Most of my posts will be essays of sorts and won't truly follow a Philosophical structure in the sense of the Socratic style or whatever philosopher you may be familiar with but more of an essay structure with ideas flowing from paragraph to paragraph. My intentions are to get people to think and discuss certain topics that I have these thoughts upon as I find it very engaging to have a good discussion of ideas on subjects with others. With that said lets get to the main topic
When thinking of war there are several different definitions that you may think of the most prominent being a State(s) vs State(s) (meaning Country vs Country) war which will for the most part be the topic of this discussion essay. A war is when two states or groups of states pit their resources against each other in a series of strategic armed battles and the victors usually end up winning resources, being land, oil, people, control of the state ect. This is among the most horrific acts of violence that occur between humans, however it is often seen as a necessity and is essentially the only reason that foreign politics can actually exist in this current day.
Historically war was fought for 3 main reasons being the conquest of land, the conquest of stores of rare resources and religious wars. Of the three types of war, Religious wars are the bloodiest and often the most senselessly violent and longest lasting types of war that fundamentally breaks the honorable or "gentleman's" code of war. This code of war is fairly simple: Only attack designated armed combatants, Don't intentionally injure civillians, do not attack civilian structures intentionally unless they have armed combatants within, if a group of armed combatants surrenders then take them as prisoners instead of killing them, try not to permanently harm the area where the war is taking place and attempt to kill as cleanly as possible and not maim/torture your enemy combatants.
Within the religious wars we can find many examples of these rules being violated such as the religious war between the Gaza Strip and Modern day Israel which has been waged since not long after the life of Christ himself. This war is fought mainly over the town and area which Jesus resided and there are many examples of suicide bombings of civilian targets and tanks murdering civilians. This type of war is completely unacceptable as it is but wasting countless lives in the name of what seems like a fairly petty argument. I believe that this is a war that modern thinking should have abolished hundreds of years ago, however the impetus is how do you stop such a war?
A war that is fought based on idealisms and not over anything too concrete is extremely difficult to stop because you either must completely eliminate one force because there will be no middle ground to meet upon, however this shows bias towards one particular religious entity which can than spark many wars from other entities wishing for theirs to be dominant. The only true just way to actually end such a war is to completely eliminate BOTH opposing forces as both are fighting for flawed reasons and continue to spill the blood of the innocent in the name of obviously flawed ideals. The elimination of both sides is also however not a very good solution as it will result in what could be called a very large genocide against the religious. The question then becomes is the destruction of the military and political systems within these two entities worth the death of the many in order to save the future population from their loose cannons? In the specific case of the war mentioned above I believe it has already approached and passed the point where disabling their military and political system should have occurred. Too many innocents have died and too long has war ravaged this area. There needs to be a serious remodelling of this area of the world and they need to be educated on the error of their ways in more ways that trade sanctions as they have proven ineffective.
A war that is based upon the conquest of land is generally the most honorably fought and easiest wars to end, however they can often become very large wars very quickly. Perfect examples of this are WWI, Napolean's French Conquests, The war for American Independence and Genghis Khan's conquests. As a conflict for land, it is quite easy to resolve these wars without resulting in completely crippling a state as there is often a middle ground that can be reached often even preventing the occurrence of war. These wars that were fought over land shaped our current globe into the boundaries which we have now and in my mind were necessary to start up international politics. The war for American Independence is a perfect example of a justified war where those living in the 13 colonies were being mistreated by the British Empire and fought a war that resulted in their freedoms and what defines much of the Western Culture today, as did WWII. Should either war have gone the other way the world as we know could be very different for the worse. Wars like this did need to occur and are a fundamental part of what made us what we are.
The last type of war is a war for resources. These are typically lopsided wars as an advanced state invades a more primitive state to take their resources. Types of war such as the recent Iraq war are perfect examples of this and are barbaric in nature. It is essentially a mugging of someone for a rare item be it gold or silver jewelry or oil in the case of Iraq. This is type of war shouldn't occur, but the problem is that it is usually a higher class state that will basically say "well what are you gonna do declare war with me?" like the United States. The issue with this is that while now they are very far advanced ahead of everywhere else is that these wars leave a stinging pain and will eventually be repaid once the other states catch up with technology. Sanctions can be effective at preventing this type of war as it can disable the ability to turn a profit off of a rare resource that might be sought after, however sanctions can be meaningless if the reservoir is big enough.
Side effects of war can actually be fairly positive such as vast technological advancements at a time of widespread war. For example a car before WWI was a fairly rare possession for a family, however after it was very commonplace due to the mass production during the war that simply never ceased. Commercial airlines are also a byproduct of wars which vastly benefits the world and keeps it connected. Even our freedom and philosophical thoughts are a byproduct of war (starting with the french revolution). However the side effects are also potentially negative, such as Hiroshima which still to this day has byproducts of the nuclear radiation and the many destroyed libraries and tomes of knowledge that were lost for eternity.
In the modern times war seems to be becoming less and less frequent as our society advances and that is a very good thing, we need to recognize that we are all brothers and that our self slaughter is needless. As we venture forth out understanding of the universe, it is likely that we will encounter another enemy who potentially is vastly outmatching us and we will need our combined strength to stand a chance against them. Especially as these wars will likely not have an honor code as our species may be very different.
In our current phase of development war or the threat of is necessary for international politics and will likely be necessary for intergalactic politics should it ever arise, so we need to stop our petty wars over resources and religion so we can prepare to make bigger leaps as a civilization.