Evils of Wars
Evils of Wars :
There is no doubt that war is an evil one. It is the greatest catastrophe that can befall human beings. It brings death and destruction, merciless slaughter and butchery, disease and starvation, poverty and ruin in its wake. One has only to think of the havoc that was wrought in various countries not many years ago, in order to estimate the destructive effects of war. A particularly disturbing side of modern wars is that they tend to become global so that they may engulf the entire world. There are, doubtless, people who consider war as something grand and heroic and regard it as something that brings out the best man. But this does not in any way alter the fact that war is a terrible dreadful calamity and this is especially true of an atomic war.
But though war is an evil, we must recognize the fact that it is a necessary, inescapable evil. A glance at the past history of the world will show war has been a recurrent phenomenon in the history of nations. No period in world history has been free from the devastating effects of war. We have had wars of all types--- wars lasting for a year or so and a war lasting for hundred years. In view of this it seems futile to talk of permanent, everlasting peace or to make plans of the establishment of eternal peace. We have had advocates of non-violence and the theory of The brotherhood of mankind and fraternity of god. But in spite of preachers of love and non- violence, weapons have always been used, military force has always been employed. Clashes of arms have always occurred. In a world war has ways been waged. War has indeed, been such a marked feature of every age and period This has come to be regarded as part of The normal life of nations.
Poet and prophets have dreamt of a millennium - an utopia in which war will not exist and eternal peace will reign on earth, but these dreams have not been fulfilled. After the great war of 1914-18 it was tough that there would be no war for a long time to come and institutions called the league of nations was founded as a safeguard agent against the outbreak of war. The occurrence the Second World War however, conclusively proved that to think of an unbroken peace’s to be unrealistic and that no institution or assembly can ever ensure the presence of peace. League of nations was collapsed completely under the tension and stresses created by Hitler. The Uniter Nations Organisation, with all the good work that it has seen doing, is not proving as effective as was desired. A large number of wars, The most recent ones behind the one in Vietnam, the other between India and Pakistan, or Ind-China war, Iran-Iraq war or Arab Isreal war.
The fact of the matter is that, fighting is a natural instinct in peace. It is, indeed, too much to exact so many nations to live in a state of eternal peace. Besides, there will always be wide differences of option between various nations, different angle of looking at matters that have an international importance, radical difference in policy and ideology and they cannot be settled by mere discussion so that resort to war becomes very necessary in these cases. Before the outbreak of World War II, for instance, the spread of communism in Russia created distrust and suspicions in Europe. Democracy was an eyesore to Nazi Germany. British conservatism were apprehensive of the possibility of Britain being communized. In short, the political ideology of one country being abhorrent to another, the state of affairs as certainly not conducive to the continuance of peace.
Adding to all this is the traditional enmity between national and international disharmony that have their root in past history. For examples, Germany wished to avenge the humiliating terms imposed upon her at the conclusion often war of 1914-18, and desired, in additions, to smash the British empire and establish an empire of her own. Past wounds in fact do not perfectly heal up and are constant goals to an effort at vengeance. Now the ideology clash between communist Russia and The western democracies may plunge the world into war any day. A feverish arms race is going on between the hostile nations in anticipation of such an eventuality, that disarmament efforts proving futile. The Indo-Pakistani war was fought over the Kashmir issue.
It also appears that if peace were to continue for along period, people would become sick of the monotony of peace and seek war for change. Man is a highly dynamic creature and it seems that he cannot remain contented merely with works of peace - the cultivations of arts, The development of Modern comforts, the extension of knowledge, the means and appliances of a happy life. He wants something thrilling and full of excitement and he fights in order to get an outlet for his accumulated energy. It must be admitted to that war has its good side. It spurs men to heriosm and self- sacrifice. It is an incentive to scientific research and development. War is obviously an escape form the lethargy of peace.
Evils of Wars
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Post war effects are widely spread. and can be long term or short term. Soldiers experience war differently than civilians, although either suffer in times of war, and women and children suffer unspeakable atrocities in particular. In the past decade, up to two million of those killed in armed conflicts were children. The widespread trauma caused by these atrocities and suffering of the civilian population is another legacy of these conflicts, the following creates extensive emotional and psychological stress. Present-day internal wars generally take a larger toll on civilians than state wars. This is due to the increasing trend where combatants have made targeting civilians a strategic objective. A state conflict is an armed conflict that occurs with the use of armed force between two parties, of which one is the government of a state. "The three problems posed by intra‐state conflict are the willingness of UN members, particularly the strongest member, to intervene; the structural ability of the UN to respond; and whether the traditional principles of peacekeeping should be applied to intra‐state conflict". Effects of war also include mass destruction of cities and have long lasting effects on a country's economy. Armed conflict have important indirect negative consequences on, infrastructure, public health provision, and social order. These indirect consequences are often overlooked and underappreciated.
Defining armed conflict
Armed conflict is not clearly defined internationally. According to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, common article 2 states that "all cases of declared war or of any armed conflict that may arise between two or more high contracting parties, even if the state of war is not recognized, the convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a high contracting party even if the said occupation meets with no armed resistance".International humanitarian law works to protect the rights and dignity of civilians during peace and armed conflict with parties of the conflict having legally binding obligations concerning the rights of persons not involved in the conflict. Current day conflicts continue to occur with breaches of human rights and destruction of property continuing to happen due to state interests.
On the economy
See also: Military Keynesianism
The economy may suffer devastating impacts during and after a time of war. According to Shank, "negative unintended consequences occur either concurrently with the war or develop as residual effects afterwards thereby impeding the economy over the longer term". In 2012 the economic impact of war and violence was estimated to be eleven percent of gross world product (GWP) or 9.46 trillion dollars. Everyday activities of a community or country are disrupted and property may be damaged. When people become misplaced, they cannot continue to work or keep their businesses open, causing damages to the economy of countries involved. A government may decide to direct money to fund war efforts, leaving other institutions with little or no available budget.
In some cases war has stimulated a country's economy (World War II is often credited with bringing America out of the Great Depression). According to the World Bank the event that conflicts subside in the country, and in the event that there is a transition to democracy the following will result in an increase economic growth by encouraging investment of the country and its people, schooling, economic restructuring, public-good provision, and reducing social unrest. Conflict very rarely has positive effects on an economy according to the world bank "Countries bordering conflict zones are facing tremendous budgetary pressure. The World Bank estimates that the influx of more than 630,000 Syrian refugees have cost Jordan over USD 2.5 billion a year. This amounts to 6 percent of GDP and one-fourth of government's annual revenues". One of the most commonly cited benefits for the economy is higher GDP growth. This has occurred throughout all of the conflict periods, other than in the Afghanistan and Iraq war period. Another benefit commonly mentioned is that WWII established the appropriate conditions for future growth and ended the great depression. In previous 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.
As a result of the Sri Lankan Civil War, Sri Lanka's military spending as a percentage of GDP, increased from 1.6 percent in 1983 to 3.5 in 2008 and reached an all-time peak at 5.9 percent of GDP in 1995 representing over 20 percent of the government's total spending. Until the war, arms were not nearly a significant amount of government spending and their defense personnel increased from 22,000 in 1989 to 213,000 in 2008. After the war began, however, arms were imported annually in response to increasing violence. By the year 2000, the Sri Lankan government's "import bill for arms was around $US 274 million", a record high during the war.
Destruction of infrastructure
See also: Infrastructure
Destruction of infrastructure can create a catastrophic collapse in the social interrelated structure, infrastructure services, education and health care system. Destruction of schools and educational infrastructure have led to a decline in education among many countries affected by war. If certain infrastructural elements are significantly damaged or destroyed, it can cause serious disruption of the other systems such as the economy. This includes loss of certain transportation routes in a city which could make it impossible for the economy to function properly and also for people to be evacuated.
The labor force of the economy also changes with the effects of war. The labor force is affected in a multitude of ways most often due to the drastic loss of life, change in population, the labor force size shrinking due to the movement of refugees and displacement and the destruction of infrastructure which in turn allows for a deterioration of productivity.
When men head off to war, women take over the jobs they left behind. This causes an economic shift in certain countries because after the war these women usually want to keep their jobs. The shortage of labor force during the 1980–1988 Iran–Iraq War enabled women to enter fields of employment that had previously been closed to them and absorbed them into a large number of much-needed jobs. In Women and Work in Iran, Povey points, "The Iran–Iraq war reduced the supply of male labor is one factor. The war increased the number of women seeking work or resisting exclusion. Many women even occupied important positions for the first time". This can also be seen in the Second Liberian Civil War, and in the Rwandan genocide. Women in both conflicts took over their husbands jobs due to the effects of the war, and received more economic equality as a result.
"International humanitarian law (IHL), also known as the laws of war and the law of armed conflict, is the legal framework applicable to situations of armed conflict and occupation. As a set of rules and principles it aims, for humanitarian reasons, to limit the effects of armed conflict". International humanitarian law works to limit the effects of war and protect the people who do not participate in such hostilities. Most wars have resulted in a significant loss of life. Conflict characterizes a major obstacle for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly for the universal completion of primary education and gender equality in education. "The Millennium Development goals are the world's time-bound and quantified targets for addressing extreme poverty in its many dimensions-income poverty, hunger, disease, lack of adequate shelter, and exclusion-while promoting gender equality, education, and environmental sustainability. They are also basic human rights-the rights of each person on the planet to health, education, shelter, and security". There can be no doubt that armed conflict directly kills, injures, and harms more men than women in that combatants are predominantly male. Armed conflict has many indirect consequences such as on health and survival. "Armed conflict both generates conditions for increased morbidity and mortality".
During Napoleon's retreat from Moscow, more French soldiers died of typhus than were killed by the Russians. Felix Markham thinks that 450,000 crossed the Neman 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 more dead from disease and infection.
Displacement or forced migration results most often during a time of war and can adversely affect both the community and an individual. When a war breaks out, many people flee their homes in fear of losing their lives and their families, and as a result, they become misplaced either internally or externally. Those who are internally displaced face a direct threat because they do not receive the rights that a refugee may receive and are not eligible for protection under an international system. Victims of internal displacements are symptoms of war that are often motivated by communal hatred based on ethnic background, race, or religious views. External displacement are individuals who are forced out of the borders of their country into another as seen with the Syrian Refugees. The following may have a severe economic impact on a country.
In 2015, 53 percent of refugees worldwide originated from Somalia, Afghanistan, and Syria. In a Global Trends Report by the UNHRC, approximately 65 million people around the world have been forced from their home. Out of this number, 21.3 million are refugees, over half of the demographic under the age of 18. Some of the top countries absorbing these displaced peoples are Pakistan (1.6 million), Lebanon (1.1 million), and Turkey (2.5 million). In times of violence, people are displaced from their homes and seek places where they are welcome, periodically meeting places they are not welcome.
In response to an influx of refugees and asylum seekers from countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Sri Lanka, Australia initiated a controversial plan in 2001 titled the Pacific Solution which called for all asylum seekers arriving by boat to be sent to the small and barren island Nauru. Asylum seekers were housed in crowded tents and lived under a constant threat of running out of resources, especially water. Individuals were kept in the detention center until their refugee status was granted or denied. Chris Evans, former immigration minister stated the Pacific Solution as being “a cynical, costly and ultimately unsuccessful exercise,” and was ended under a newly elected Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in 2007. In February 2008, after the Pacific Solution was ended, the final members of a group of 82 refugees detained on Nauru were granted residency rights and resettled in Australia according to a humanitarian resettlement program.
In the case of the Sri Lankan Civil War, displacement had a high chance to impoverish those affected, but women and children were found to be the most vulnerable to the burden of displacement. A Sri Lankan female head of household earns less than a household that has a male head. After men and women became displaced, however, females lost 76% of their income and males lost 80%. While the lost income is within a relatively close percentage, females were more likely, on average to fall below the official poverty line. Male household by comparison were able to stay above the line even after becoming displaced. In a post-displacement setting, male headed households had more earned income than female headed households. Males benefit from manual labor, carpentry, masonry, and government services while females had earned their income from informal work. Informal work for females is more difficult in a post-displacement setting where they do not have access to the same tools as they did pre-displacement.
The Palestinian people have suffered from displacement as a result of armed conflict and the military occupation. The largest displacement caused due to war occurred in 1947, after the United Nations agreed to have Palestine divided into two states. It later became the Israeli decision that Palestinian refugees no longer were permitted to return to their lands unless it was to reunify a family. "Nearly one-third of the registered Palestine refugees, more than 1.5 million individuals, live in 58 recognized Palestine refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem".
Oftentimes when a country is in an economic crisis there is an increase in poverty which results in the decline of education. Over half of the world’s children that are out of school are assessed to live in conflict-affected fragile states. According to the UNESCO report “The groups most negatively affected by conflict were those that suffered from multiple exclusion, for example based on gender, area of residence, household wealth, language, and ethnicity”. One predominantly damaging, effect of conflict on education is the proliferation of attacks on schools with children, teachers and school buildings become the targets of violence. During times of war teachers and students often suffer from death or displacement. This prevents the opening of schools and increases teachers absenteeism. In the case of Iraq, boys were pulled out of school to work for their families, and therefore the education gap for men and women shrank.
See also: Wartime sexual violence
Conflict negatively impacts women and men, which often results in gender-specific difficulties that are not recognized or addressed by mainstream communities across the globe (Baden and Goetz, 1997). War impacts women differently as they are more likely to die from indirect causes as opposed to direct causes. "Women and girls suffered disproportionately during and after war, as existing inequalities were magnified, and social networks broke down, making them more vulnerable to sexual violence and exploitation, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations". Men during war are more likely to die from direct causes such as direct violence. The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, made women and armed conflict one of most critical areas of concern. It stated that peace is directly linked to equality between men and women and to development post conflict (Beijing Platform for Action). Plumper found that most women live longer when they are in peacetime, when compared to a state that is in armed conflict the gender gap of life expectancy drastically decreases in the male to female ratio. The indirect effects of militarized conflicts' affect access to food, hygiene, health services, and clean water. Women suffer more harshly from the damage to the health as well as overall well being, other infrastructure damages, and the wider economic damage as well as from dislocation during and post-conflict. During a time of war women are often separated from their husbands or lose them as a cost of war. Because of this there is a dramatic economic cost effect on women causing many to bear the entire economic responsibility for their household.
Three of the most common things done by Israeli military occupation includes the apartheid wall, displacement of people, and house demolitions caused by bombings especially in Gaza. This has severe consequences on men and women. As the number of marital disputes rises after a house demolition, women are forced to look for work in order to support the livelihood of their families. Also, there is a large rise in domestic violence that leaves women more vulnerable. Palestinians, particularly women, are unable to access basic services because of the closeness to or route of the apartheid wall, resulting in everyday abuse and suffering as they pass through Israeli checkpoints in order to have such access and admittance.
Long term effects
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 Union 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. Based on 1860 census figures, 8% of all white American males aged 13 to 50 died in the American Civil War. 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.
When war strikes it ends up affecting government structures along with the people in power of the government. Many times, one regime is removed and new forms of government are put into place. This can be seen in the Second Liberian Civil War where rebels had removed the current leader, Charles Taylor, and with the help of the United Nations deployed a new democratic form of government that stands for equal rights and even has a women president in Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. This change in government was also apparent in Rwanda in 1993 when the genocide finally stopped. The country had shifted from dictatorship to pure democracy and gave both men and women the right to vote. The country also installed a quota system where a certain number of government seats must belong to women. The country's quota was 30% of seats, however women now hold 55% of seats from their own merit. These changes in government also changes the way the country behaves economically.
Some scholars, however, have argued that war can have a positive effect on political development.
On state formation
Political scientist Jeffrey Herbst argues that interstate war is a requisite factor in the formation of strong states. Using Europe's history of state formation as his model, Herbst identifies interstate war as the factor that enabled states to effectively collect revenue and to generate a spirit of nationalism, two results that Herbst considers "crucial developments" in the formation of strong states.:118 War increases both a leader's incentive to establish an efficient system of taxation and the population's willingness to assent to higher taxes.:119–21 The existence of an external threat is also a powerful impetus for the development of a cooperative or unified state.:122 Because the system of revenue collection, increased rate of taxation, and spirit of nationalism generally persist after war ends, war can have long-term consequences on a state's formation.:121–2 This is particularly true of states in regions or periods of consistent warfare because states generally either adapted or were conquered.:120 Herbst postulates that the stability of borders and lack of credible external threats between African states could result in "a new brand of states", those that will "remain permanently weak".:119
Charles Tilly, an American sociologist, political scientist, and historian, claims that within the context of European history, "war makes states." While the purposes of war were to expand territory and to check or overcome neighboring states, the process of war inadvertently engendered European-style state-building. War making resulted in state making in four ways:
- War making that culminated in the elimination of local rivals gave rise to one centralized, coercive strong state power that had a large-scale monopoly on violence.
- Eventually, this large-scale monopoly on violence held by the state was extended to serve the state's clients or supporters. This encouraged pacification, led to the formation of police forces, and provided protection as a state service.
- War making and military expansion would not be possible without extracting resources from the population and accumulating capital. Historically, this led to the establishment of fiscal and accounting institutions to collect taxes from the population to fuel war.
- Finally, courts of law, guarantees of rights, and representative institutions were demanded for by the state's populations whose resistance to war making and state making led to concessions being made by the state. This enabled the population to protect their individual property without allowing them to use force, which would compromise the state's monopoly on violence.
War making and the extraction, protection, and state making that followed were interdependent. Tilly ultimately argues that the interactions between these four processes influenced the classic European state making experience.
The effects of conflict and its aftermath in Palestine reveals distinct types of disadvantages that worsen gender relations in both men and women. Increased militarization of the conflict and a rise in gender-based violence focused towards Palestinian as well as Israeli women are major ongoing issues happening in the conflict zone. The longstanding effects of Israeli occupation and policies of siege, confinement and confiscation of land have resulted in social as well as economic crisis for Palestinians. Consequently, the Israeli occupation remains a major problem for Palestinian women with regard to their advancement in labor, and participation in executive governmental bodies. In the light of an increasingly failing security and living conditions most efforts should be directed at everyday survival and creating a more stable environment for the Palestinian peoples. The pushing of gender issues should be at the peak of the political agenda.
World War II
Main article: World War II
One stark illustration 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 World War II is estimated at about a $1.944 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide, making it the most costly war in capital as well as lives.
Property damage in the Soviet Union inflicted after 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.
less than 100
more than 8800
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