war humanity where do we go from here


There is an average of twenty ongoing wars in the world at any given time. Some are internal civil wars, others are between nations. But the purpose of this thesis is not to report warfare, but the act of it. This includes the evolution of conventional and nuclear warfare, the potential effect of a nuclear war and why it is necessary for nations to fight war. This analysis will be based on a study of Gwyn dwyer?s seven-part series, ? War ?. The only other references used to compound this thesis will be statements from former heads of state, as corresponding to the subject of war.War is an indispensable part of civilization an is found at every chapter of human history. It is the culmination of the basic survival instinct when provoked. In the early centuries, traditional warfare employed the use of hoplite soldiers and cavalry who met at a scheduled location and fought reciprocally. The seventeenth century changed the rules of warfare, beginning with Napoleon, who increased the scale of battle in the Baradino church in 1812. The French Revolution marked the rise of modern nationalism, with civilians volunteering to join the army. The concept of National Mobilization was introduced, but not effected until the American Civil war. The Industrial Revolution produced new weapons, such as the machine-gun and the tank. These weapons assured a greater scale of destruction than was formerly accomplished.

The two world wars marked the greatest events in modern history. Apart from discarding traditional for what was termed ? conventional? warfare, they also disrupted the world order and set the stage for global destruction. With each war, there were new technological developments in weaponry, which were naturally followed at a slower pace, by strategy. For the first time, on September 15th, 1915, combat was introduced on a civilian front, by the London bombing. Total war was a new idea developed to incorporate enemy civilians as targets as they were the backbone of the war industry. The atomic bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima are perhaps the best demonstration of the evolution of chemical warfare and its destruction potential. What was then known as Conventional warfare has become like an endangered species. Many nations have resorted to the accumulation of nuclear technology to protect their territoriality. Some of these are the U.S, Russia, the U.K, France, China, Israel, India and possibly Iraq. Ironically, the threat of nuclear war serves as the best prevention of war today.Nuclear weapons are possibly the greatest threat to humanity, besides global warming and the comet aimed for earth, and also the major stabilizing factor for world peace. Robert Oppenheimer said of the atomic bomb, after it was built, ?I am become death, the Destroyer of Worlds.? This statement is more accurate of the power of the nuclear bomb. There are presently over a thousand nuclear warheads in Europe, which has been predicted to be the battlefront of World War III. While the U.S claims that the use of their nuclear devices will only be if absolutely necessary, the Russians guarantee a deadly total retaliation. When does it become necessary to fight a nuclear war?. When one side attacks the enemy?s nuclear bases perhaps. The end of civilization would be reduced to the absurdly primitive notion of ?use?em or lose?em?.

While Nuclear technology can effectively destroy the world, it also serves as the best medium of peace-keeping. This is what Thomas Alva Edison envisioned when he predicted, ?There will one day spring from the brain of science a machine or force so fearful in its potentialities, so absolutely terrifying that even man, the fighter, who will dare torture and death in order to inflict torture and death, will be appalled and so abandon war forever. While man?s mind can create, man?s character can control.? His optimism and faith in the human race should be applauded. But in this age of corrupt and irresponsible leadersand they do exist, the future could very well boil down to a mistake made by an irrational man acting out his childhood war fantasies.

Why is war necessary?. Is it merely to satisfy a basic human instinct?. Some say the price of freedom or sovereignty is blood, but whose blood?. This was an easy answer when only soldiers paid the price. After all, the essence of a soldier is to be slain. But when civilians are also targets, everyone loses. Without war, there would be no peace. War is the price of peace. The threat of war ensures peace. Without the existence of the nuclear bomb, there wouldn?t be such a global hesitation to enter international war.

William James said, ?So far, war has been the only force that can discipline a whole community and until an equivalent discipline is organized, I believe that war must have its way?. The only flaw in this statement is that in the event of a nuclear war, there will be no community left to discipline. So what are the alternatives to war?. International organizations are hardly the answer. These forums are controlled by the nuclear-enabled super-powers, making the possibility of two large enemy alliances even higher. There are few nations in the U.N whose loyalties are neutral to both American and Russian influence. The U.N is the largest and most visible international organization existing today. Unfortunately, the U.N is largely funded by the United States, so it is obvious which direction its loyalty frequently sways in favor of.

Ultimately, there is no valid alternative to war. In this present time of global ?quasi-peace?, the super-powers are prepared and poised to erase humanity from existence. Unless there is no third world war; a highly likely possibility due to the threat of complete annihilation, the history of mankind would prove to be nothing more than the story of an ape playing with a box of matches on a petrol dump. Words/ Pages : 991 / 24

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