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Identifying Key War Elements

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To create an effective Vortex Peace Prayer, one must understand the key elements of peace and the key elements of war. ~ Starfire Tor

Identifying Key War Elements

History of war
Morality of war
Limitations on war
Causes of war
Historical theories on war
Psychological theories on war
Anthropological theories on war
Sociological theories on war
Malthusian theories on war
Evolutionary psychology theories on war
Information theories on war
Marxist theories on war
Political science theories on war
Economic theories on war
Types of war and warfare
Geographic warfare
Termination of war
Effects of war

War is a conflict involving the organized use of weapons and physical force by states or other or other large-scale groups, coinciding with a lack of dialogue between the parties. Warring parties usually hold territory, which they can win or lose; and each has a leading person or organization which can surrender, or collapse, thus ending the war. Wars are usually a series of military campaigns between two opposing sides involving a dispute over, amongst others issues, sovereignty, territory, resources, religion, or ideology. A war to liberate an occupied country is called a "war of liberation"; a war between internal factions within a state is a civil war. Until the end of World War II, participants usually issued formal declarations of war.

Other terms for war, often used euphemistically to circumvent limitations on war, include armed conflict, hostilities, and police action. A time when no formal war is taking place, although there may be international and internal tensions, is sometimes called peacetime or peace. However, some consider the definition of peace to be more complicated. Baruch Spinoza (1632.77) said, "Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice."

War almost always results in many deaths. In the wars and conflicts of the 20th century, an estimated 130,142 million people died, of which 51 million occurred after the end of World War II.

History of war

War seems as old as animal society, and certainly features prominently in the recorded histories of, and certainly features prominently in the recorded histories of state-cultures. In tribal societies engaging in endemic warfare, it is typical for the tribe's armed force to consist entirely or mostly of militia or a warrior caste. The earliest city-states and empires in Mesopotamia became the first to employ standing armies . Organization and structure has since been central to warfare, as illustrated by the success of highly disciplined troops of the Roman Empire.

As well as organizational change, technology has played a central role in the evolution of warfare. Armies with iron weapons might easily defeat armies armed with copper. Inventions created for warfare play an important role in advances in other fields, but modern technology has greatly increased the potential cost and destruction of war.

Morality of war

Throughout history war has been the source of serious moral questions. Although many ancient questions. Although many ancient nations and some more modern ones viewed war as noble, over the sweep of history, concerns about the morality of war have gradually increased. Today, war is generally seen as undesirable and, by some, morally problematic. At the same time, many view war, or at least the preparation and readiness and willingness to engage in war, as necessary for the defence of their country. Pacifists believe that war is inherently immoral and that no war should ever be fought. This position was passionately propounded by the Indian leader Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi.

The negative view of war has not always been held as widely as it is today. Many thinkers, such as Heinrich von Treitschke, saw war as humanity's highest activity where courage, honor, and ability were more necessary than in any other endeavor. At the outbreak of World War I, the writer Thomas Mann wrote, "Is not peace an element of civil corruption and war a purification, a liberation, an enormous hope?" Randolph Bourne shared this belief, stating, "War is the health of the state." This attitude has been embraced by societies from Sparta and Rome in the ancient world to the fascist states of the 1930s. The defeat and repudiation of the fascist states and their militarism in the Second World War, the shock of the first use of nuclear weapons and increasing belief in the value of individual life (as enshrined in the concept of human rights, for example) have contributed to the current view of war.

Today, some see only just wars as legitimate, and believe that it is the responsibility of world organizations such as the United Nations to oppose wars of unjust aggression. Others believe that world organizations have no more standing to judge the morality of a war than that of a sovereign country.

Limitations on war

At times throughout history, societies have attempted to limit the cost of war by formalizing it in some way. At times throughout history, societies have attempted to limit the cost of war by formalizing it in some way. Limitations on the targeting of civilians, what type of weapons can be used, and when combat is allowed have all fallen under these rules in different conflicts. Total war is the modern term for the targeting of civilians and the mobilization of an entire society, when every member of the society has to contribute to the war effort.

While culture, law , and religion have all been factors in causing wars, they have also acted as restraints at times. In some cultures, for example, conflicts have been highly ritualized to limit actual loss of life. In modern times increasing international attention has been paid to peacefully resolving conflicts which lead to war. The United Nations is the latest and most comprehensive attempt to, as stated in the preamble of the U.N. Charter, "save succeeding generations from the scourge of war."

A number of treaties regulate warfare, collectively referred to as the laws of war. The most pervasive of these are the Geneva Conventions, the 1800searliest of which began to take effect in the mid-1800s. It must be noted that in war such treaties may be ignored if they interfere with the vital interests of either side; some have criticized such conventions as simply providing a fig leaf for the inhuman practice of war. By only illegalizing "war against the rules", it is alleged, such treaties and conventions, in effect, sanction certain types of war.

Causes of war

The causes of war are many and varied. Some of the more common or notable situations which prompt war are:

* When there are no other perceived options for resolving differences or grievances.
* In the face of a perceived immediate threat from an aggressor.
* When one party desires something another has.
* In the case of an immediate need to secure essential resources for survival, such as food, water or shelter.
* When areas of a country (such as provinces, states, and colonies) desire independence from that country.
* As the result of a long-standing hatred between nations that has built up over a number of years (rivalry or other antagonisms).
* When belief in one nation's or race's superiority over others prompts that group to cast aside people it sees as inferior.
* As a result of antagonism caused by different interpretations of some religion among different parties.
* As a result of ideological differences between different parties. For example, Nazism's hatred of Communism contributed to the outbreak of war between Germany and the Soviet Union during the Second World War. The Sino-Soviet Split nearly became an armed conflict between the Soviet Union and China over the goals of Communism.
* When some party wishes to pursue global domination.

Historical theories on war

Historians tend to be reluctant to look for sweeping explanations for all wars. A.J.P. Taylor famously described wars as being like traffic accidents . There are some conditions and situations that make them more likely, but there can be no system for predicting where and when each one will occur. Social scientists criticize this approach, arguing that at the beginning of every war some leader makes a conscious decision, and that they cannot be seen as purely accidental. Still, one argument to this might be that there are few, if any, "pure" accidents. One may be able to find patterns which hold at least some degree of reliability, but because war is a collective of human intentions, some potentially quite fickle, it is very difficult to create a concise prediction system.

Psychological theories on war

Psychologists such as E.F.M. Durban and John Bowlby have argued that human beings, especially men, are inherently violent. While this violence is repressed in normal society, it needs the occasional outlet provided by war. This combines with other notions such as displacement, where a person transfers their grievances into bias and hatred against other ethnic groups, nations, or ideologies . While these theories may have some explanatory value about why wars occur, they do not explain when or how they occur. In addition, they raise the question why there are sometimes long periods of peace and other eras of unending war. If the innate psychology of the human mind is unchanging, these variations are inconsistent. A solution adapted to this problem by militarists such as Franz Alexander is that peace does not really exist. Periods that are seen as peaceful are actually periods of preparation for a later war or when war is suppressed by a state of great power, such as the Pax Britannica.

If war is innate to human nature, as is presupposed by many psychological theories, then there is little hope of ever escaping it. One alternative is to argue that war is only, or almost only, a male activity, and if human leadership were in female hands, wars would not occur. This theory has played an important role in modern feminism . Critics, of course, point to various examples of female political leaders who had no qualms about using military force, such as Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi or Golda Meir.

Other psychologists have argued that while human temperament allows wars to occur, they only do so when mentally unbalanced people are in control of a nation. This extreme school of thought argues leaders that seek war such as Napoleon, Hitler, and Stalin were mentally abnormal. Though this does nothing to explain away the thousands of free and presumably sane men that wage wars on their behalf.

A distinct branch of the psychological theories of war are the arguments based on evolutionary psychology. This school tends to see war as an extension of animal behavior, such as territoriality and competition . However, while war has a natural cause, the development of technology has accelerated human destructiveness to a level that is irrational and damaging to the species. We have similar instincts to that of a chimpanzee but overwhelmingly more power. The earliest advocate of this theory was Konrad Lorenz. These theories have been criticized by scholars such as John G. Kennedy , who argue that the organized, sustained war of humans differs more than just technologically from the territorial fights between animals. Others have attempted to explain the psychological reasoning behind the human tendency for warring as a joined effort of a class of higher intelligence beings at participating in, experiencing and attempting to control the ultimate fate of each human, death.

In his fictional book Nineteen-Eighty-Four, George Orwell talks about a state of constant war being used as one of many ways to distract people. War inspires fear and hate among the people of a nation, and gives them a "legitimate" enemy upon whom they can focus this fear and hate. Thus the people are prevented from seeing that their true enemy is in fact their own repressive government. By this theory war is another "opiate of the masses" by which a state controls its people and prevents revolution.

Anthropological theories on war

Several anthropologists take a very different view of war. They see it as fundamentally cultural, learned by nurture rather than nature. Thus if human societies could be reformed, war would disappear. To this school the acceptance of war is inculcated into each of us by the religious, ideological, and nationalistic surroundings in which we live.

Many anthropologists also see no links between various forms of violence. They see the fighting of animals, the skirmishes of hunter-gatherer tribes, and the organized warfare of modern societies as distinct phenomena each with their own causes. Theorists such as Ashley Montagu emphasize the top-down nature of war, that almost all wars are begun not by popular pressure but by the whims of leaders, and that these leaders also work to maintain a system of ideological justifications for war.

Sociological theories on war

Sociology has long been very concerned with the origins of war, and many thousands of theories have been advanced, many of them contradictory. Sociology has thus divided into a number of schools. One, the Primat der Innenpolitik (Primacy of Domestic Politics) school based on the works of Eckart Kehr and Hans-Ulrich Wehler , sees war as the product of domestic conditions, with only the target of aggression being determined by international realities. Thus World War I was not a product of international disputes, secret treaties, or the balance of power but a product of the economic, social, and political situation within each of the states involved.

This differs from the traditional Primat der Aussenpolitik (Primacy of Foreign Politics) approach of Carl von Clausewitz and Leopold von Ranke that argues it is the decisions of statesmen and the geopolitical situation that leads to war.

Malthusian theories on war

Pope Urban II in 1095 , on the eve of the First Crusade, wrote, "For this land which you now inhabit, shut in on all sides by the sea and the mountain peaks, is too narrow for your large population; it scarcely furnishes food enough for its cultivators. Hence it is that you murder and devour one another, that you wage wars, and that many among you perish in civil strife. Let hatred, therefore, depart from among you; let your quarrels end. Enter upon the road to the Holy Sepulcher; wrest that land from a wicked race, and subject it to yourselves."

This is one of the earliest expressions of what has come to be called the Malthusian theory of war, in which wars are caused by expanding populations and limited resources. Thomas Malthus (1766?1834) wrote that populations always increase until they are limited by war, disease, or famine.

This theory is thought by Malthusians to account for the relative decrease in wars during the past fifty years, especially in the developed world, where advances in agriculture have made it possible to support a much larger population than was formerly the case, and where birth control has dramatically slowed the increase in population.

Evolutionary psychology theories on war

Close to Malthusians is the application of evolutionary psychology to analyses why humans wage wars. Wars are seen as the result of evolved psychological traits that are turned on by either being attacked or by a population perception of a bleak future. The theory accounts for the IRA going out of business, but leads to a dire view of current wars.[1]

Information theories on war

A popular new approach is to look at the role of information in the outbreak of wars. This theory, advanced by scholars of international relations such as Geoffrey Blainey , argues that all wars are based on a lack of information. If both sides at the outset knew the result, neither would fight; the loser would merely surrender and avoid the cost in lives and infrastructure that a war would cause.

This is based on the notion that wars are reciprocal, that all wars require both a decision to attack and also a decision to resist attack. This notion is generally agreed to by almost all scholars of war since Clausewitz. This notion is made harder to accept because it is far more common to study the cause of wars rather than events that failed to cause wars, and wars are far more memorable. However, throughout history there have been as many invasions and annexations that did not lead to a war, such as the U.S.-led invasion of Haiti in 1994, the Nazi invasions of Austria and Czechoslovakia preceding the Second World War, and the annexation of the Baltic states by the Soviet Union in 1940. On the other hand, Finland's decision to resist a similar Soviet aggression in 1939 led to the Winter War.

The leaders of these nations chose not to resist as they saw the potential benefits being not worth the loss of life and destruction such resistance would cause. Lack of information may not only be to who wins in the immediate future. The Norwegian decision to resist the Nazi invasion was taken with the certain knowledge that Norway would fall. The Norwegians did not know whether the German domination would be permanent and also felt that noble resistance would win them favour with the Allies and a position at the peace settlement in the event of an Allied victory. If in 1940 it had been known with certainty the Germans would dominate central Europe for many decades, it is unlikely the Norwegians would have resisted. If it had been known for certainty that the Third Reich would collapse after only a few years of war, the Nazis would not have launched the invasion at all.

This theory is predicated on the notion that the outcome of wars is not randomly determined, but fully determined on factors such as doctrine , economies, and power. While purely random events, such as storms or the right person dying at the right time, might have had some effect on history, these only influence a single battle or slightly alter the outcome of a war, but would not mean the difference between victory and defeat.

There are two main objectives in the gathering of intelligence. The first is to find out the ability of an enemy, the second their intent. In theory to have enough information to prevent all wars both need to be fully known. The Argentinean dictatorship knew that the United Kingdom had the ability to defeat them, but their intelligence failed them on the question of whether the British would use their power to resist the annexation of the Falkland Islands. The American decision to enter the Vietnam War was made with the full knowledge that the communist forces would resist them, but did not believe that the guerrillas had the capability to long oppose American forces.

One major difficulty is that in a conflict of interests, some deception or at least not telling everything is a standard tactical component on both sides. If you think that you can convince the opponent that you will fight, the opponent might desist. For example, Sweden made efforts to deceive Nazi Germany that it would resist an attack fiercely, partly by playing on the myth of Aryan superiority and by making sure that Hermann Göring only saw elite troops in action, often dressed up as regular soldiers, when he came to visit.

Economic theories on war

Another school of thought argues that war can be seen as an outgrowth of economic competition in a chaotic and competitive international system. In this view wars begin as a pursuit of new markets, of natural resources, and of wealth. Unquestionably a cause of some wars, from the empire building of Britain to the 1941 Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in pursuit of oil, this theory has been applied to many other conflicts. It is most often advocated by those to the left of the political spectrum, who argue that such wars serve the interests of the wealthy but are fought by the poor; however it is combated by the capitalist message of poverty is relative and one poor in one country can be the wealthiest in another ideology. Some social activists argue that materialism is the supreme cause of war.

Marxist theories on war

The Marxist theory of war argues that all war grows out of the class war. It sees wars as imperial ventures to enhance the power of the ruling class and divide the proletariat of the world by pitting them against each other for contrived ideals such as nationalism or religion. Wars are a natural outgrowth of the free market and class system, and will not disappear until a world revolution occurs.

Political science theories on war

The statistical analysis of war was pioneered by Lewis Fry Richardson following World War I. More recent databases of wars and armed conflict have been assembled by the Correlates of War Project, Peter Brecke and the Uppsala Department of Peace and Conflict Research.

There are several different international relations theory schools. Supporters of realism in international relations argue that the motivation of states is the quest for (mostly) military and economic power or security. War is one tool in achieving this goal.

One position, sometimes argued to contradict the realist view, is that there is much empirical evidence to support the claim that states that are democracies do not go to war with each other, an idea known as the democratic peace theory.

Types of war and warfare

National Liberation

Geographic warfare

The terrain over which a war is fought has a big impact on the type of combat which takes place. This in turn means that soldiers have to be trained to fight in a specific type of terrain. These include:

* Arctic warfare
* Ski warfare
* Desert warfare
* Jungle warfare
* Naval warfare or Aquatic warfare
* Sub-aquatic warfare
* Mountain warfare (sometimes called alpine warfare)
* Urban warfare
* Air warfare
* Space warfare

Termination of war

How a war affects the political and economic circumstances in the peace that follows usually depends on the "facts on the ground". Where evenly matched adversaries decide that the conflict has resulted in a stalemate, they may cease hostilities to avoid further loss of life and property. They may decide to restore the antebellum territorial boundaries, redraw boundaries at the line of military control, or negotiate to keep or exchange captured territory. Negotiations at the end of a war often result in a treaty, such as the Treaty of Versailles of 1919, which ended the First World War.

A warring party that surrenders may have little negotiating power, with the victorious side either imposing a settlement or dictating most of the terms of any treaty. A common result is that conquered territory is brought under the dominion of the stronger military power. An unconditional surrender is made in the face of overwhelming military force as an attempt to prevent further harm to life and property. For example, the Empire of Japan gave an unconditional surrender to the Allies in World War II after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (see Surrender of Japan). A settlement or surrender may also be obtained through deception or bluffing.

Many other wars, however, have ended in complete destruction of the opposing territory, such as the Battle of Carthage of the Third Punic War between the Phoenician city of Carthage and Ancient Rome in 149 BC. In 146 BC the Romans burned the city, enslaved its citizens, and symbolically poured salt over the earth to ensure that nothing would ever grow there again.

Some wars or war-like actions end when the military objective of the victorious side has been achieved. Conquered territories may be brought under the permanent dominion of the victorious side. A raid for the purposes of looting may be completed with the successful capture of goods. In other cases an aggressor may decide to avoid continued losses and cease hostilities without obtaining the original objective.

Some hostilities, such as insurgency or civil war , may persist for long periods of time with only a low level of military activity. In some cases there is no negotiation of any official treaty, but fighting may trail off and eventually stop after the political demands of the belligerent groups have been reconciled, or combatants are gradually killed or decide the conflict is futile.

Effects of war

Negative Effects
* Death, injury, and destruction of property
* Unexploded ordinance
* Destruction of works of art
* Rape of women and children
* Environmental/Infrastructure damage
* Poverty
* Famine
* Disease
* Negative psychological effects on individuals
* Drain on resources (economic, material, manpower, etc.)
* Displacement of refugees/strain on surrounding states due to conflict
* Social upheaval
* Nations lose their innocence
* Extinction and endangerment of plants and animals

Positive Effects
* Liberation/Institution of new social/economic/political order (regime change)
* Scientific advances
* Media attention focused on otherwise unremarkable countries
* Inhibition of excessive population growth

X-Factors (when things change, stay the same, or change a second way)
* Territorial changes
* Resolution, continuation, or increase of political, economic, or social conflict
* Increased or decreased probability of future armed conflicts
* Destabilization or strengthening of involved/interested/surrounding states position due to conflict

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Vortex Peace Prayer History, Application, Psience
Reality Shift Manifestation Research, Protocols, and Psi Missions Part I
Identifying Key War Elements
Creating The 10-31-06 Vortex Peace Prayer
Original Peace Dream 10-28-2000/One Tin Soldier
Vortex Peace Prayer Annular Solar Eclipse
Vortex Peace Prayer Reality Shift
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