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What is War
What is War

What is War, Definition of War

There are many definitions or concepts of war. However, there is not much difference between them in terms of content.

The most common concept considers “war as an organized armed struggle between opposing political units and with significant consequences.”

According to this definition, war does not include internal conflicts, revolutions, guerrilla activities, terrorist campaigns, crises leading to border encroachment, punitive attacks. limited or persistent confrontations that do not escalate into direct military confrontation.

By convention, for a conflict to be considered a war, the death toll in that conflict must be at least 1,000. According to this definition, other wars such as civil war within a country are also considered wars. The phrase war is also used metaphorically in the phrases 'class war', 'Cold War'.

From the point of view of Marxism-Leninism, we understand war as the results of human-to-human relations in society. But war is not a relationship between people in general, but war is understood as a relationship between groups of people with fundamentally opposing interests.

What is Modern Warfare?

Modern war is a concept that refers to a war that takes place in modern times. Modern warfare with abundant economic and technical potentials, with modern means of warfare, minimizes human losses and maximizes pressure on the enemy in the war.

And with the development of science and technology getting higher and higher today and this development is applied to the military field by using modern weapons and means of war.

Origins and Features of War

War is different from other socio-political phenomena, war is expressed in a special form, using a special tool that is armed violence.

War has its origins in private ownership of the means of production, class antagonism, and oppression and exploitation. War is not actually rooted in human biological instincts, it is not fate, and we see that war is not a permanent phenomenon.

If we want to abolish war, we must eliminate the origin of war.

From the above mentioned concept, we can draw the basic nature and characteristics of war as follows:

• War is a historical socio-political phenomenon.

• War is an organized armed struggle (armed violence).

• War aims to be able to achieve a certain political goal.

War has its origins in private ownership of the means of production, class antagonism, and oppression and exploitation. War is not rooted in human biological instinct, is not fate, and is not a permanent phenomenon. In order to abolish war, it is necessary to remove its origin.

Cause of War

The wars in history have originated from many different causes. Many researchers have classified these causes based on levels of analysis.

Accordingly, war can originate from individual, national, or international systemic causes.

Personal Level

From the point of view of psychology, Sigmund Freud (1856 - 1939), an Austrian neurologist and psychologist, attributed the causes of war and aggressive behavior of people to the destructive instinct or also known. called the death-instinct. This instinct directs destructive human behavior outward. Also from this perspective, Franco Fornari (1921 - 1985) argued that war also originates from the paranoid fear inside people about imaginary enemies. Humans wage war to suppress that paranoid fear.

Based on life instincts and functional activities, Konrald Lorenz (1903 - 1989), a zoologist, ornithologist and ethnologist, argued that the instinctive aggression of animals to carry out activities that sustain animals such as competition for food, mates, and shelter. From there, he deduced that, existing in similar circumstances and living conditions, humans must also be aggressive in order to perform functional activities and maintain their existence.

Based on heredity, Edward O. Wilson (1929) suggested that the ability to distinguish between friends and foes in the human mind is hereditary. Therefore, people are more inclined to accept violence as a way to resolve conflicts. Because of heredity, the distinction between friend and foe determines the permanent existence of conflict, war, and violence. However, Edward O. Wilson also thinks that the possibility of cooperation is still possible.

Based on the possessive instinct of humans, Betrand Russell (1872-1970) believed that it was the main cause of war. The possessive instinct causes people to compete for land, wealth and other rights. In such inevitable competition, people are ready to use violence to possess or protect possession. However, Betrand Russell also argues that this "instinct" and its connection to war are controllable.

Another approach that is also relatively popular is personality-based. This approach relies on the violence-related personalities of a very small group of people, the leaders who make war decisions. John Stoessinger believes that the decision of leaders to join the war is often not the product of reason but more of emotion and personal character.

Based on the Rationalism approach, there are two streams of opinion. The first line of opinion holds that the decision to go to war is the result of the leaders' rational analysis and selection. They decide to go to war because war can bring more power and benefits. The opposite line of opinion, such as that of Baruch Spinoza (1633 - 1677) or Stephen Van Evera (1948), argues that the decision to go to war also comes from illusions and errors in perception.

National (or Social) Level

Perspectives on the relationship between war and the political regime or type of State. For example, according to the view of Peace through Democracy, countries with Western-style democracies tend to be more peaceful than other types of political regimes. The basic argument of this view is that in democracies, the government is elected by the people and subject to actual control by the people, so government decisions are more likely to reflect the peaceful will of the people.

Another view associates the causes of war with the economic interests of a class, a certain segment of society, or of the nation. For example, V.I. Lenin pointed out the relationship between the economic dynamics of the ruling bourgeoisie and the imperial nature of the state, hence the imperial war. Or J.A. Hobson (1858-1940) attributed the profit motive and lack of domestic markets to imperialism and hence war. In addition, there are other views such as generalizing the possessive nature of human beings into public interests and being expressed into national interests, or wars occurring from a lack of resources for national development. family…

Meanwhile, Social Darwinists or National Fatalists consider the nation to be biological. Nations also have competition with each other for evolution just like in nature. Thus, war became a popular way of struggle between nations for the sake of survival. Through war, "good" and strong countries will survive, and "bad" and weak countries will perish.

The sociological view holds that war is related to gender issues. This view comes from Feminism. According to some feminist scholars, men are often more belligerent and also more willing to use violence than women. The historical society of mankind is mainly patriarchal. The world we live in is dominated by men. As a result, conflicts and wars have become more frequent. According to them, this world would be less violent, less war if women were equal with men, especially in political decision-making and war.

According to the war perspective of Ethnic Nationalism, different identities and interests of peoples/ethnicities easily lead to conflicts and wars. It seems that national color can be found in so many wars, both international and civil. The ethnic motives of war are quite diverse. Because ethnic nationalism is so firmly established, its potential for war is also sustained.

Finally, another line of views attributes the causes of war to power interactions among states. This is the most common approach and is the basic view of realism. In Clausewitz's view, "war is the continuation of politics by other means". In general, to maintain security and existence, states seek power. However, one country's rise to power leads to fear in another. According to Mansfield's theory of Centralization, moderate power disparities are more likely to lead to war than large or even disparities. Seeing that growth as a threat, countries tend to wage war first to prevent it. The state needs to use all means and methods, including the use of violence, to ensure its survival.

International System Level

There are three dominant views on the nature of the international system and the origins of war. The first view holds that a unipolar system is likely to lead to wars over hegemonic power. Advocates of this view argue that war can occur when a certain state increases in power and challenges the status of the hegemonic state. Competition between them will create tension and increase the risk of war. The emerging nation can go to war first to change the unipolar system. Conversely, the hegemonic state can also wage war first in order to maintain its hegemony. In addition, in a unipolar structure, war can also occur when the lone pole uses violence to maintain the stability of the system or the violent resistance of war by oppressed countries.

The second view is that a bipolar system is more prone to war. Advocates of this view argue that this structure contains a rather profound divergence in international relations and this division brings instability to the whole system. In addition, the danger lies in a deeper level of conflict, a greater concentration of power, a global ambition and a greater desire to exclude a larger opponent, the struggle between them is also more frequent... Thus, war is not impossible. War can be prevented at the center but unfolded at the periphery in the form of "proxy wars".

Finally, a third view holds that multipolar systems are more likely to lead to war. Advocates of this view have given a range of reasons. First, the flexibility of the balance of forces with the constant change of alliances easily leads to frequent instability of the system and that stimulates war to occur. Second, the multipolar system is inherently less orderly, so the lack of calculation of one pole is easy to draw countries into war. Third, because states always tend to seek greater power for themselves, the competition for status between the poles is inevitable and therefore war is also likely to occur.

Types of War

Currently, there are many ways to classify wars based on different criteria. As follows:

1.Classification of wars based on the nature of war purposes is divided into: Just wars and unjust wars.

As follows:

♦ Just wars: basically understood as wars waged with the aim of being able to conform to international law and human moral values. Just war is the war against aggression and national liberation.

♦ Unjust wars: basically understood as wars waged with purposes contrary to international law and human moral values. Imperial wars and wars of aggression are essentially pointless wars.

2. Classification of wars based on the size of the target and the level of social participation, divided into: total war and limited war.

As follows:

♦ Total war or total wars (total wars): basically understood as war in which the target scale is wide, including military and civilian, total war or total war with full national power is involved and the consequences are often great. The first two world wars (1914-1918) and the second (1939-1945) were both total war or total war.

♦ Limited wars or limited wars (limited wars) have a narrower purpose than total war or total war. The main target is military with unlimited scale. The participating force is part of the military. The level of destruction of this type of war is usually not too great. Border wars often fall into this category.

3. Classification of wars based on the actors involved: In this way, there are two types of international wars and civil wars.

As follows:

♦ International wars: basically understood as wars between subjects of international relations, usually states. All wars between nations fall into this category.

♦ Civil wars: basically understood as wars between political factions within a country. Uprisings or uprisings are classified as civil wars. In this day and age, we see that there are many civil wars of an international character which are evident by the interdependence in the international security environment as well as by direct or indirect relations with other countries. outside.

4.War classification is based on weapons used in war, divided into: conventional war and war of mass destruction.

As follows:

♦ Conventional wars or conventional wars: basically understood as a type of war in which the participating forces are mainly regular and semi-regular soldiers, and the weapons used are destructive. limit. All wars that have been fought have been of the conventional kind.

♦ Mass destruction wars: basically understood as war using mainly specific weapons of mass destruction such as nuclear, chemical and biological. This type of war of mass destruction has never occurred in practice, although these weapons have been used in several conventional wars.

Consequences of War

We realize that, in reality, when a war occurs, it will have many serious consequences for the countries participating in that war and also for the whole of humanity in many other respects. together.

But perhaps the heaviest consequences of a war have to do with people. Thousands of people have died because of the war. These people may be soldiers who directly participated in the war or they may just be innocent people who lost their lives because of the war.

In fact, war does not only leave consequences for humans, but war also has a terrible destructive power on the natural environment. Polluted environment causes extremely serious consequences because chemical wastes are used for the purpose of making bombs and mines, toxic chemicals released into the ground will not only harm humans but also other harmful substances. It also destroys forests, natural animals and it has lost the habitat of many plants and animals as well as people on earth.

The rivers are also seriously polluted because of the war, and the dry fields that are not cultivated and irrigated by farmers have also caused economic consequences.

Not only that, we see that war also destroys countless great constructions of mankind. A war occurs that causes the economies of the parties involved in that war to collapse by pouring financial strength into that war. When the war ends, whether countries win or lose, the countries participating in the war face the risk of serious economic crisis.

In addition, wars have caused international relations to become more tense, cooperation between countries has also become difficult, and this has also seriously threatened the development of mankind.