War is a devastating phenomenon, and many of the effects are far-reaching. Health systems, education, home, work, and supplies of food and water are all adversely affected. Legal systems and freedom of speech and expression also suffer. And, in many wars, accountability for abuses of state power becomes almost impossible. Women’s, children’s, and minority rights are among the most severely compromised.
Although war has been the subject of analysis throughout history, more attention has been paid to the problem of war in the 20th century. In the decades following World War II, research on war has focused on war causes, the conduct of war, and the prevention of war. Theories about war have the power to shape human expectations and guide behavior. Many theorists are acutely aware of the profound influence they have on the way we live our lives.
While some theorists would argue that war is a social disaster, others assert that it is an all-encompassing phenomenon. Some philosophers, such as Hegel, hold that war is the father of all things and is the source of all change. Voltaire, the embodiment of the Enlightenment, stated that war, famine, and plague were the three most common ingredients of a wretched world. In addition, he claimed that air, water, and earth are arenas of destruction.
Moreover, war is a manifestation of the need to manage human resources. With the increasing global population, basic resources are becoming scarce. As a result, war is a response to these problems. In the nineteenth century, the Anglo-Indian Wars between the British East India Company and various Indian states led to the creation of the British colonial rule in India. The British government wanted to gain access to the valuable resources in India.
Unlike most bonds, war bonds were issued at a discount. This made them more affordable for the common investor. Originally, war bonds had a 10-year maturity and yielded 2.9% in return. However, after World War II, Congress extended the interest period. After that, war bonds accrued interest for 20 years.
Modern wars often involve large armies in the field. One percent of a country’s population was considered a large enough number to call to the colors, but today, that number is as low as half of one percent. Meanwhile, the civilian armies on the home front need to be much larger. Even a half dozen workers could be considered a large army.
The psychological causes of war are varied. Some attribute the occurrence of war to human choices, while others attribute it to man’s biological and ethical nature. In both camps, there are pessimists and optimists. Psychologists and ethologists have developed theories of innate drives in people. A third school finds that war is a manifestation of man’s moral nature.
The Geneva Conventions, the Hague Conventions, and other international agreements govern the use of force in war. Despite this, the United Nations Charter does not prohibit war completely. It does, however, allow a state to go to war when it is necessary to protect its own people from danger. However, a state must have the approval of the UN Security Council.