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POLI T1 L11 The Changing of War.docx

5 Pages

Political Science
Course Code
Blayne Haggart

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The Changing Character of War What is war? - Large number of often contradictory definitions - “A conflict among political groups, especially states, carried out by armed forces of considerable magnitude, for a considerable period of time” – Wright - In the post-cold war period was has changed in its nature and its severity o Has to be armed conflict o Has to be over a period of time o Has to be for political motivations - Now there is more intra state war as opposed to conflict within states History of War - Traditionally fought between states - Renaissance triggered revolution in military affairs - Size of armies, firepower and cost of war increased (not financial, casualties) History of war – modernity - The peace of Westphalia - Thirty year war - Modernity o Increased nationalism o Centralized bureaucratic states o Rapidly rising populations - War became more severe and brutal - World War I and II - Nuclear attack on Hiroshima - Scale and nature of war could no longer be sustained History of War – International Law - International law - Developed to regulate the use of violence in war - Combat the nature and severity of war Revolution in Military Affairs - School of thought primarily US based - Superior technology and doctrine increases the likelihood of military victory - Can lead to asymmetric or unconventional responses to war: o Guerrilla warfare o Terrorism o Informal military networks Revolution in Military Affairs: Iraq - March 2003 invasion of Iraw - May 2003: o Capture of bagdad o Collapse and surrender of Iraqi armed forces - Evolved into an insurgency and terrorist attacks - Deaths: o Coalition forces: 4700 o Iraqi soldiers: 9000 o Insurgents: 55,000 o Civilians: 100,000 – 600, 000? Postmodern Warfare - Economic, social, cultural, and political changes have led to postmodernism - Blurred lines between nation and state - Increase in intra state wars Postmodern warfare: The Media - Increasing importance is creating and shaping war - Could sit on your couch and watch bombs dropped on Bagdad (first televised war) - Transparency o Us soldiers accused of torturing Iraqi people, never would have known without media - Journalists have become active participants o Increase civilian casualties - Globalization o Able to sit in Canada and watch what’s happening in Iraq Postmodern Warfare: Privatization - Privatized military companies o Sell war related services to states o Problematic: don’t have to follow us military laws, blurs lines between international law and domestic law o What they can and can’t do is different than a US military o Reflect trend of privatization of public assets o Several PMC active in Iraq New Wars: Post-Westphalian Warfare - Westphalia state system - Concept of sovereignty o State has a monopoly over the legitimate use of violence o War takes place between states - Being challenged from inside out - 95% of armed conflict take place within states rather than between - Criminal gangs, warlords, militias - But also humanitarian intervention New Wars: Humanitarian Intervention - Economic development may act as a deterrent to war - Internal conflicts are often caused by poverty and underdevelopment - Armed conflict for humanitarian purposes - Libya and the Responsibility to Protect New Wars: Feminization of War - Women play an increasing role in war - Military personnel - Darker sense o Violence against women as a tool of war o Rape and sexual violence o Approx.. 250,000 rapes in Rwanda during 1994 genocide - Democratic Republic of the Congo o “Rape capital of the world” – Margo Wallstrom - Children also play an increasingly dark role in war o Sierra Leone – 70% of combants are under the age of 18 Conclusions - Much of these new
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