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The Advantages and the Disadvantages of War, Research Paper Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1506

Research Paper

The advantages and the disadvantages of war will be reviewed from the perspectives of Boot (2006), Coyne & Matthews (2011), Howard (2000), Lomborg (2003) and Tzu (2009). The distinct perspectives of the benefits of war will be reviewed and followed by the disadvantages of war.

Wars are expensive in terms of human costs and economic costs. Notwithstanding, wars have brought numerous technological advantages to mankind.  Nuclear energy was initially discovered and applied as a military device. Plastic surgery had been invented in order to remove the scars from the soldiers who had derived in the wars. GPS devices were initially used on spy satellites which were applied during the period of the Cold war (Boot, 2006).

The race into space and the search for extraterrestrial life was an outcome of the Second World War.  Many military philosophers have perceived that if a nation desires peace, they must be ready for war. If it were not for the Revolutionary war, the United States would not exist. If it were not for the Civil war between the states, slavery might have continued as a legal institution in the United States. Wars bring out the worst and the best in societies (Boot, 2006; Howard, 2000).

War is disadvantageous as a result of the human and the economic costs. Many nations apply the fear of incurring the disadvantages of war as a bargaining tool. War is an ineffective means of resolving disputes due to its attribute of causing the destruction of economic and human resources which might otherwise benefit the opposing factions. There are three conditions which cause nations which would normally resolve their differences peacefully to go to war with one another and to accept the potential disadvantage of war (Coyne & Mathers, 2011: Tzu, 2009).

Wars occur when the two opposing sides do not concur with regards to their relative influence and strength. This disagreement causes an imbalance in the judgments which evaluate the potential benefits and the potential disadvantages of war.  This aspect of disagreement is defined as the private information aspect of war. The second conditions which cause two nations to war with one another and accept the potential advantages in addition to the potential disadvantages of war are based on the commitment challenge. If the dissemination of power which is present between two nations has the possibility of shifting, the shift in power between the two nations may cause a peaceful negotiation of the two factions with regards to accepting the potential disadvantages to war for each side Coyne & Mathers, 2011,; Tzu, 2009).

If the weaker opponent is experiencing an increase in influence and strength, this increase may cause the opposing side to be willing to negotiate against war.  The weaker opponent may not choose to go to war, due to the aspect that a future position may have a greater promise of increased influence and strength. The nation which is losing influence and strength may wish to negotiate a peaceful agreement which keeps everything in the perspective of the moment. The nation which is losing influence and strength may doubt if the peaceful agreement can be maintained Coyne & Mathers, 2011).

It is comprehensible that the opposing state which is gaining influence and strength may behave motivations to renegotiate a novel collection of demands when the influence and strength have favorably shifted in their favor. This aspect may cause the weaker opposing nation to resort to war if the concessions which had been peacefully agreed upon are not maintained. The nation which is gaining power and influence may have a preference for peaceful negotiations and it may be willing to honor the outcomes of present negotiations. The two factions may dispute the viability of this promise once the situation changes and one off the opposing nations has the forceful strength to negotiate issues which had not been previously negotiated.  Peacefully and apply military force in order to procure those benefits. This aspect is acknowledged as the commitment challenge of war  ( Coyne & Mathers, 2011; Lomberg, 2013; Tzu, 2013).

The third reason for war is often indivisible challenges. The indivisible challenges may incorporate religious, philosophical issues and territorial challenges. Quite often resources can be divided, however religious distinctions and territorial disputes cannot be divided among actors. War and the human and economic costs which area associated may be avoided if the challenging subject of dispute can be associated to another challenge which can be more easily resolved or if one of the factions makes some sort of concession to the other. Usually the origin of an indivisible challenge is a pressure political group within one of the nations which possesses considerable influence (Coyne & Mathers, 2011; Lomberg, 2013; Tzu 2009).

This implies that one or both of the opposing nations may have a variety of actors. The significance of indivisibility challenges is slight when compared to the aspects of information and commitment challenges. This leaves the information and the commitment challenges as the two logical reasons that opposing nations go to war with one another (Coyne & Mathers, 2011).  The benefits of war were reviewed by Sun Tzu who had been a Chinese tactician and high ranking military official. Sun Tzu originally wrote the Art of War in the sixth century before the Common Era (Tzu, 2009). The Art of War which was composed by Sun Tzu is composed of thirteen chapters. Every chapter in the book is dedicated to a specific aspect of waging war. The Art of War is one of the most significant military strategy treatises that have ever been written. The themes which have been covered in the book which is titled the Art of War have been extended to spheres of influences which exceed military tactics (i.e., commerce, legal reflection and marketing strategies) (Tzu, 2009).

Sun Tzu thought that war was a required evil which must be evaded at all consequences. The war should be waged rapidly in order to overcome and limit the human and economic hardships. There has been no war which has caused any nation to profit (Lomberg, 2013; Tzu, 2009) A nation which becomes triumphant in war does so due to the aspect of taking decisive action prior to the opponent’s realization of their menacing position. Sun Tzu believed that holocausts and criminal war activities should be avoided due to the characteristic of motivating increased resistance from the opponent and the capacity of holocausts and criminal war activities to enable the tide of war to turn in the opponent’s favor ( Lomberg, 2013; Tzu, 2009).

The victorious faction should be able to capture the government of the opposing nation without completely destroying the government or the infrastructure. The destruction of the opposing nation’s government or infrastructure should be conducted as a final option. Sun Tzu also perceived that the location of the military forces in strategic positions was of great significance. The choice of positioning a military force in opposition to other nation’s military force must be performed objectively upon the need for the avoidance of the potential expense of human and economic loss (Tzu, 2009).

Conclusion

War has its advantages. War has its disadvantages. Wars are usually conducted by two opposing factions. These two opposing factions are usually willing to accept the advantages of war in exchange for the human and economic costs of war. Wars have led to invention. The benefits of the inventions which have been gained by war have been able to benefit many during the times of peace.

Sun Tzu believed that in order to avoid war, one of the nations must be willing to apply the disadvantages of war as a persuasive factor against waging war. Nations can apply techniques of negotiation in order to avoid the information, commitment and indivisible aspects which cause wars. If it were not for war, the United States would have never been conceived. If the Civil war had not been waged between the opposing factions of the United States, slavery would have perpetuated as an acceptable institution in the United States. If the United States had not become involved in the Second World War, the Holocaust may have never ended and other holocaust may have ensued.

The aspect of the United States, Russia, the European Union, China, Japan and India launching satellites and spaceships into space in order to search for extraterrestrial life is an outcome of the benefits of the Second World War. Many of the inventions which are applied today, (i.e., GPS tracking systems, microwave ovens and cellular phones) are results of technologies which have been developed for wartime applications. Wars have their disadvantages; however, wars also have their advantages.

References

Boot, M. (2006). War made new: Weapons, warriors and the making of the modern world. USA: Gotham Books.

Coyne, C.J. & Mathers. R.L. (2011).The handbook on the political economy of war. UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Howard, M. (2000). The invention of peace: reflections on war and international order. USA: Yale University Press.

Lomborg, B. (2013). How much have global problems cost the world? New York:  Cambridge University Press.

Tsu, s. (2009). The art of war by Sun Tzu- classic edition. (L. Giles, Trans.), El Paso, TX: El Paso Norte Press.

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