The conduct of war is not a constant process, and has both significant continuities and inconsistencies. Military personnel are guided by these continuities, some of which are institutionalised as doctrine or drills. Others are more flexible, such as conditions for victory, and are often recognised in public decoration ceremonies. Understanding these continuities is essential for understanding war’s causes and impact on society. In this article, we will discuss the six determinants of war, as well as the continuities and differences of war.
Humanity has long been interested in the conduct of war. Thucydides, for example, claimed that war is ultimately a matter of human concern. The human race has always sought protection, the acquisition of essential resources, the neutralisation of threats, and the organisation of their societies. War has also become a form of human sacrifice, as it is transformed from an ordinary physical activity into an act of purpose. But while war may have evolved from ancient times to the present day, it is still dominated by state actors, whose actions are determined by their ideology and political systems.
Some philosophers believe that war is an all-pervasive phenomenon in the universe, and battles are symptoms of a belligerent universe. Some philosophers believe that war is the father of all things, and that change can only come from conflict. Voltaire, a proponent of Enlightenment thought, claimed that war, plague, and famine were three main ingredients of the world’s misery. Many scholars believe that all animals are perpetually at war.
The laws of war place limits on the actions of the opposing parties in a conflict. These are primarily governed by international humanitarian law, also known as the Geneva Conventions. By virtue of these provisions, war is not the proper way to resolve conflicts. However, there are many exceptions. If a state has an established legal framework, it can impose the rule of law and establish rules that govern its conduct. There is no universal rule for war.
The causes of war are complex. While many psychological theories argue that war is a natural human activity, others assert that it is a product of human nature. For instance, a popular theory that war is a product of man’s innate pugnacity rejects many social factors that may contribute to its inception. As such, it is important to analyze both causes and conditions before making a conclusion. Then, we can discuss the ethical issues associated with war.
Political philosophy has also contributed to understanding the causes of war. Various philosophers and political theorists argue that war is a product of freedom. The premise of Humean democracy holds that a state’s political authority is always subject to the sanction of the people it represents. Therefore, moral responsibility for war extends beyond the state and its citizens. It is therefore essential to understand the nature and goals of war and the moral codes that regulate it.