cognates suggest the original sense was "to bring into confusion."

There was no common Germanic word for "war" at the dawn of historical times. Spanish, Portuguese, Italianmarker guerra are from the same source; Romanic peoples turned to Germanic for a word to avoid Latin "bellum" because its form tended to merge with bello- "beautiful."

History of warfare

Army 89th Infantry Division cross the Rhine River in assault boats, 1945.
Before the dawn of civilization, war likely consisted of small-scale raiding. One half of the people found in a Nubian cemetery dating to as early as 12,000 years ago had died of violence. Since the rise of the state some 5,000 years ago, military activity has occurred over much of the globe. The advent of gunpowder and the acceleration of technological advances led to modern warfare.

In War Before Civilization, Lawrence H. Keeley, a professor at the University of Illinoismarker, says that approximately 90–95% of known societies throughout history engaged in at least occasional warfare, and many fought constantly.

In Western Europe, since the late 18th century, more than 150 conflicts and about 600 battles had taken place.

The Human Security Report 2005 documented a significant decline in the number and severity of armed conflicts since the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s. However, the evidence examined in the 2008 edition of the Center for International Development and Conflict Management's "Peace and Conflict" study indicated that the overall decline in conflicts had stalled.

Motivations

Motivations for war may be different for those ordering the war than for those undertaking the war. For a state to prosecute a war it must have the support of its leadership, its military forces, and its people. For example, in the Third Punic War, Romemarker's leaders may have wished to make war with Carthagemarker for the purpose of eliminating a resurgent rival, while the individual soldiers may have been motivated by a wish to make money. Since many people are involved, a war may acquire a life of its own from the confluence of many different motivations.

Any case, the most important motivation to war is, in several ways, the imperialism

In Why Nations Go to War, by John G. Stoessinger, the author points out that both sides will claim that morality justifies their fight. He also states that the rationale for beginning a war depends on an overly optimistic assessment of the outcome of hostilities (casualties and costs), and on misperceptions of the enemy's intentions.

The Jewish Talmud derives in his commentary to the fight between Cain and Abel (BeReshit Rabba XXII:7 to ) three universal reasons for wars: They are i) economic, ii) power/pride/love (personal) reasons and iii) ideology/religion.

Economic theories

One school of thought argues that war can be seen as a growth of economic competition in a competitive international system. In this view wars begin as a pursuit of markets for natural resources and for wealth. While this theory has been applied to many conflicts, such counter arguments become less valid as the increasing mobility of capital and information level the distributions of wealth worldwide, or when considering that it is relative, not absolute, wealth differences that may fuel wars. There are those on the extreme right of the political spectrum who provide support, fascists in particular, by asserting a natural right of the strong to whatever the weak cannot hold by force. Some centrist, capitalist, world leaders, including Presidents of the United States and US Generals, expressed support for an economic view of war.

"Is there any man, is there any woman, let me say any child here that does not know that the seed of war in the modern world is industrial and commercial rivalry?" - Woodrow Wilson, September 11, 1919, St. Louis.

"For the corporation executives, the military metaphysic often coincides with their interest in a stable and planned flow of profit; it enables them to have their risk underwritten by public money; it enables them reasonably to expect that they can exploit for private profit now and later, the risky research developments paid for by public money. It is, in brief, a mask of the subsidized capitalism from which they extract profit and upon which their power is based."C. Wright Mills, Causes of world war 3,1960
"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist." - Dwight Eisenhower, Farewell Address, Jan. 17, 1961.

Government funded war programs have historically produced some of the most innovative products we know today. The PhDs at the Universities that created things like the transistor were funded by war programs. The Internet (originally called ARPAnet) was an ARPA funded program, a way to communicate over long distances in the case of nuclear destruction. War funded programs created the cell phone as a way for soldiers to communicate easily from within their tanks over long distances.

It can also be argued that if you decrease the population of the losing country, you may get an increased supply of food, increased supply of raw materials, decreased multinational corporate competition, control over their natural resources (including a cheap labor market, oilfields, agricultural land and more). The weakening of these countries creates an opportunity for multinational corporations to enter and develop their markets when the country is no longer able (financially or by lack of human resources) to develop them itself. That is, obviously, an imperialistic reasoning.

By some beliefs, war may also create increased economic activity in a country in the form of new jobs. When the unemployment rate is high, people may be making less purchases than they were a year or two ago, and overall output is flat. But when the country decides to prepare for war, the government needs to equip its soldiers with the extra gear and munitions needed in order to win the war. Corporations win contracts to supply boots, bombs and vehicles to the army. Many of these companies will have to hire extra workers in order to meet this increased production. If the preparations for war are large enough, large numbers of workers will be hired reducing the unemployment rate. Other workers may need to be hired to cover reservists in private sector jobs who get sent overseas. With the unemployment rate down we have more people spending again and people who had jobs before will be less worried about losing their job in the future so they'll spend more than they did. This extra spending will help the retail sector, who will need to hire extra employees causing unemployment to drop even further. The Broken Window Fallacy is an economic theory that argues that this increased economic activity could have happened even without government intervention, because you cannot prove how the money spent on war programs could have been invested otherwise.

War is also very lucrative for central banks in the sense that governments have to borrow large amounts of money from their central bank, to be repayed with interest which the government collects through income tax. Several conspiracy theories claim that central banking systems like the Federal Reserve are secretly owned by international bankers who understand the economic benefits of war and thus manipulate the public to believe on an imaginary national enemy, whether that is terrorism or climate change in order to initiate the war process.

Evolutionary psychology

A distinct branch of the psychological theories of war are the arguments based on evolutionary psychology. This school tends to see war as an extension of animal behaviour, such as territoriality and competition. Animals are naturally aggressive, and in humans this aggression manifests itself as warfare. However, while war has a natural cause, the development of technology has accelerated human destructiveness to a level that is irrational and damaging to the species. The earliest advocate of this theory was Konrad Lorenz.

These theories have been criticized by scholars such as John G. Kennedy, who argue that the organized, sustained war of humans differs more than just technologically from the territorial fights between animals. Ashley Montagu strongly denies such universalistic instinctual arguments, pointing out that social factors and childhood socialization are important in determining the nature and presence of warfare. Thus while human aggression may be a universal occurrence, warfare is not and would appear to have been a historical invention, associated with certain types of human societies.

Behavioral theories

Some psychologist such as E.F.M. Durban and John Bowlby have argued that human beings are inherently violent. This aggressiveness is fueled by displacement and projection where a person transfers their grievances into bias and hatred against other races, religions, nations or ideologies. By this theory the nation state preserves order in the local society while creating an outlet for aggression through warfare. If war is innate to human nature, as is presupposed and predetermined by many psychological theories, then there is little hope of ever escaping it.

The Italian psychoanalyst Franco Fornari, a follower of Melanie Klein, thought that war was the paranoid or projective “elaboration” of mourning. Fornari thought that war and violence develop out of our “love need”: our wish to preserve and defend the sacred object to which we are attached, namely our early mother and our fusion with her. For the adult, nations are the sacred objects that generate warfare. Fornari focused upon sacrifice as the essence of war: the astonishing willingness of human beings to die for their country, to give over their bodies to their nation.

While these theories may have some general explanatory value about why war exists, they do not explain when or how they occur. Nor do they explain the existence of certain human cultures completely devoid of war. If the innate psychology of the human mind is unchanging, these variations are inconsistent. A solution adapted to this problem by militarists such as Franz Alexander is that peace does not really exist. Periods that are seen as peaceful are actually periods of preparation for a later war or when war is suppressed by a state of great power, such as the Pax Britannica.

An additional problem with theories that rest on the will of the general population, is that in history only a tiny fraction of wars have originated from a desire for war from the general populace. Far more often the general population has been reluctantly drawn into war by its rulers. One psychological theory that looks at the leaders is advanced by Maurice Walsh. He argues that the general populace is more neutral towards war and that wars only occur when leaders with a psychologically abnormal disregard for human life are placed into power. War is caused by leaders that seek war such as Napoleon, Hitler, and Stalin. Such leaders most often come to power in times of crisis when the populace opts for a decisive leader, who then leads the nation to war.

Sociological theories

Sociology has long been very concerned with the origins of war, and many thousands of theories have been advanced, many of them contradictory. Sociology has thus divided into a number of schools. One, the Primat der Innenpolitik (Primacy of Domestic Politics) school based on the works of Eckart Kehr and Hans-Ulrich Wehler, sees war as the product of domestic conditions, with only the target of aggression being determined by international realities. Thus World War I was not a product of international disputes, secret treaties, or the balance of power but a product of the economic, social, and political situation within each of the states involved.

This differs from the traditional Primat der Außenpolitik (Primacy of Foreign Politics) approach of Carl von Clausewitz and Leopold von Ranke that argues it is the decisions of statesmen and the geopolitical situation that leads to peace.

Demographic theories

Demographic theories can be grouped into two classes, Malthusian theories and youth bulge theories.

Malthusian theories

Malthusian theories see expanding population and scarce resources as a source of violent conflict.

Pope Urban II in 1095, on the eve of the First Crusade, wrote, "For this land which you now inhabit, shut in on all sides by the sea and the mountain peaks, is too narrow for your large population; it scarcely furnishes food enough for its cultivators. Hence it is that you murder and devour one another, that you wage wars, and that many among you perish in civil strife. Let hatred, therefore, depart from among you; let your quarrels end. Enter upon the road to the Holy Sepulchre; wrest that land from a wicked race, and subject it to yourselves."

This is one of the earliest expressions of what has come to be called the Malthusian theory of war, in which wars are caused by expanding populations and limited resources. Thomas Malthus (1766–1834) wrote that populations always increase until they are limited by war, disease, or famine.

This theory is thought by Malthusians to account for the relative decrease in wars during the past fifty years, especially in the developed world, where advances in agriculture have made it possible to support a much larger population than was formerly the case, and where birth control has dramatically slowed the increase in population.

Youth bulge theory

Youth bulge theory differs significantly from Malthusian theories. Its adherents see a combination of large male youth cohorts - as graphically represented as a "youth bulge" in a population pyramid - with a lack of regular, peaceful employment opportunities as a risk pool for violence.

While Malthusian theories focus on a disparity between a growing population and available natural resources, youth bulge theory focuses on a disparity between non-inheriting, 'excess' young males and available social positions within the existing social system of division of labour.

Contributors to the development of youth bulge theory include French sociologist Gaston Bouthoul, U.S. sociologist Jack A. Goldstone, U.S. political scientist Gary Fuller, and German sociologist Gunnar Heinsohn. Samuel Huntington has modified his Clash of Civilizations theory by using youth bulge theory as its foundation:

I don't think Islam is any more violent than any other religions, and I suspect if you added it all up, more people have been slaughtered by Christians over the centuries than by Muslims. But the key factor is the demographic factor. Generally speaking, the people who go out and kill other people are males between the ages of 16 and 30.

During the 1960s, 70s and 80s there were high birth rates in the Muslim world, and this has given rise to a huge youth bulge. But the bulge will fade. Muslim birth rates are going down; in fact, they have dropped dramatically in some countries. Islam did spread by the sword originally, but I don't think there is anything inherently violent in Muslim theology."


Youth Bulge theories represent a relatively recent development but seem to have become more influential in guiding U.S. foreign policy and military strategy as both Goldstone and Fuller have acted as consultants to the U.S. Government. CIA Inspector General John L. Helgerson referred to youth bulge theory in his 2002 report "The National Security Implications of Global Demographic Change".

According to Heinsohn, who has proposed youth bulge theory in its most generalized form, a youth bulge occurs when 30 to 40 percent of the males of a nation belong to the "fighting age" cohorts from 15 to 29 years of age. It will follow periods with total fertility rates as high as 4-8 children per woman with a 15-29 year delay.

A total fertility rate of 2.1 children born by a woman during her lifetime represents a situation of in which the son will replace the father, and the daughter will replace the mother. Thus, a total fertility rate of 2.1 represents replacement level, while anything below represents a sub-replacement fertility rate leading to population decline.

Total fertility rates above 2.1 will lead to population growth and to a youth bulge. A total fertility rate of 4-8 children per mother implies 2-4 sons per mother. Consequently, one father has to leave not 1, but 2 to 4 social positions (jobs) to give all his sons a perspective for life, which is usually hard to achieve. Since respectable positions cannot be increased at the same speed as food, textbooks and vaccines, many "angry young men" find themselves in a situation that tends to escalate their adolescent anger into violence: they are

  1. Demographically superfluous,
  2. Might be out of work or stuck in a menial job, and
  3. Often have no access to a legal sex life before a career can earn them enough to provide for a family. See: Hypergamy, Waithood.


The combination of these stress factors according to Heinsohn usually heads for one of six different exits:

  1. Violent Crime
  2. Emigration ("non violent colonization")
  3. Rebellion or putsch
  4. Civil war and/or revolution
  5. Genocide (to take over the positions of the slaughtered)
  6. Conquest (violent colonization, frequently including genocide abroad).


Religions and ideologies are seen as secondary factors that are being used to legitimate violence, but will not lead to violence by themselves if no youth bulge is present. Consequently, youth bulge theorists see both past "Christianist" European colonialism and imperialism and today's "Islamist" civil unrest and terrorism as results of high birth rates producing youth bulges. With the Gaza Stripmarker now being seen as another example of youth-bulge-driven violence, especially if compared to Lebanonmarker which is geographically close, yet remarkably more peaceful.

Among prominent historical events that have been linked to the existence of youth bulges is the role played by the historically large youth cohorts in the rebellion and revolution waves of early modern Europe, including French Revolution of 1789, and the importance of economic depression hitting the largest German youth cohorts ever in explaining the rise of Nazism in Germany in the 1930s. The 1994 Rwandan Genocide has also been analyzed as following a massive youth bulge.

While the implications of population growth have been known since the completion of the National Security Study Memorandum 200 in 1974, neither the U.S. nor the WHO have implemented the recommended measures to control population growth to avert the terrorist threat. Prominent demographer Stephen D. Mumford attributes this to the influence of the Catholic Church.

Youth Bulge theory has been subjected to statistical analysis by the World Bank, Population Action International, and the Berlin Institute for Population and Development. Detailed demographic data for most countries is available at the international database of the United States Census Bureau.

Youth bulge theories have been criticized as leading to racial, gender and age "discrimination".

Rationalist theories

Rationalist theories of war assume that both sides to a potential war are rational, which is to say that each side wants to get the best possible outcome for itself for the least possible loss of life and property to its own side. Given this assumption, if both countries knew in advance how the war would turn out, it would be better for both of them to just accept the post-war outcome without having to actually pay the costs of fighting the war. This is based on the notion, generally agreed to by almost all scholars of war since Carl von Clausewitz, that wars are reciprocal, that all wars require both a decision to attack and also a decision to resist attack.Rationalist theory offers three reasons why some countries cannot find a bargain and instead resort to war: issue indivisibility, information asymmetry with incentive to deceive, and the inability to make credible commitments.

Issue indivisibility occurs when the two parties cannot avoid war by bargaining because the thing over which they are fighting cannot be shared between them, only owned entirely by one side or the other. Religious issues, such as control over the Temple Mountmarker in Jerusalem, are more likely to be indivisible than economic issues.

A bigger branch of the theory, advanced by scholars of international relations such as Geoffrey Blainey, is that both sides decide to go to war and one side may have miscalculated.

Some go further and say that there is a problem of information asymmetry with incentives to misrepresent. The two countries may not agree on who would win a war between them, or whether victory would be overwhelming or merely eked out, because each side has military secrets about its own capabilities. They will not avoid the bargaining failure by sharing their secrets, since they cannot trust each other not to lie and exaggerate their strength to extract more concessions. For example, Sweden made efforts to deceive Nazi Germany that it would resist an attack fiercely, partly by playing on the myth of Aryan superiority and by making sure that Hermann Göring only saw elite troops in action, often dressed up as regular soldiers, when he came to visit.

The American decision to enter the Vietnam War was made with the full knowledge that the communist forces would resist them, but did not believe that the guerrillas had the capability to long oppose American forces.

Thirdly, bargaining may fail due to the states' inability to make credible commitments. In this scenario, the two countries might be able to come to a bargain that would avert war if they could stick to it, but the benefits of the bargain will make one side more powerful and lead it to demand even more in the future, so that the weaker side has an incentive to make a stand now.

Rationalist explanations of war can be critiqued on a number of grounds. The assumptions of cost-benefit calculations become dubious in the most extreme genocidal cases of World War II, where the only bargain offered in some cases was infinitely bad. Rationalist theories typically assume that the state acts as a unitary individual, doing what is best for the state as a whole; this is problematic when, for example, the country's leader is beholden to a very small number of people, as in a personalistic dictatorship. Rationalist theory also assumes that the actors are rational, able to accurately assess their likelihood of success or failure, but the proponents of the psychological theories above would disagree.

Rationalist theories are usually explicated with game theory, for example, the Peace War Game, not a wargame as such, rather a simulation of economic decisions underlying war.

Political science theories

The statistical analysis of war was pioneered by Lewis Fry Richardson following World War I. More recent databases of wars and armed conflict have been assembled by the Correlates of War Project, Peter Brecke and the Uppsala Conflict Data Program.

There are several different international relations theory schools. Supporters of realism in international relations argue that the motivation of states is the quest for security.Which sometimes is argued to contradict the realist view, that there is much empirical evidence to support the claim that states that are democracies do not go to war with each other, an idea that has come to be known as the democratic peace theory. Other factors included are difference in moral and religious beliefs, economical and trade disagreements, declaring independence, and others.

Another major theory relating to power in international relations and machtpolitik is the Power Transition theory, which distributes the world into a hierarchy and explains major wars as part of a cycle of hegemons being destabilized by a great power which does not support the hegemons' control.

Conduct of wars

The war, to become known as one, must entail some degree of confrontation using weapons and other military technology and equipment by armed forces employing military tactics and Operational art within the broad military strategy subject to military logistics. War Studies by military theorists throughout military history have sought to identify the Philosophy of war, and to reduce it to a Military science.

In general, modern military science considers several factors before a National defence policy is created to allow a war to commence: the environment in the area(s) of combat operations, the posture national forces will adopt on the commencement of a war, and the type of warfare troops will be engaged in.

Behaviour & conduct in war

The behaviour of troops in warfare varies considerably, both individually and as units or armies. In some circumstances, troops may engage in genocide, war rape and ethnic cleansing. Commonly, however, the conduct of troops may be limited to posturing and sham attacks, leading to highly rule-bound and often largely symbolic combat in which casualties are much reduced from that which would be expected if soldiers were genuinely violent towards the enemy.. Situations of deliberate dampening of hostilities occurred in World War I by some accounts, e.g., a volley of gunfire being exchanged after a misplaced mortar hit the British line, after which a German soldier shouted an apology to British forces, effectively stopping a hostile exchange of gunfire. Other examples of non-aggression, also from World War I, are detailed in Goodbye to all that. These include spontaneous ceasefires to rebuild defences and retrieve casualties, alongside behaviour such as refusing to shoot at enemy during ablutions and the taking of great risks (described as 1 in 20) to retrieve enemy wounded from the battlefield. The most notable spontaneous ceasefire of World War I was the Christmas truce.

It has been postulated that sport serves as an direct alternative to war, and may be regarded as having an equivalent social function. Sipes found war and sporting alternatives to be positively correlated.

The psychological separation between combatants, and the destructive power of modern weaponry, may act to override this effect and facilitate participation by combatants in the mass slaughter of combatants or civilians, such as in the bombing of Dresden in World War II. The unusual circumstances of warfare can incite apparently normal individuals to commit atrocities.

Types of warfare

Conventional warfare is an attempt to reduce an opponent's military capability through open battle. It is a declared war between existing states in which nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons are not used or only see limited deployment in support of conventional military goals and maneuvers.

The opposite of conventional warfare, unconventional warfare, is an attempt to achieve military victory through acquiescence, capitulation, or clandestine support for one side of an existing conflict.

Nuclear warfare is a war in which nuclear weapons are the primary method of coercing the capitulation of the other side, as opposed to a supporting tactical or strategic role in a conventional conflict.

Civil war is a war where the forces in conflict belong to the same nation or political entity and are vying for control of or independence from that nation or political entity.

Asymmetric warfare is a conflict between two populations of drastically different levels of military capability or size. Asymmetric conflicts often result in guerrilla tactics being used to overcome the sometimes vast gaps in technology and force size.

Intentional air pollution in combat is one of a collection of techniques collectively called chemical warfare. Poison gas as a chemical weapon was principally used during World War I, and resulted in an estimated 91,198 deaths and 1,205,655 injuries. Various treaties have sought to ban its further use. Non-lethal chemical weapons, such as tear gas and pepper spray, are widely used, sometimes with deadly effect.

Military posture

Historian Victor Davis Hanson has claimed there exists a unique "Western Way of War", in an attempt to explain the military successes of Western Europe.citation needed It originated in Ancient Greece, where, in an effort to reduce the damage that warfare has on society, the city-states developed the concept of a decisive pitched battle between heavy infantry. This would be preceded by formal declarations of war and followed by peace negotiations. In this system constant low-level skirmishing and guerrilla warfare were phased out in favour of a single, decisive contest, which in the end cost both sides less in casualties and property damage. Although it was later perverted by Alexander the Great?, this style of war initially allowed neighbours with limited resources to coexist and prosper.

He argues that Western-style armies are characterised by an emphasis on discipline and teamwork above individual bravado. Examples of Western victories over non-Western armies include the Battle of Marathonmarker, the Battle of Gaugamela, the Siege of Tenochtitlan, the Battle of Plassey and the defence of Rorke's Driftmarker.

Warfare environment

The environment in which a war is fought has a significant impact on the type of combat which takes place, and can include within its area different types of terrain. This in turn means that soldiers have to be trained to fight in a specific types of environments and terrains that generally reflects troops' mobility limitations or enablers.These include:

Conventional warfare



Unconventional warfare



Effects of war

[[Image:War world map - DALY - WHO2004.svg|thumb|Disability-adjusted life year for war per 100,000 inhabitants in 2004.


]]

On soldiers

Based on 1860 census figures, 8% of all white males aged 13 to 43 died in the American Civil War, including 6% in the North and 18% in the South. Of the 60 million European soldiers who were mobilized in World War I, 8 million were killed, 7 million were permanently disabled, and 15 million were seriously injured.


During Napoleon's retreat from Moscowmarker, more French soldiers died of typhus than were killed by the Russians. Felix Markham thinks that 450,000 crossed the Nemanmarker on 25 June 1812, of whom less than 40,000 recrossed in anything like a recognizable military formation. More soldiers were killed from 1500-1914 by typhus than from all military action during that time combined. In addition, if it were not for the modern medical advances there would be thousands of more dead from disease and infection.

On civilians

Many wars have been accompanied by significant depopulations. During the Thirty Years' War in Europe, for example, the population of the German states was reduced by about 30%. The Swedish armies alone may have destroyed up to 2,000 castles, 18,000 villages and 1,500 towns in Germany, one-third of all German towns.

Estimates for the total casualties of World War II vary, but most suggest that some 60 million people died in the war, including about 20 million soldiers and 40 million civilians. The Soviet Unionmarker lost around 27 million people during the war, about half of all World War II casualties. The largest number of civilian deaths in a single city was 1.2 million citizens dead during the 872-day Siege of Leningrad.

On the economy

Once a war has ended, losing nations are sometimes required to pay war reparations to the victorious nations. In certain cases, land is ceded to the victorious nations. For example, the territory of Alsace-Lorrainemarker has been traded between France and Germany on three different occasions.

Typically speaking, war becomes very intertwined with the economy and many wars are partially or entirely based on economic reasons such as the American Civil War. In some cases war has stimulated a country's economy (World War II is often credited with bringing America out of the Great Depression) but in many cases, such as the wars of Louis XIV, the Franco-Prussian War, and World War I, warfare serves only to damage the economy of the countries involved. For example, Russia's involvement in World War I took such a toll on the Russian economy that it almost collapsed and greatly contributed to the start of the Russian Revolution of 1917.

World War II

One of the starkest illustrations of the effect of war upon economies is the Second World War. The Great Depression of the 1930s ended as nations increased their production of war materials to serve the war effort. The financial cost of the World War II is estimated at about a trillion 1944 U.S. dollars worldwide, making it the most costly war in capital as well as lives.

Property damage in the Soviet Union inflicted by the Axis invasion was estimated to a value of 679 billion rubles. The combined damage consisted of complete or partial destruction of 1,710 cities and towns, 70,000 villages/hamlets, 2,508 church buildings, 31,850 industrial establishments, 40,000 miles of railroad, 4100 railroad stations, 40,000 hospitals, 84,000 schools, and 43,000 public libraries.

Morality of war



Throughout history war has been the source of serious moral questions. Although many ancient nations and some modern ones have viewed war as noble, over the sweep of history, concerns about the morality of war have gradually increased. Today, war is seen by some as undesirable and morally problematic. At the same time, many view war, or at least the preparation and readiness and willingness to engage in war, as necessary for the defense of their country and therefore a just war. Pacifists believe that war is inherently immoral and that no war should ever be fought.

The negative view of war has not always been held as widely as it is today. Heinrich von Treitschke saw war as humanity's highest activity where courage, honour, and ability were more necessary than in any other endeavour. Friedrich Nietzsche also saw war as an opportunity for the Übermensch to display heroism, honour, and other virtues.

Another supporter of war, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, favoured it as part of the necessary process required for history to unfold and allow society to progress. At the outbreak of World War I, the writer Thomas Mann wrote, "Is not peace an element of civil corruption and war a purification, a liberation, an enormous hope?" This attitude has been embraced by societies from Spartamarker and Rome in the ancient world to the fascist states of the 1930s.

International law recognizes only two cases for a legitimate war:

  1. Wars of defense: when one nation is attacked by an aggressor, it is considered legitimate for a nation along with its allies to defend itself against the aggressor.
  2. Wars sanctioned by the UN Security Council: when the United Nations as a whole acts as a body against a certain nation. Examples include various peacekeeping operations around the world.


The subset of international law known as the law of war or international humanitarian law also recognises regulations for the conduct of war, including the Geneva Conventions governing the legitimacy of certain kinds of weapons, and the treatment of prisoners of war. Cases where these conventions are broken are considered war crimes, and since the Nuremberg Trialsmarker at the end of World War II the international community has established a number of tribunals to try such cases.

A nation's economy is often stimulated by government war-spending. When countries wage war, more weapons, armor, ammunition, and the like are needed to be created and sold to the armies, thus their economies can enter a boom (or war economy) reducing unemployment. However war is often followed by a recession.

Factors ending a war

The political and economic circumstances in the peace that follows war usually depends on the "facts on the ground". Where evenly matched adversaries decide that the conflict has resulted in a stalemate, they may cease hostilities to avoid further loss of life and property. They may decide to restore the antebellum territorial boundaries, redraw boundaries at the line of military control, or negotiate to keep or exchange captured territory. Negotiations between parties involved at the end of a war often result in a treaty, such as the Treaty of Versailles of 1919, which ended the First World War.

A warring party that surrenders or capitulates may have little negotiating power, with the victorious side either imposing a settlement or dictating most of the terms of any treaty. A common result is that conquered territory is brought under the dominion of the stronger military power. An unconditional surrender is made in the face of overwhelming military force as an attempt to prevent further harm to life and property. For example, the Empire of Japanmarker gave an unconditional surrender to the Allies of World War II after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (see Surrender of Japan), the preceding massive strategic bombardment of Japan and declaration of war and the immediate invasion of Manchuria by the Soviet Union. A settlement or surrender may also be obtained through deception or bluffing.

Many other wars, however, have ended in complete destruction of the opposing territory, such as the Battle of Carthage of the Third Punic War between the Phoenicianmarker city of Carthagemarker and Ancient Rome in 149 BC. In 146 BC the Romans burned the city, enslaved its citizens, and razed the buildings.

Some wars or aggressive actions end when the military objective of the victorious side has been achieved. Others do not, especially in cases where the state structures do not exist, or have collapsed prior to the victory of the conqueror. In such cases, disorganised guerilla warfare may continue for a considerable period. In cases of complete surrender conquered territories may be brought under the permanent dominion of the victorious side. A raid for the purposes of looting may be completed with the successful capture of goods. In other cases an aggressor may decide to end hostilities to avoid continued losses and cease hostilities without obtaining the original objective, such as happened in the Iran–Iraq War.

Some hostilities, such as insurgency or civil war, may persist for long periods of time with only a low level of military activity. In some cases there is no negotiation of any official treaty, but fighting may trail off and eventually stop after the political demands of the belligerent groups have been reconciled, a political settlement has been negotiated, or combatants are gradually killed or decide the conflict is futile.

List of wars by death toll

These figures include deaths of civilians from diseases, famine, atrocities etc. as well as deaths of soldiers in battle.

This is an 'incomplete list of wars.



See also



General reference




War related lists




References

  1. Clausewitz, Carl Von (1976), On War (Princeton University Press) p.87
  2. Clausewitz, Carl Von (1976) p.77
  3. Clausewitz, Carl Von (1976), On War (Princeton University Press) p.77 "war is the collision of two living forces" and "total nonresstance would be no war at all"
  4. Keegan, John, (1994) "A History Of Warfare", (Pimlico)
  5. Clausewitz, Carl Von (1976), On War (Princeton University Press) p.593
  6. [1]
  7. [2]
  8. [3]
  9. Keeley: War before civilization: The myth of the peaceful savage
  10. Diamond, Jared, Guns, Germs and Steel
  11. Review: War Before Civilization
  12. World War One --- A New Kind of War | Part II, From 14 - 18 Understanding the Great War, by Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau, Annette Becker
  13. Hewitt, Joseph, J. Wilkenfield and T. nevertheless the concept war is more than just a word but a signification to the meaning Death. Gurr Peace and Conflict 2008, Paradigm Publishers, 2007
  14. Punic Wars
  15. The Papers of Woodrow Wilson, Arthur S. Link, ed. (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1990), vol. 63, pp. 45–46.
  16. Report from the Iron Mountain, section "The environmental pollution model" (page 6), section "Environmentalism as a substitute for war" (page 9), [4]
  17. Lorenz, Konrad On Aggression 1966
  18. Montagu, Ashley (1976), "The Nature of Human Aggression" (Oxford University Press)
  19. Durbin, E.F.L. and John Bowlby .Personal Aggressiveness and War 1939.
  20. (Fornari 1975)
  21. Turnbull, Colin (1987), "The Forest People" (Touchstonbe Books)
  22. Alexander, Franz. "The Psychiatric Aspects of War and Peace." 1941
  23. Blanning, T.C.W. "The Origin of Great Wars." The Origins of the French Revolutionary Wars. pg. 5
  24. Walsh, Maurice N. War and the Human Race. 1971.
  25. Bouthoul, Gaston: "L`infanticide différé" (deferred infanticide), Paris 1970
  26. Goldstone, Jack A.: "Revolution and Rebellion in the Early Modern World", Berkeley 1991; Goldstone, Jack A.: "Population and Security: How Demographic Change can Lead to Violent Conflict", [5]
  27. Fuller, Gary: "The Demographic Backdrop to Ethnic Conflict: A Geographic Overwiew", in: CIA (Ed.): "The Challenge of Ethnic Conflict to National and International Order in the 1990s", Washington 1995, 151-154
  28. Fuller, Gary (2004): "The Youth Crisis in Middle Eastern Society"
  29. Fuller, Gary (2003): "The Youth Factor: The New Demographics of the Middle East and the Implications for U.S. Policy"[6]
  30. Gunnar Heinsohn (2003): "Söhne und Weltmacht: Terror im Aufstieg und Fall der Nationen" ("Sons and Imperial Power: Terror and the Rise and Fall of Nations"), Zurich 2003), available online as free download (in German) [7]; see also the review of this book by Göran Therborn: "Nato´s Demographer", New Left Review 56, March/April 2009, 136-144[8]
  31. ‘So, are civilizations at war?’, Interview with Samuel P. Huntington by Michael Steinberger, The Observer, Sunday October 21, 2001.[9]
  32. Helgerson, John L. (2002): "The National Security Implications of Global Demographic Trends"[10]
  33. Heinsohn, G.(2006): "Demography and War."
  34. Heinsohn, G.(2005): "Population, Conquest and Terror in the 21st Century." [11]
  35. G. Heinsohn: "Why Gaza is Fertile Ground for Angry Young Men." Financial Times Online, June 14, 2007[12], retrieved on December 23, 2007; compare demographic data for Gaza Strip ([13],[14])and Lebanon ([15], [16]) provided by the U.S. Census Bureau; see also David Bau: "History is Demographics"[17], retrieved on December 23, 2007
  36. Goldstone, Jack A.: "Revolution and Rebellion in the Early Modern World", Berkeley 1991
  37. Moller, Herbert (1968): ‘Youth as a Force in the Modern World’, Comparative Studies in Society and History 10: 238–260; 240–244
  38. Diessenbacher, Hartmut (1994): Kriege der Zukunft. Die Bevölkerungsexplosion gefährdet den Frieden. Muenchen: Hanser 1998; see also (criticizing youth bulge theory) Marc Sommers (2006): "Fearing Africa´s Young Men: The Case of Rwanda." The World Bank: Social Development Papers - Conflict Prevention and Reconstruction, Paper No. 32, January 2006[18]
  39. National Security Study Memorandum 200 (NSSM 200) - April 1974
  40. Stephen D. Mumford: Life and Death of NSSM 200: How the Destruction of Political Will Doomed a U.S. Population Policy
  41. Urdal, Henrik (2004): "The Devil in the Demographics: The Effect of Youth Bulges on Domestic Armed Conflict," [19],
  42. Population Action International: "The Security Demographic: Population and Civil Conflict after the Cold "[20]
  43. Kröhnert, Steffen (2004): "Jugend und Kriegsgefahr: Welchen Einfluss haben demografische Veränderungen auf die Entstehung von Konflikten?" [21]
  44. United States Census Bureau: International Database
  45. Hendrixson, Anne: "Angry Young Men, Veiled Young Women: Constructing a New Population Threat" [22]
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  50. The Historical Impact of Epidemic Typhus. Joseph M. Conlon.
  51. See a large copy of the chart here: http://www.adept-plm.com/Newsletter/NapoleonsMarch.htm, but discussed at length in Edward Tufte, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information (London: Graphics Press, 1992)
  52. War and Pestilence. TIME.
  53. The Thirty Years War (1618–48), Alan McFarlane, The Savage Wars of Peace: England, Japan and the Malthusian Trap (2003)
  54. History of Europe – Demographics. Encyclopædia Britannica.
  55. Great Depression and World War II. The Library of Congress.
  56. Mayer, E. (2000) "World War II" course lecture notes on Emayzine.com (Victorville, California: Victor Valley College)
  57. Coleman, P. (1999) "Cost of the War," World War II Resource Guide (Gardena, California: The American War Library)
  58. The New York Times, 9 February 1946, Volume 95, Number 32158.
  59. Wallinsky, David: David Wallechinsky's Twentieth Century : History With the Boring Parts Left Out, Little Brown & Co., 1996, ISBN 0316920568, ISBN 978-0316920568 - cited by White
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  62. Mongol Conquests
  63. The world's worst massacres Whole Earth Review
  64. Battuta's Travels: Part Three - Persia and Iraq
  65. McFarlane, Alan: The Savage Wars of Peace: England, Japan and the Malthusian Trap, Blackwell 2003, ISBN 0631181172, ISBN 978-0631181170 - cited by White
  66. "Military Casualties of World War One"
  67. Taiping Rebellion - Britannica Concise
  68. Nuclear Power: The End of the War Against Japan
  69. Timur Lenk (1369-1405)
  70. Matthew's White's website (a compilation of scholarly estimates) - Miscellaneous Oriental Atrocities
  71. Russian Civil War
  72. Oromo Identity
  73. Glories and Agonies of the Ethiopian past
  74. Inside Congo, An Unspeakable Toll
  75. Conflict in Congo has killed 4.7m, charity says
  76. Come Back, Colonialism, All is Forgiven
  77. The Thirty Years War (1618-48)
  78. Cease-fire agreement marks the end of the Korean War on July 27, 1953.
  79. Huguenot Religious Wars, Catholic vs. Huguenot (1562-1598)
  80. Shaka: Zulu Chieftain
  81. K. S. Lal: Growth of Muslim Population in Medieval India, 1973
  82. Matthew White's Death Tolls for the Major Wars and Atrocities of the Twentieth Century
  83. Missing Millions: The human cost of the Mexican Revolution, 1910-1921
  84. Timeline: Iraq
  85. Jones, Geo H., Vol. 23 No. 5, pp. 254
  86. The Deadliest War
  87. Clodfelter, cited by White
  88. Urlanis, cited by White
  89. Northern War (1700-21)
  90. The curse of Cromwell
  91. John M. Gates, “War-Related Deaths in the Philippines”, Pacific Historical Review , v. 53, No. 3 (August, 1984), 367-378.
  92. Albigensian Crusade (1208-49)
  93. Massacre of the Pure, Time, April 28, 1961
  94. Attacks raise spectre of civil war
  95. Journalists in Algeria are caught in middle
  96. Peasants' War, Germany (1524-25)
  97. Confirmed deaths beyond dispute
  98. Russian Federation: What justice for Chechnya's disappeared? - Amnesty International


Bibliography

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