Causes of War

Causes of War


1 Causes of War

Einstein Said :-

“I don’t know that with what weapons world war III will be fought, but world war IV will be fought with sticks and stones”


Human history is replete of wars. Man in any age had been fighting since his inception. The reasons of wars may had been different. Sometimes for increasing wealth, sometimes to establish prestige and power and the others for territorial gains. But there had been almost no era when wars had been fought; even the modern era of globalization.

Now the paint to ponder is what are the causes behind wars?

Causes of wars:-

Kenneth Waltz in his book,

“Man, the State and War” has described three factors of wars:

Individual, State and the world system.

The First level of analysis: The Individual:-

  1. Human Nature:-

Aggression is in the nature of humans According to the views of classical liberalists; human nature is wicked, greedy, opportunistic and full of aggression. So this inherent nature of humans is one of the main reasons of wars.

Morganton, an American Realist and Fred are also of the some view regarding the human nature.

Konrad Lorenz said :-

“Homo Sapiens are one of the deadliest species”

In his book, “On Aggression’ He used a term intra specific aggression which means that some species even kill their own members and humans are on of those species.

Robert Ardrey Coined the term “territorial imperative” which means that humans have this instinct like animals to protect their territory if someone tries to violate their territorial limits. In doing so humans don’t even hesitate to fight wars.

  1. Leadership:-

Leaders in the world are of two types:-

  • Dictators
  • Democrats

Among them dictators are of whimsical nature. They are more hawkish than the democrats are. Dictators being answerable to no are, and without free media and judiciary are more prone to fight wars. Democrats on the other hand are answerable to masses. Even if they go into war they have to explain the reasons and moral grounds to people to justify their position.

So all in all dictator leadership is also one of the major causes of war. History is full of examples of dictators like Napoleon, Hitler etc. who fought huge wars and caused enormous destruction on the panorama of world.

  1. Misperceptions:-

It can be of two types:-

  • If one thinks that one is angelic and the other is Satanic. This is known as “mirror image”. So thinking that the other is on the wrong side one decides to bring him to the right path and sometimes resort to the use of force for achieving the desired objective.
  • If one thinks that the other is weak and can be easily defeated, one will resort to war. However, wars based on the misperceptions are results, of rational calculations but of irrational calculations. Due to them states plunge into conflicts they later regret. History is full of such examples.
  • Before the American war of Independence (1775-1753), British Colonists were continuously exploiting the American people based on the misperception that they could never retaliate, which they ultimately city. Even during the war, the British had the misperception that they would easily crush the defiant American people. However, history proved them wrong.
  • Ghazwa Badar fought after migration is a glaring example of how the misperception of non-Muslim’s lead them to battle against 313, troops of Muslim’s with hopes of a resounding and easy victory over them. Muslims with the light of ideology of Islam in their hearts crushed all such conception of non-Muslims.
  • After the French Revolution, the adjacent kings feared that the revolution could penetrate into their territories and so decided to fight against the revolutionaries. Austria and Russia were or the lead. They having huge armies had the view that they will defeat the revolutionaries in no fire. A Prussian General Said to his army

“Do not buy, too many horses, the comedy will not last long. The army of lawyers will be annihilated in Belgium and we shall be home before autumn”

Army of revolutionaries was dubbed as the army of citizens. However, they had that spirit of nationalism and were ready to die for their cause. Eventually the kings were defeated.

  • Austria exaggerated its military strength in 1866 against Prussia but ultimately was defeated.
  • Hitler in was of the view that Russia would be easily defeated. He said:-

“Campaign against Russia will be like a child’s game in the sand box by comparison. All we have to do is to kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crushing down”

Eventually be after conquering whole Europe was defeated in Russia.

  • American Secretory of defence in 1968 thought that two lakh five thousand troops would be sufficient to complete the task: later five lakh forty three thousand proved to be insufficient.

  1. Expected Utility of war:-

Just like the cost benefit analysis is done before a business venture, similarly its applied to the decisions of wars. If expected benefit is more than the expected loss, war is plunged into. Writers are of the view that this approach of war is based upon rational calculations.

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