War: Meaning, Types, Effects, and Measures essay

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War: Meaning, Types, Effects, and Measures

Meaning of War


War refers to the military conflict or armed collision between enemies, between countries or groups within a country with diverse viewpoints, to gain territorial, political, military or economic supremacy over the other.

War is also referred to a period when there were a series of conflicts and battles. It is usually an armed military operation or hostility between nations or groups through land, water and air routes.

Wars are characterized by use of destructive weapons, equipment, bombs, rockets, etc. in large measure.

The term ‘War’ is often used to denote ‘struggle’. For example, the struggle against poverty is referred to as ‘war against poverty’.

Margaret Atwood once remarked that ‘War is what happens when language fails.

Is war a necessity?


War is inevitable so long as man remains the selfish creature that he is. Sometimes, a country is invaded, or its sovereign power is disregarded by another national. Then war becomes a necessity.

The duty of the civilized nations should be try to settle disputes by arbitration if they cannot do it by bilateral negotiation; and when war is unavoidable, they should try to mitigate its horrors by preventing useless bloodshed and by protecting the wounded.

Types of War


There are different types war.

  1. Asymmetric warfare is an armed struggle between two groups who significantly differs in terms of military strength, technique, and ability.
  2. Nuclear wars involves use of atom bombs and nuclear weapons.
  3. Chemical warfare is the type of hostility characterized by the usage of chemical weapons and poisonous gases.
  4. Civil War is the war between the citizens, communities, or groups of the same country.
  5. A cold war is not a direct military struggle among competing nations. It involves political pressure, and propaganda against the enemy. It involves spying the activities of the enemies. It often involves financial and military aid to the enemy of the enemy.
  6. Proxy war is an indirect war where one country or group either attacks the allies of the enemy or aids its own allies to attack the enemy.
  7. Invasion is a military hostility when the forces of one country breaches their territorial limits and enters the territory of the others, with the intention of establishing or re-establishing control over that territory.

Effects of War


War results in mass scale destruction and death. The results of war are horrible. The harmful effects of war are given below in points.

  • War always brings in its train horror, devastation and ruin.
  • Thousands of people die during the wars. The families of the people who die in wars finds it hard to overcome the grief.
  • All the worst passions of men are let loose in war.
  • All the nations that are engaged in wars suffers huge financial and human losses. A city that smiled in wealth and prosperity, it ruined after capture.
  • The economy of the countries gets shattered.
  • Work that the patient hand of peace has achieved after the toil of centuries is ruined in a day.

Measures to Mitigate the Horrors of war


The following measures will help in reducing or mitigating the horrors of war.

Horrors may be mitigated: These horrors may be, to a great extent, mitigated if the belligerent powers observe the rules of international law, if prisoners are properly attended to, and if the soldiers are kept under restraint and discipline.

Humanity at wars: Mercy should always be shown to friends and foes alike. Florence Nightingale showed the example by wonderful self-sacrifice when she nursed at the Hospital, the wounded and the dying in the Crimean war. Now, following her noble example, many women go to the battlefield to nurse and attend the wounded and the dying. In modern times the Red Cross is doing much to reduce the sufferings of the wounded. Ambulance Corps are organized to carry the wounded to the hospitals. Prisoners are also treated better than before.

International Law of war: International law, if properly observed by the belligerents, will considerably lessen the horrors of war. It provides among other things, for the kind treatment of prisoners and the wounded in war and insists on respect for rights of neutral nations and for the safety of non-combatants.

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