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Images of a "modern" war ( Second Gulf War )

War is an organized and significant methods using agents with weapons and violence being transferred conflict to which planned foregoing collectives involved. The aim of the collectives involved is to assert their interests. The conflict is to be resolved through struggle and achieving superiority. The acts of violence that take place specifically attack the physical integrity of opposing individuals and thus lead to death and injury . In addition to damage to those actively involved in the war, there is always damage that is mostly unintentional. Today they are euphemistically referred to as collateral damage or accompanying damage . War also damages the infrastructure and livelihoods of collectives. There is no uniformly accepted definition of war and its demarcation from other forms of armed conflict.

Forms of war are diverse and not necessarily linked to states or state systems: They can also take place within states, for example as a civil war , a war of independence or an armed conflict , and lead to a world war or genocide . Despite intensive discussions, no uniform definition under international law could be found that narrowly describes the term war. The Geneva Five Power Agreement of December 12, 1932 therefore replaced the unspecific expression “war” with the unequivocal “use of armed force” (Article III). The United Nations Charter finally banned the use of or threat of force in international relations generally (Article 2, paragraph 4) and only allowed them as the Security Council sanctions adopted measure (Article 42) or as an act of self-defense (Article 51).

In the historically documented human history , almost 14,400 wars are said to have taken place, to which around 3.5 billion people are said to have fallen victim. Since an estimated 100 billion people have lived so far, this would mean that every thirtieth citizen of the world had to lose his life through acts of war.

However, a critical assessment of this estimate mentions that one of the representatives of this estimate reduced the number from approx. 3,640,000,000 war victims to approx. 1,240,000,000.

The word “war” (from Old High German chreg > Middle High German kriec originally means “persistence”, “effort”, “dispute”, “fight”, “armed conflict”). Middle Low German krich and Middle Dutch crijch are also located in this etymological area . An academic reconstruction traces the New High German “war” back to the Indo-European root * g gghw rei- . This has its equivalent in Greek brímē with the meaning "violence, force, impetuosity" and hýbris with the meaning "arrogance, violence".

In a further linguistic-historical context, the New High German word " Kraft " is also classified here, which may have originated from the same Indo-European root. The wide range of meanings is reflected in the Old Frisian halskrīga with the meaning “neck stiffness” as well as the presumably related terms Old Irish bríg with the meaning “strength, power” and Latvian grînums for “hardness, rigor”. The collective singular, which subsumes all wars, was created around 1800. Older encyclopedias deal with individual wars or specific questions of warfare under “war”. An outdated word for war is orlog (still Dutch and Afrikaans : oorlog ).

The verb “warring someone” means “waging war against him” on the one hand, on the other hand the basic word kriegen has the meaning “got something, received”, “catch someone”. Both meanings are suitable to indicate the origin and character of this collective use of violence . Even where other war causes are in the foreground, there is rarely a lack of an economic background.

While individual or collective robbery and deliberate killing of people is generally regarded as a crime today and is punishable in a constitutional state , "war" is not regarded as ordinary crime , but as armed conflict between collectives who see themselves as legitimate. A war thus partially or completely removes the civilizational limitation of violence to an executive , as the rule of law requires as a rule: armed armies stand facing each other, representing whole peoples or ethnic groups. They are thus party to the war.

Warring parties always judge their own participation in the war as necessary and justified. Your organized collective violence therefore requires legitimation . War as a state action therefore requires a law of war within a state as well as an international law to regulate interstate relations. This mainly differentiates offensive from defensive war .


Atomic bomb test "Romeo" (explosive force 11 megatons ) - example of a " worst-case scenario"

Wars can be classified into different basic types:

An interstate war takes place between two or more states . This includes the coalition war : several states combine to form a jointly acting war party. If a country is already occupied and its government is deprived of power, the struggle between states can continue as partisan or guerrilla warfare between the population and the hostile state army: Non-regular armed forces fight militarily against the army of an occupying power.

In a civil war, on the other hand, different groups fight within a state, sometimes even across state borders, often not organized by the state. This, too, can be waged against the army of your own state government with non-regular armed forces, "private armies" and / or mercenaries .

In a war of independence , a people fights for its own state. B. as a decolonization war against a colonial power, as a war of secession for the detachment of a sub-area from the state association or as a war for autonomy for regional autonomy within a state. These species are often the result of a nationality conflict .

Whether it is a civil war or a war of independence often depends on the standpoint of the warring party. Thus the party that wants to secede, is more of a war of secession talk, while the party that insists on a unitary state, the same conflict (national) as a civil war will look.

An armed conflict is a sporadic, rather random and not strategically justified armed clash between fighting parties. The mere number of people injured and killed is not a reliable criterion. Nevertheless, large research projects take the number of 1,000 deaths as a rough indicator that an armed conflict has escalated into war. Some definitions of war also require a minimum of continuous planning and organizational procedures for at least one of the adversaries. Another criterion is sometimes seen that at least one of the warring parties must be a state that takes part in the conflict with its armed forces .

An armed conflict, which is characterized by the opposition of conventionally superior military on the one hand, and their weakness through opponents who compensate for guerrilla techniques on the other, is considered an asymmetrical conflict . An example of such a conflict is today's “ war on terror ”, which the USA proclaimed after the attacks of September 11, 2001 . In it, a coalition of states (coalition war) fights against one or more terrorist group (s) acting as global warring party (s) . Whether the increased occurrence of asymmetrical conflicts is a new or an old, only stronger phenomenon is the subject of discussion.

Whether an armed conflict - u. a. in the media - referred to as “conflict” or “war” is often dependent on political or propaganda considerations. A dispute that would already meet the political science criteria of a war can be B. in the language of third countries deliberately continue to be referred to and dealt with as a conflict in order to be able to better evade a promise of assistance "in case of war" or other appropriate pressure on the conflicting parties. The same applies analogously to upgrading a simple armed conflict to a war.

Subforms of war or analogously so called conflicts include feuds , gang wars , flower wars and economic wars .

Levels of warfare

Wars are always organized and waged on three levels with different decision-making powers:

  • The strategic level : According to western understanding, the strategic level is to be assigned to politics. The policy formulates the objective in a conflict of interest. It defines the basic procedure and makes use of all available means of power such as diplomacy, business, information and the military with a view to achieving the goals. A distinction is made between direct and indirect strategies. The direct strategy tries to impose its own will on the opposing side by mainly using or threatening the means of power "military". The indirect strategy, on the other hand, tries to enforce its own will by mainly using other means of power than that of the armed forces. Indirect and direct strategies are not mutually exclusive, but rather are complementary. They harmonize in interaction. The choice of the means of power and approaches to achieve the goal - i.e. the weighting of indirect and direct strategy - depends on the vulnerability of the other side as well as on one's own possibilities.
  • The operational level : The operational management implements political intentions and military strategic guidelines in commands to the tactical command. It defines operational goals, summarizes them in operational concepts, operational plans and operational orders, and coordinates all of the tactical and logistical measures required for this.
  • the tactical level : The tactical level should subsume all things that fall into the sphere of combat. The tactical level implements the objectives of the operational level by deploying its resources in the best possible cooperation on the battlefield.

Main causes

In the case of war, the superficial causes of war are to be distinguished from the deeper causes of war. Most wars can be traced back to a few major causes. Above all, this includes:

However, war can rarely be explained monocausally : Many of the economic, political, ideological, religious and cultural reasons for war mentioned here interact in reality, are mutually dependent and merge. That is why the concept of war cannot be restricted to acts of military aggression. These almost always go through a preparatory phase: War usually begins in "peace". So real peace is more than the absence of war.

international law

The term “war” is no longer used in modern international law . The Geneva Conventions distinguish armed international conflict from other forms of violent conflict, such as internal conflicts. The international armed conflict is regulated by the Geneva Conventions I – IV, as well as by the Additional Protocol I on the protection of the victims of international armed conflicts. Attack and defense, civilians and military personnel are essential criteria. They differentiate between legitimate and illegitimate acts of war. However, the Geneva Conventions do not define what an international armed conflict is. The non-international conflict is regulated by the common article of the Geneva Conventions I – IV as well as the Additional Protocol II on the protection of the victims of non-international armed conflicts.

According to its rules, interstate war should begin with a declaration of war . This was planned in the Mediterranean area since ancient times . Since modern times, however, it has very often been ignored and replaced by the attack itself.

A declared state of war, in which the guns are silent, is called an armistice , a formal admission of defeat, surrender . This regularly ends the acts of war, but not the war itself.

The opposite term to "war" is " peace ". In terms of international law, this in turn presupposes a peace agreement of whatever kind between former war opponents. However, if a war party is largely or completely destroyed in a war, so that it can no longer be a contracting party, international law speaks of debellation (Latin: "defeat").

Historically, however, intermediate states such as permanent occupation without a valid peace treaty or a state in which the opponents are constantly preparing for an open war, planning and practicing its course are more common. The Cold War is a prime example .

At the same time, the connection between state and war as well as the difficulties in distinguishing between war, robbery and murder indicate the lack of a generally accepted legal instance. The UN Charter and the International Criminal Court can be seen as steps towards the binding enforcement of international law.

War in the theories of international relations

In the political science sub-discipline of international relations , wars are naturally the subject of many considerations (see strategic studies , peace research ). In the process, various theoretical explanations for their development have emerged.

The realistic schools ( realism and neorealism ) see in the states the actual actors of the event, their interests and actions based on them decide about war and peace, often also about civil wars in third countries ( proxy wars ). Realistically oriented theorists ( Edward Hallett Carr , Hans Morgenthau ) see the power interests of the individual state as the reason for instabilities in the constellation of states. Based on a pessimistic view of man, they assign the aggressive actions of political leaders a major role in the development of war. Neorealists such as Kenneth Waltz, on the other hand, diagnose the problem less in state action aimed at aggressively striving to change the status quo, but rather in the constellation of states itself. Because every state mistrusts the other states in principle, there is a fundamental security dilemma : Fear of the other states leads to own protection by armament, this in turn is perceived by them as a threat to their own position and leads to counter-armament, which in turn is taken as confirmation of the initial fears. As a result, a war-like conflict, for example a preventive war, can arise between states that are actually unwilling to go to war. The more multipolar the constellation, the more multifactorial the causality, the greater the risk of an unexpected escalation.

The liberal approach in international relations, on the other hand, primarily refers to the internal decision-making process of states. Their policy-making, formulated by individual and group decisions along social lines of conflict, influences the respective foreign policy of the states. Internal factors usually weigh more heavily than external ones, and the actors tend to remain oriented towards domestic politics. The internal constitution of states thus plays the decisive role in the formulation of foreign policy. According to the liberal approach, democratic states are at least significantly more peaceful among themselves than other states, up to and including the far-reaching statement that democratic states do not wage war against one another (cf. Democratic Peace ). In addition to or in competition with this, there is the equally liberal idea of ​​a capitalist peace , which assumes that economically closely related states that are important to one another avoid wars out of self-interest.

The constructivist school raises doubts about the causality of the realistic, neorealist and liberal explanatory reasons put forward: Neither aggressive states nor the fundamentally anarchic constellation of states are decisive for war, but psychological and mass psychological mechanisms, the collective enemy images within states, their elites and societies first constructed and thus make wars possible. Only their discovery and questioning of the population and actors effectively serve to avoid war; Not given situations are the core of the problem, but the way in which these are perceived and evaluated.

Confidence-building measures between states and participation in international regimes such as the United Nations can, according to neo-realistic and liberal views, help shape a society of states geared towards conflict avoidance; Liberal political scientists assume that common and jointly developed values ​​also play a role. Neorealists refer not to values, but to the interest of states in rules for non-armed conflict resolution. Accordingly, stronger states have a greater opportunity to express their interests through negotiating norms.

If the war turns away from its ties to states or institutionally entrenched actors, the analyzes presented in the IB could be devalued. The increased emergence of asymmetric conflicts tends to be viewed with concern as it leads to a weakening of the role of states. Civil wars waged with light weapons that can be procured cheaply by flexibly forming groups with guerrilla tactics who nourished themselves through robbery from the war, financed it through criminal activities (illegal raw material trade, drug trafficking, etc.) or pursued goals that could hardly be defined politically, could lead to one Lead to the disruption of the world of states, so that the essentially controllable state war that can be ended by political measures would recede in favor of a potentially unending war involving numerous (potentially very small) parties of a religious, political or purely criminal nature. It is feared that, unlike in the past , numerous low- threshold conflicts no longer ended through exhaustion alone or led to a pacifying state formation with a monopoly of violence, but that the reasons for their continuation would find the reasons for their continuation in themselves through the universally possible recourse to resources of the global economy (and its black markets ). while the established states could not exploit their potentially overpowering military pacification potential for moral reasons or with regard to their own populations' unwillingness to lose and fight.


Incarnation, Paleolithic and Neolithic Revolution

A common notion sees the origin of war in the natural history of aggression as an extension of interpersonal violence ( Sigmund Freud , Konrad Lorenz , Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt ). A debate about wars among animals , primarily among non-human primates , ensued in behavioral science and primatology. Common chimpanzees - but not bonobos - know both the coordinated hunt for food acquisition as well as intraspecific competition in the form of intra-species fights in which individual members of other hordes are attacked and killed, up to the gradual destruction of the other group. Since there is a close relationship between common chimpanzees and the ancestors of today's humans , a relationship is seen between the fights of chimpanzees and the behavior of today's humans. However, archaeologically unambiguous findings for the fights of early human forms such as australopithecen are missing, just as the fights of today's chimpanzees would not be archaeologically verifiable and could only be verified through direct observation. The human instinct for aggression can also have developed in parallel from the defense against predators. With the development of simple weapons and the use of fire , predators were eliminated as a fundamental threat to the human species; the methods of defense and hunting can in principle also be transferred to combat with other people. People at the level of Homo erectus knew fire and had carefully made weapons (see Schöninger spears ), whether they used them beyond hunting is uncertain. The extent to which there were conflicts between modern humans and Neanderthals and whether these contributed to the extinction of the latter is also unanswerable so far.

Ethnologists still observed armed conflicts between villages and clan associations among Stone Age peoples living today such as the Yanomami or the Maring in Papua New Guinea . Thus, the game researchers Sigibert A. Warwitz documented as part of a research project for playing the indigenous people of a degenerate Völkerball game between two strains in the highlands of Papua New Guinea to a discharged with flails, manure forks and Sensen bloody Stammeskrieg . Archaeological findings also make it clear that organized violence led to massive disputes in early societies that could be described as wars. In a certain contrast to this is the thesis that war also requires a war discourse in the public media in addition to physical combat. If one extends the concept of war in this way, war in the real sense can only arise with the development of public communication in urbanized civilizations. Earlier forms of organized violence should only be understood as the prehistory of the war.

Battle marks on human bones from the Neolithic, Museum for Pre- and Early History of Thuringia (Weimar)

If, on the other hand, war is understood primarily as the presence of violent and fatal confrontations with strong repercussions for the communities involved, archaeological findings in different parts of the world can be used to infer the existence of numerous conflicts even before high cultures and states emerged. Wars in this sense have been part of human cultural history not just since the high culture phase. Rather, archaeological and anthropological findings suggest that pre-state societies were already familiar with armed conflicts up to and including the destruction of opposing families, clans or other groups (see the Talheim massacre ). Pre-state tribal societies were denied characteristics of planned warfare in war research, as they would have concentrated more on “raids” and “hunts”, while their battles were ritualized and with low casualties, but such a continued type of procedure - this is what the Evaluation of archaeological and anthropological results - presumably even a permanently higher death rate than occurs even in modern wars; - including the century of both world wars. Generally difficult and dependent on the respective interpretations of archaeological finds, however, is the delimitation of military violence from everyday violence in the sense of murders and other killings and the resulting classification of the victims. Already hunter-gatherers known military conflicts, but this escalated even during the gradual and phased transition to (with strong population increases associated) agriculture because farmers are on the one necessarily stationary and attackers can hardly escape, but then on by their cattle and stockpiling dispose of valuable mobile goods; apart from the fact that their fields and houses can be interesting even for rural neighbors. A city ​​wall made of stone in the Neolithic Jericho, which was built with considerable effort, is interpreted as a defensive system, from which the presence of well-organized attackers and defenders can be inferred. Evidence of similar Neolithic buildings can also be found in numerous other parts of the world, such as China.

Oriental early empires, Greco-Roman antiquity and European Middle Ages

Metalworking in the Bronze Age allowed the production of effective tools and weapons in large quantities. The ax as a tool became the bronze battle ax , which was made as a pure weapon and showpiece. Technical advances made it possible to manufacture daggers , a weapon of the time was the ax-like dagger . The sword developed from the knives and daggers of the Bronze Age . In Central Europe of the Bronze Age, political structures are difficult to grasp, on heights and strategically important places such as the Heunischenburg , elaborate castles or fortified fortified settlements were built, which must have required organizational skills and structures, which in Central Europe only consisted of “segmental tribal societies, in individual cases with chiefs “Passed. Conflicts were - contrary to the heroic self-portrayal on rock paintings and in grave goods - primarily with long-range weapons, i.e. bows and arrows and javelins, less in close combat. Professional warriors were probably an exception, but the existence of a social warrior class can be assumed.

With the Bronze Age , which in the advent of state-like formations in the East and the Mediterranean world of antiquity almost always monarchies were created wars with special detachment to the fighting armies . The rulers used the armies in conflicts over resources and the expansion of power, be it among themselves or in defense against nomadic robbers or large migrating groups such as the sea ​​peoples . The metallurgical and division of labor requirements u. a. Arms production in Bronze Age and Iron Age civilizations required stratification and increasing complexity of societies; chariots shaped battles. Their use had only become possible through the domestication of the horse ; the chariot came to Egypt with the temporary conquest by the Hyksos . Horses and chariots revolutionized warfare, as campaigns over longer distances were now possible - the "chariot peoples were the first great aggressors in human history". Chariot-oriented empires such as the Assyrian Empire arose accordingly from organized raids. They put the conquered areas under tribute, enslaved or deported parts of the population and converted military victories into a permanent rule over conquered areas.

The first battle well documented in its own time was the Battle of Megiddo , in which an Egyptian army under Thutmose III. 1457 BC BC defeated a coalition of opposing Syrian princes. For Europe, the battlefield in the Tollensetal also points to Bronze Age disputes, which must have required organizational formations. But who exactly and what fought cannot be proven so far.

In ancient times, war was seen as an unavoidable and recurring fact rather than an exception. If the poet Homer (8th century BC) in his Iliad expresses hope in the face of the constant wars between gods and men, " but any conflict between gods and men ", considers the pacification of contending parties to be desirable, is for the pre-Socratic For the philosopher Heraclitus (around 520 to 460 BC) war is a necessary, perpetual process that constitutes existence, the disregard of which appears to be folly: for Heraclitus, war embodies the natural process of constant growth and change. He describes him as “the father of all things and […] king of all. He makes some gods, others men, some slaves, others free . "

Warfare between the Greek city-states of the classical period - which followed the upheavals of the Dark Centuries - was characterized by short and hard battles with foot soldiers, in which heavily armed hoplites as civil soldiers met in close formation (see phalanx ) and the decision was made in a bloody battle searched; Ranged weapons and cavalry, however, played a subordinate role. This procedure, which was highly dangerous for the individual, required a high level of combat ethos and the presence of well-coordinated (i.e. well-trained) fighters and units. It is disputed whether this is the beginning of a possibly specific European or Western type of warfare that can still be demonstrated today, which does not rely on exhaustion of the enemy, but on his concentrated defeat (and ideally annihilation) in decisive battles by disciplined troops that are divided into labor who draw their willingness to fight from a bourgeois ethos. The peace that followed the war required special treaties. In Greece in the 4th century BC, as a result of the development after the Peloponnesian War , which had shown the instability of the multipolar polis order, there were, however, several - unsuccessful - attempts to make a lasting one through the idea of general peace among small states, which in principle were regarded as equal To establish a peace order.

However , this idea could also be combined and used politically for Macedonian power gain with a panhellenistic front position against the empire of the Persians. Pacification through great empires (see Hellenism ) prevailed in the wake of Alexander the Great - whose Macedonian phalanx and Hetaire cavalry had overcome the Persian army and thus confirmed the assumption of the superiority of Greek troops represented in Xenophons Anabasis - and was tied to far-reaching organizational skills. The Pax Romana of the Roman imperial period was based on the constant military presence of Rome , which, in contrast to the Roman Republic before Gaius Marius, maintained a standing army of professional soldiers distributed over the entire empire , garrisoned in forts and quickly relocated and supplied via military roads and over Tax was financed centrally. The real bearers, guardians and mediators of military competence and discipline over centuries were the centurions , who, as long-serving professional officers, made up the lower and middle ranks and, unlike the higher-ranking aristocratic military tribunes , were recruited from the teams. The most important and dangerous opponents of Rome were, on the one hand, Germanic tribes , against whom, after the unsuccessful attempt at conquest in the course of the Augustan Teutonic Wars , the building of the Limes was established and which, over the centuries, united to form militarily more dangerous cooperative associations or large tribes (cf.Marcomann Wars , Franconia , Ethnogenesis through army kingship ) and on the other hand the empire of the Parthians , which in turn was replaced by the highly organized Persian Sassanid empire , which in the Roman-Persian wars proved to be so equal to Rome that the infantry-oriented Roman army had to take over cataphracts based on the Sassanid model. The invasion of the nomadic cavalry people of the Huns triggered the mass migration , which was devastating for West Rome , while the eastern part of the empire survived their challenge.

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire , which meant in the West for a long time the disappearance of professional armies and the appearance of - among other things by the thought of jihad - initial military highly successful Islam (see. Islamic expansion , which the by a war) Eastern Romans (→ Byzantine Army ) destroyed the massively weakened Sassanid Empire and severely curtailed the territory of Eastern Stream, the forerunners of the nations still known today developed during the Great Migration and in the early Middle Ages; the warlike and wandering peoples of the originally pagan Anglo-Saxons , Vikings and Magyars often asserted themselves linguistically in their landings, but culturally they were absorbed by Christianity. Their defense called for military innovations such as the Franconian Panzerreiter , which also had social consequences such as the stronger development of a classically demarcated sword nobility. After the disappearance of the Roman professional soldiers in the European Middle Ages, armies were only mobilized and flexibly assembled when a campaign was planned. The obligation to serve in the army was justified by the feudal dependencies within a subsistence economy dominated by the higher and lower hereditary and military nobility (→ feudal system , knight ). Within this society, numerous smaller conflicts took place as feuds , the extent and duration of which could, however, be significant (for example the Soest feud ). By God's peace and the peace attempts were like armed conflicts at least reduce, in addition to nobility and the church occurred in the course of the Middle Ages, increasingly, strengthened by long-distance trade cities with their guilds that their territories by militia demarcated and their interests by militia-like levies and solidified alliances (cf. . Hanse ) represented. Religious, ethnic and political reasons mixed up in the context of the partially violent Christianization of Europe and its centuries-long progression into the periphery, as well as the crusades against Muslims and pagans (see Wendekreuzzug ). The emergence of military orders of knights is closely connected with the crusade ideals, in their militarily effective organization, in which personal possession was binding and advancement strongly dependent on merit, there may be an anticipation of the later "orderly armies" that were to emerge in the 16th century; Prussia, for example, was derived from the Teutonic Order state .

In the Hundred Years War for supremacy in France, the French kings came under massive pressure due to the devastating military defeats of traditional armies of knights ( Battle of Crécy , Battle of Azincourt ) against English troops equipped with longbows and deployed in a concentrated manner; the problem was exacerbated by internal power struggles of the high nobility like the civil war of the Armagnacs and Bourguignons . The period was marked by relatively new phenomena such as the occurrence of free mercenary companies , which - beyond the presenting softening monopoly of the nobility of weapons difficult underpaid, controlled and constantly - devastated the country and a further danger to position of power and legitimacy of the monarchy of Valois were . Consisting of uprooted and brutalized war existences, the fury of dismissed mercenaries, who were notorious as écorcheurs, led to the establishment of the orderly companies , permanent and reliable units of the king, which supplemented the aristocracy. Together with the establishment of a centralized tax system, which, due to the need to absorb constant basic military costs, granted the king the right to permanent taxation even beyond a specific occasion, its establishment was a significant intermediate step towards the establishment of standing armies and the development of the modern state in Europe . Parallel to these intra-European conflicts, the rise of the Seljuks and Ottomans turned out to be the beginning of a long-lasting and serious threat to Europe, as the lost battle at Nicopolis made clear. With the janissaries won through the forced recruitment of boys , they had constantly deployable, highly motivated and well-trained troops who showed themselves to be extremely dangerous opponents in numerous fights in cooperation with Topey and Sipahi . In 1453 Constantinople fell (→ Conquest of Constantinople ), but in Spain and Portugal almost simultaneously Islamic powers were ousted in the Reconquista .

Asian developments - Alexander Zug, India, China and the Mongol storm

Due to the common Eurasian continent , the history of war in Asia always took place in a certain connection with the Orient and Europe, both in terms of wars and military developments.

The Persian empire of the Achaemenids had an impact on the Greek world of states ( Persian Wars ) as well as on the north of ancient India, which was Vedic after the fall of the Indus culture and which Cyrus II conquered as far as the Indus. Gandhara (in present-day Afghanistan) became a satrapy of the empire.

Alexander the Great first conquered Persia and advanced in the footsteps of Cyrus - surpassing them - via the Punjab and Sindh, fighting against Indian kings, along the Indus to its mouth. The disappearance of a fighting style based on chariots and long-range weapons in favor of the primary use of well-trained foot troops in hand-to-hand combat, which was typical of post-Bronze Age Greece, did not take place in India, the caste system limited warfare to members of the Kshatriya caste , which severely restricted the ability of Indian society to mobilize. A second Greco-Macedonian invasion under Seleukos Nikator failed, however, because of Chandragupta Maurya , who had meanwhile taken possession of the satrapies and territories conquered by Alexander and was apparently able to adapt surprisingly militarily to the Greek fighting style. He reached an agreement with Seleukos to delimit the territories and delivered 500 war elephants to him, which he - successfully - used against his rival Antigonos Monophthalmus . The rise of Chandragupta, the arguments with Seleukos, tactics and his political-military self- image were processed by Kautylia in the political textbook Arthashastra . After Alexander formed in the Gandhara culture a Greek-influenced culture landscape with Buddhist religion over the Diadochi was associated calcareous for some time yet with the Hellenistic culture and even a temporary Indo-Greek Kingdom had before internal Indian development and migration of Saken it disappeared. The Seleucid Persia was the kingdom of the Parthians and Sassanids replaced. India itself saw warlike ups and downs in various empires up to the age of European colonialism, shaped by the advance of Islam from the seventh century AD onwards , of which only the Hindu-Buddhist Maurya empire and the Islamic Mughal empire - only temporarily - almost could include the entire subcontinent, the Gupta Empire ruled at least the entire north and parts of the south. The Maurya King Ashoka expanded his empire through war, and later, unusually, he expressed regret and pain on pillars for the victims of the war.

Thanks to the long-standing connection to India, war elephants (both Indian and African forest elephants) could also be used by Greek kings and Carthaginian generals in Europe, where they were used against the Romans, for example in the battle of Heraclea or after Hannibal's crossing of the Alps , but they - unlike the Seleucids , who put their seals on them and Ptolemies themselves did not take over permanently.

In China, through various stages such as the Longshan culture and the Erlitou culture, early empires such as the (unproven) Xia dynasty and the (reliably proven) Shang dynasty emerged, the cultural foundations of later Chinese from the Zhou dynasties at the latest State creation created. The term Time of the Warring States stands for a warlike concentration of the various small empires and principalities into states with highly developed war weapons made of iron and powerful armies, to which neither chariots, the use of cavalry, nor ranged weapons such as the crossbow were unknown, a characteristic weapon of that time is the Ge . Strategic-philosophical considerations on an abstract level were recorded in treatises (→ The Art of War ; → Sun Bin on the Art of War ). Within the rival seven states that ultimately remained, the state of Qin prevailed in several campaigns of conquest. As a seemingly totalitarian military state shaped by the school of thought of the legalists , this state managed to found the first - still short-lived - empire (→ Qin dynasty ) under Qin Shihuangdi , its example of a centralized and bureaucratic state with a unified culture from top to bottom Chinese history became constitutive, even though the dominant Confucian school of thought condemned Qin for its amoral state doctrine. Qin was militarily well equipped, information about the structure, appearance and armament of the elite troops in his army is given by their detailed replica, the terracotta army . A form of conscription, carried out relentlessly but highly effectively by the administration, had achieved massive superiority, especially in foot soldiers, to whom opponents had little to oppose. In addition, numerous professional units served in the army. After the revival of the collapsed empire by the Han Dynasty , the Chinese Empire gradually and over many centuries expanded the culture of the Han Chinese to the entire area of ​​today's China. This development was connected with the formation of states in the areas of Japan , Korea and Indochina , which were influenced culturally and in direct disputes by China. The relationship with the northern nomads of Central Asia has been a constant problem for the Chinese emperors since the beginning. The Great Wall of China stands for a millennia-old system of highly organized defense, which was not always successful and fluctuated between defensive defense (e.g. in the Sui dynasty ) and preventive campaigns for extensive apron defense (as in the Tang dynasty ).

This system may have had an impact as far as Europe, as it - not without controversy - directed migrations and military campaigns by nomadic peoples towards Europe (see debate on the Xiongnu and Huns ). A secure connection between the wars of Europe, the Orient and East Asia was created through the founding of the empire of Genghis Khan , whose Mongol invasion included the conquest of China and the smashing and weakening of Islamic empires, and reached via Russia to distant Germany, where a German-Polish army of knights Was destroyed in the Battle of Liegnitz in 1241 AD , before the Mongols turned back for reasons that could not be deduced with certainty, but to the supposedly great luck of Central and Western Europe. However, Russia remained under Mongolian power for about three centuries . For China, the devastation of the Mongolian storm possibly had the far-reaching consequence that technical lines of development were interrupted, so that over time it fell behind the later western states, with corresponding effects on the distribution of power in the world until today. Firearms were actually used for the first time during the Song dynasty and were further developed.It is unclear whether they came to Europe directly with the Mongols or whether they were conveyed to the Europeans through contact with the Muslim Arabs, as well as how they were mediated . The Wu Jing Zong Yao names numerous weapons, including the so-called Pen Huo Qi , a flamethrower, high explosive grenades, fiery arrows, etc. The Mongols failed in their attempt to conquer Japan .

In the Arab region, the Mongolian triumph (→ Mongolian warfare ) - which threatened the Islamic empires elementarily - was ended by defensive successes of the Mamelukes - Turkish military slaves - who also destroyed the remains of the crusader states , later successes of the Mongols under Timur no longer threatened Islam the root, because the Mongols meanwhile professed it; the Ottoman Empire became the dominant factor in the Middle East as it was a factor in the West through the conquest of Arab lands and wars against Iran .

Modern Times to 1914 - From Confessional Wars to Modern State Wars

War - Illustration by Gustav Süs to Franz Wiedemann : Stories How They Love Children (Dresden 1860)

In the wake of the Reformation , the relatively stable unity of the Middle Ages , the Holy Roman Empire under the leadership of the Emperor and Pope , fell apart . The combination of denominational and power-political contradictions led to various conflicts and wars, such as the Huguenot Wars or the Eighty Years War , in which the Netherlands, which was militarily defeated by the Spanish tercios, made pioneering changes in the conduct of the war through the Orange Army Reform . These intra-European conflicts were accompanied by the intensifying European expansion after the discovery of America and the sea routes to Asia, which were made possible by significant further developments in shipbuilding and navigation. Culturally almost seamlessly transitioning from the Reconquista to the Conquista , the conquest of Mexico and Peru enabled the rise of Spain to temporary European supremacy through its profits - and in the long term numerous emigration and settlement movements began, first to European colonies, but then to new ones States like the later USA should lead.

A far-reaching consequence of the penetration of the Europeans on the American continent was the mass death of the native population caused by diseases introduced, whose ethnic composition was changed so fundamentally and permanently. This was usually unintentional. However, there are a few verified cases where epidemics have been deliberately spread, such as the distribution of smallpox-infected blankets. Overall, the double continent was not conquered primarily through the Indian wars , but rather through germs. because the Indian societies were only able to concentrate their defense to a limited extent. Overall, at least three quarters of all indigenous people in America succumbed to the diseases brought by the Europeans.

In the Thirty Years' War from 1618 to 1648, denominational, class and member state tensions within the Holy Roman Empire mixed with the power politics interests of neighboring countries, the war was fueled and nourished by the Habsburg-French conflict . The war was mainly fought by mercenary armies , which confirmed their devastating reputation. Led and positioned by eccentric (→ Christian von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel ) to sober-pragmatic (→ Albrecht Wallenstein ) aristocratic war entrepreneurs in the often changing service of princes, their independence and their always precarious financing were associated with terrible side effects for modern society. Supported by relatively independent regiments - those in the entourage followed sutler, soldiers' wives and families, as well as prostitutes - were at war rather rare battles with continuous raids, looting and massacres of civilians accompanied; In the course of the conflict, around a third of the Central European population died, either as a result of the immediate effects of the war or as a result of the consequences of war such as crop failures , hunger and epidemics .

These events tended to cause a change of mind. The Peace of Westphalia in 1648 brought the principle of non-interference in the affairs of foreign states into the discussion for the first time. The war devalued the claim to enforce religious standpoints by force of arms and tighter control of the fighting seemed advisable. The Peace of Westphalia introduced the separation of politics and religion in Europe; in the age of absolutism that followed, centralized states with standing armies became common. Sweden had already risen from a smaller state to a great power in the Baltic Sea region by reforming its military system under Gustav Adolf , its power politics moved the Electorate of Brandenburg to reorganize its army , which also began its rise, Peter the Great in turn copied European military reforms and thereby made Russia a great power . Division into fixed and clearly compulsory ranks, rigid discipline and training through drill and exercise increased both the effectiveness of the military and its control by the states - the mercenary was replaced by the soldier who was subject to permanent and harsh military jurisdiction. However, elements of the mercenary system were retained for a long time (purchase of officer positions , company economy ). With the Battle of the Kahlenberg the Turkish expansion was broken in 1683 and a turning point in the Turkish Wars was reached, from then on the Europeans were militarily superior.

The (only comparatively) peaceful period of the so-called Cabinet Wars favored the Enlightenment . From the idea of ​​general human rights the idea of ​​cherished war in a civilian context developed. Since Augustine of Hippo the church doctrine of just war had provided the criteria for legitimation, now enlightened lawyers like Hugo Grotius have taken on this . However, the war showed parallel to it features of its delimitation, in the Seven Years' War all European great powers were involved, their fighting was now no longer limited to Europe, but also took place at the theaters of colonial expansion in India and North America (and also in Africa), In a way, this war already had the features of a world war. In the so-called Levée en masse , the French Revolution , fighting for their survival, mobilized mass armies that fought out of ideological enthusiasm and helped establish France's extraordinary position of power in the coalition wars and the Napoleonic wars that followed them , tactically enabling the switch from linear tactics to column tactics . States like Prussia reacted with their own form of conscription, the so-called Krümpersystem as part of broader army reforms . The enormous increase in armies also resulted in a noticeable increase in the number of victims. In Spain, France failed because of a British intervention - but above all because of a popular uprising that turned into a mutually cruel guerrilla war in which the separation between combatants and civilians became blurred. In contrast to the cabinet wars, the peoples were materially and ideologically involved in the war, the Prussian king addressed his subjects explicitly , the poet Ernst Moritz Arndt wrote a chauvinistic pamphlet in 1813 with his treatise On popular hatred and the use of a foreign language , the called for open hatred not only against Napoleon, but against France as a whole - nationalism had been part of European identities since the French Revolution. After the devastation of these wars, peace was once again conceivable as a political goal and in Europe it was achieved in some areas: for example in the relatively stable epoch after the Congress of Vienna in 1815. Outside Europe, European states continued to wage colonial wars , in which their ever increasing technical superiority - but also their organizational ability to recruit local troops and use them for their domination purposes after the sepoy system, drilled in Europe. Institutionally, the war became more scientifical, Prussia founded its General Staff in 1808 , and the training of management personnel in military schools of all kinds was expanded.

In the stability-oriented restoration period , however, the population's desire for democracy and self-government increased, as several failed attempts at revolution prove. The problem with this was that the changes required were only possible at the expense of the established states and thus stability in Europe. With the emancipation of societies from the ideas of monarchical governments, nationalism also increased again, initially connected with the ideal of democracy, later alongside and independently of it. The Italian Wars of Unification provided a successful example of a successful national movement, this time without destroying the equilibrium in Europe.

With the Crimean War and the American Civil War outside of the European core area, the wars took on a modern appearance: trench warfare and now also industrially equipped mass armies ensured an increase in the number of victims and - in the Civil War - a greater participation of actually civil families, who reported through voluntary reports and conscription experienced war in the midst of society. Innovations such as the Minié bullet increased the danger on the battlefield through increased range and accuracy, so that soldiers, after their experience with classic rifle lines towards the end of the American Civil War, fought from cover if possible. In the American Civil War, the deficiencies in the care of the wounded became painful. During the war, the military doctor Jonathan Letterman built mobile field hospitals according to set standards and the US Ambulance Corps was a forerunner of today's medical services. The United States Sanitary Commission also ran hospitals in the hinterland, where women also served as nurses and in administration; relatively independently organized and partly in a prominent position (see Dorothea Lynde Dix ). Mary Edwards Walker was the first official military doctor in US history. On the old continent, the shock of the lack of care for the victims after the Battle of Solferino led to the private but soon broadly supported founding of the Red Cross by Henry Dunant and to the Geneva Convention of 1864, which was supported by twelve European countries .

In Europe, the German Wars of Unification ended with the establishment of the Second German Empire, in which innovations such as the low-smoke powder , the Prussian ignition needle and the French Chassepot rifle showed their effectiveness, newly developed breech- loading artillery such as the C / 64/67 proved devastating and with the mitrailleuse was a machine gun used. Well-trained and numerically far superior German conscription armies led by the Prussian army clearly prevailed over the equally well-trained French professional army.

The technical superiority of the Europeans and Americans towards the end of the 19th century stabilized their leading position in the world, colonialism and imperialism were an expression of their military and economic potential. However, over time, the technical achievements also came into the hands of the opponents (see diffusion ) . For example, the Ethiopian Emperor Menelik II had the Swiss Alfred Ilg built domestic arms factories and bought 100,000 modern Lebel rifles . In 1896 he inflicted the attacking Italians in the Battle of Adua with the "worst defeat ever suffered by a European power in a war of colonial conquest". Ethiopian artillery caused the Italians more losses in a single day than they had suffered in their entire war of unification. The rise of Japan was even clearer, the rapid modernization and industrialization of which after the opening of the American Commodore Perry's Black Ships in 1853 with the naval battle of Tsushima in 1905 led to the country's entry into the League of Great Powers only fifty years later. Japan and Ethiopia were the only countries that could permanently fend off colonial claims on their own.

The modern form of war required nation states with tax revenues and defense budgets and thus able to set up a standing army . The development led to ever larger armies with ever more powerful weapons and a trend towards correspondingly higher numbers of victims (which, however, as mentioned, were and are relatively lower than in prehistoric and premodern tribal wars.)

In the 19th century, the first attempts to limit and regulate armed conflicts can be found, which have established themselves as modern international law . The codified martial law and the international law of war were derived from this . His most significant achievements before 1914 were:

The reasons for the war were excluded from this codification of the course of the war, and the choice of means was also not yet regulated in a binding manner.

The age of world wars

Finnish war dead, 1944
The city ​​of
Ypres , destroyed in World War I , 1919

During the First World War , the use of machine guns , tanks , airplanes , submarines , battleships , poison gas and the total war economy led to a new face of war. Field and sea battles claimed millions of lives and millions of seriously injured people.

The previous European alliance, equilibrium and treaty policy with its dual strategy of armament and diplomacy failed not least because of the competition for colonies . That is why attempts were made after 1918 to institutionalize an international conflict settlement, primarily on the initiative of US President Woodrow Wilson . The founding of the League of Nations emphasized peace as a common goal of the states and gave international law an organizational basis.

The Briand-Kellogg Pact to outlaw war of aggression was a further step not only to limit the course of the war, but also to limit state sovereignty when deciding on war and to subject the war of defense to internationally accepted criteria.

In view of the new quality of war that the means of mass destruction represented , attempts were also made to outlaw and forbid certain weapons that were considered unnecessarily cruel. However, this did not succeed until 1939, although the legal basis for this was given in the Hague Land Warfare Regulations.

Buildings destroyed by German attacks in London during World War II

The rise of National Socialism put an end to these efforts. From 1933 to 1939 , Adolf Hitler systematically ignored Germany's obligations under international law and prepared for his war of conquest and annihilation . The appeasement policy of Great Britain failed in 1938 despite the cession of the Sudetenland and the German occupation of Bohemia and Moravia in 1939 by Great Britain, France, Italy and Germany. The way into the Second World War was clear.

Like the first, this began as a conventional war, but quickly and inexorably became total war . The state-controlled war economy, martial law, general conscription and propaganda battles on the home front included the peoples completely in the fighting. The mobilization of all national reserves for war purposes abolished the distinction between civilians involved and combatants. Warfare, especially in Eastern Europe, largely ignored international martial law.

This is what happened in the course of the war

  • In addition to the escalating bombing war, also on targets in densely populated areas, beginning with the bombing of the Polish city of Wieluń by the German air force on September 1, 1939. Later, the German civilian population was also deliberately attacked by the British and American sides to improve morale to break (so-called " moral bombing "),
  • on the connection between territorial conquest and the mass killings of civilians on the Eastern Front . After the German attack on Poland and Operation Barbarossa against the Soviet Union, the Polish elites (intellectuals, clergy, aristocracy and higher civil servants) were initially interned or murdered by German task forces and the Soviet NKVD in order to facilitate the colonization of Poland , which was planned on both sides . Examples of this are the Krakow special campaign as part of the intelligence campaign and the subsequent AB campaign to combat the resistance against the German occupation of Poland , and the Katyn massacre by the NKVD. With the beginning of the Russian campaign in 1941, the Einsatzgruppen were mainly used to murder Soviet Jews, Communists and senior civil servants. This was justified primarily with the "pacification" of the conquered areas, since the above-mentioned groups were particularly suspected of resisting the occupation. The indiscriminate murder of the Jewish population can be traced back to the anti-Semitism of the National Socialists and their determined will to annihilate from the outset. The Wehrmacht provided logistical support for the mass killings, played down as “fighting partisans or gangs”, as they hoped that it would reduce partisan activities in the hinterland. Based on the “ Commissar's Order ”, it handed over captured political commissars and Jewish or Communist prisoners of war to the Einsatzgruppen, who almost always murdered them. The Wehrmacht also set up its own "anti-gang units", most of which were recruited from non-German volunteers and led by German officers and were guilty of numerous war crimes in retaliation for partisan attacks,
  • on the massive and, in some cases, deliberately brought about demise of Soviet, Polish and German prisoners of war ,
  • on the “ scorched earth ” strategy , initially by the Red Army and later by the Wehrmacht
  • on mass rape and murder of German civilians by Red Army soldiers after the occupation of East Germany by the Red Army towards the end of the war,
  • and finally to the US atomic bombs on Hiroshima on August 6 and Nagasaki on August 9, 1945 .
Atomic bomb over Hiroshima

The Nuremberg Trials created the new criminal offense of " Crimes against Humanity ": this was the first attempt to convict people of war crimes under international law .

UN and Cold War (1945–1990)

The enormous increase in the capacity to exterminate and the independence of warfare intensified efforts after 1945 to avoid wars in general. In Europe, especially in Germany, the prevailing attitude among large parts of the civilian population was: Never again war!

Once again the United States in particular worked towards the establishment of a world organization for diplomatic conflict resolution and war prevention: the United Nations (UN). The experience of the impotence of international law in the world wars was reflected in their charter , especially in Chapter II, Paragraph 4:

"All members refrain in their international relations from any threat or use of force directed against the territorial integrity or the political independence of a state or otherwise incompatible with the goals of the United Nations."

For the first time, this forbade all war of aggression and all military blackmail. The charter affirms the principle of non-interference and the natural right to defend oneself in the event of enemy attack. It obliges all members to take joint peacekeeping or restorative measures and made them dependent on a mandate from the UN Security Council . This was also inspired by concerns about a new global conflict, which appeared on the horizon at the Potsdam Conference in July 1945 when the anti-Hitler coalition collapsed .

Efforts to outlaw certain branches of arms have also intensified since 1945. But while the ban on chemical and chemical weapons was widely accepted, the universal ban on nuclear weapons failed. Until 1949 the US had the atomic monopoly; By 1954, the Soviet Union had achieved a strategic “atomic flat”, which was based primarily on the availability of hydrogen bombs and remote control weapons. From now on, both world political opponents were capable of a nuclear second strike with incalculable consequences in the enemy country.

Since the near-collision of the superpowers in the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, the first steps towards joint arms control have also been taken. The CSCE was set up in 1973 and allowed the Europeans certain independent disarmament initiatives with the Soviet Union. Added to this was the peace movement , which had been growing since 1979 and which increased domestic political pressure for disarmament agreements, especially in Western Europe and the USA. With Gorbachev's offers in 1986 in Reykjavík a breakthrough was achieved for the complete withdrawal of all medium-range missiles from Europe, which resulted in a number of follow-up contracts.

Korean War (ca.1951)

Below the nuclear war threshold, however, so-called conventional wars took place between 1945 and 1990, mainly in countries of the so-called Third World . A number of these were proxy wars , e.g. B. the Korean War (1950 to 1953), the Vietnam War (1964–1975) and numerous conflicts in Africa and Latin America . There, the Cold War and the mutual delimitation of zones of influence by the superpowers often prevented regional conflict solutions and favored prolonged civil wars with guerrilla fighters financed from abroad.

Trends since 1991

The dissolution of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia led to new wars in the early 1990s. However, since 1992 the number of ongoing wars per year has decreased significantly. On the other hand, since the First Gulf War in the United States and the Falklands War in Great Britain, war is now partly seen again in Europe as a means of achieving legitimate goals such as the enforcement of human rights or the prevention of actual or suspected armaments, terrorist and attack plans.

In response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 , US President George W. Bush declared the war on terror . Germany also partially joined the subsequent military operations with the deployment of the Bundeswehr in Afghanistan and other missions abroad.

What is striking about the conflicts of the 21st century is that they only rarely take place between states. The typical war is an internal conflict; in 2013 there was no war across national borders. However, different institutes differentiate between internal conflicts and thus arrive at different assessments. Unfinished wars, so-called “frozen conflicts”, can mainly be found in the former sphere of influence of the Soviet Union.

The political scientist Herfried Münkler names several reasons for the lately increasing proliferation of armed conflicts. As a rule, nobody can be found who is in a position to put an end to a war beyond demands of the conflicting parties. Peace agreements of earlier times based on compromises would no longer come into play in civil war constellations; one can hardly get beyond an armistice. Often, however, civil war conflicts give rise to transnational entanglements, the complexity of which cannot be dealt with quickly with simple peace agreements. The closed war economies of the individual states have been replaced by open war economies, through which funds, weapons, aid supplies and fighters constantly poured into the war zone from outside. Among today's actors in the war there are many who “live from the war” and therefore have no interest in its ending. And the longer such a war lasts, the more difficult it becomes to return to a civilian life: “First of all, a whole generation has grown up that has got to know nothing but such a simmering war and that has learned nothing but this war to survive through violence, it has become almost impossible to end such a war by a peace treaty. ”In civil wars that are waged irregularly and with great cruelty, there are still people who in revenge and counter-revenge with their opponents Had the bill open.

In the age of digitalization and the Internet, new forms of warfare are emerging. Terms such as cyberwar, infowar, netwar or lawfare refer to emerging wars without a battlefield and armies. Unmanned drones are being prepared for military purposes and, with “targeted killing”, introduce a new form of war, the ethical problems of which lead to public controversy.

War and politics

The Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany stipulates in Article 26 (1):

“Actions that are suitable and are undertaken with the intention of disrupting the peaceful coexistence of peoples, in particular to prepare for the conduct of a war of aggression, are unconstitutional. They are to be made a criminal offense. "

Since the modern era , war has been closely linked to the politics of sovereign nation- states, which have a domestic monopoly on the use of force. The Prussian military theorist Clausewitz saw war as an "act of violence to force the opponent to do our will" . Because this violence emanates from a sovereign state, he defined it as a "continuation of politics by other means" :

“So we see that the war is not just a political act, but a real political instrument, a continuation of political intercourse, an implementation of the same by other means. What remains peculiar to the war relates only to the peculiar nature of its means. "

A political orientation that considers war to be natural, unavoidable, even promotes progress and in principle affirms armament efforts is called militarism .

The opposite attitude not only wants to avoid wars, but also in the long term to exclude, abolish and make superfluous as a means of resolving conflicts: pacifism (from Latin pacem facere : "create peace"). For him, war is “a scourge of humanity” ( UN Charter ).

The so-called “realpolitik” of the majority of all states moves between these poles, which never completely excludes military force as the ultima ratio - “last resort” - and uses it as inevitable from case to case. In today's societies, before, during and after a war, it is usually fiercely disputed whether and when this means was actually the last, i.e. the war was and is really unavoidable.


For this purpose, war-triggering acts are sometimes staged ( First World War , Second World War ) or economic conflicts are provoked (for example by means of customs duties , patent rights , import restrictions).

Since both assassinations and acts of terrorism can provide the moral justification for a war, the staging of a war is often more important than its subsequent implementation. This arises from the fact that warfare, in addition to logistical and humanitarian considerations, entails above all economic constraints.

Special government policy motives

In poorer countries, wars are often used for domestic purposes . The government of such a country expects the people to be so busy with immediate life functions such as food , clothing and housing due to the harsh climate created by the war that they no longer have time to devote themselves to topics such as government, politics or the economy . In this way a government can try to suppress criticism.

Affluent nations usually wage wars away from their own homeland. A drastic narrowing of the livelihood in these, more highly educated populations is usually not conveyable and would not be widely accepted. Nonetheless, “psychological militarization” is being carried over to the entire people at home, aimed at patriotism and toleration of the curtailment of basic rights, for example by way of the fight against terrorism.

In both cases it is a kind of escape forwards in connection with structural problems in their own country that already existed independently of the war or the threat of the government losing power. The war can be used as a justification for various restrictions (for example human rights or social security).

Since a population is mostly in relative acceptance with its government (supported by state-controlled media or through genuine acceptance of aggressive expansion intentions or through the tacit acceptance of the state leadership), the interaction between popular opinion on the one hand and the legitimacy of a government to wage war on the other, a particularly important instrument of militarization in the run-up to warfare .

state of emergency

These small wars include riots, insurrections, coups, civil wars , etc. They make up the overwhelming majority of all wars; the "regular" wars between states and regular troops are the exception. Some authors ( Agamben , Hardt and Negri ) are now questioning this view, thus declaring a state of emergency as the normal state:

  • Actions that were previously carried out in a war are now carried out as so-called "police measures"
  • The fight against terrorism is in tension with democracy, for example through the curtailment of civil liberties.

Politicians no longer see war as a last resort, but as a tool for control and discipline.

Use of resources

Because of the extreme burden that the war places on the parties involved, a positive public opinion of its own is of decisive importance for a warring institution or nation .

Military strategy

Military strategy is the plan to achieve the purpose of war. According to Clausewitz, the purpose of war is always peace in which one's own interests are permanently secured.

Military strategies change as weapons develop. Throughout history, dominant powers have often been thrown back as newer, more effective weapons were developed. But even without developing new weapons, better strategic planning can decide a war, among other things. U. also out of inferiority.

Military strategy is always about achieving success through skillful spatial and temporal arrangement of combat situations. The icing on the cake is when you win without a fight. War lists are therefore an essential element of war. Probably the most famous war ruse in history is that of the Trojan horse .

According to Edward Luttwak, military strategy can be spanned in two dimensions. One horizontal and one vertical. The horizontal plane corresponds to the temporary sequence of every strategic operation including Clausewitz's culmination point. The vertical dimension is divided into several levels. The lowest is the technical level, this includes the effectiveness as well as the costs of weapon systems, and thus also the level of training and performance of the individual soldiers.

Next up is the tactical level. It includes the lower military command so everything up to battalion or brigade level, as well as the morale of the troops and includes above all the use of the terrain.

Next comes the operational level. This contains the military strategy from division level and upwards. Here, larger military maneuvers are planned and carried out under different aspects than on the tactical level. Here, it is less the terrain that makes the difference than, for example, the resources available including the inclusion of economic capacity.

The battlefield strategy is the top level. Only the political goals and characteristics of the warring parties decide in it. In a theater of war , the strategy is implemented as part of campaigns through operations . Instructions and operational plans are drawn up for operations, which translate the overarching strategic goals into practical, military orders and actions.

The most famous strategic thinkers include Sun Zi ( The Art of War ) and Carl von Clausewitz ( On War ).

Ethical aspects

Vereshchagin : Apotheosis of War (1871)

The ethical evaluation of war as a violent interpersonal act is essentially subject to three temporal criteria. Since the Middle Ages that is right for War and since the early modern period, the law of war established as viewing domain, while the responsibility of an occupying power or a conflict resolution policy actor is seen as a post-war law since the end of the Cold War.

Political scientist AJ Coates identifies realism , militarism , pacifism and the theory of just war as the four essential ethical attitudes towards war.

These largely have the character of ideologies .


The Bosnian Serb police officer Goran Jelisić shoots his defenseless Muslim victim ( Brčko , Bosnian War , 1992)
Massacre of Iranian civilians by Iraqi troops in the First Gulf War .

In addition to the loss of infrastructure or jobs, every war is always associated with death and human suffering . These arise on the one hand as the willful or accepted consequences of the use of weapons against people, on the other hand for strategic reasons (for example when bridges are blown or through the poisoning of staple foods ); In some cases, however, the destruction of buildings or the general infrastructure of the enemy is intentionally brought about in order to demonstrate the destructive power of an army and to intimidate the enemy (e.g. "shock and awe" strategy in the Iraq war ).

War crimes were and are being committed in many wars (e.g. torture , attacks on the civilian population, etc.). The great power imbalance in war zones and the extensive freedom from criminal prosecution can, in connection with the ubiquity of death, break down natural inhibitions .

During wars, a large number of refugees can be expected, for whose care and supplies refugee camps are required. The survivors of a war often suffer serious psychological and physical injuries. There are also consequences for the next generation, the war children .

The organized use of weapons on a large scale almost always means the mass killing of people. Even the constant armament for war requires expenditures and devours funds that are lacking for other tasks. Even if a belligerent party does not seek deaths, they are always accepted as inevitable. Anyone who considers this effect therefore usually calls this form of violent conflict resolution “state-organized mass murder ” ( Bertha von Suttner , Karl Barth ). This expresses the fact that the phenomenon of war can hardly be viewed in a value-neutral manner, because it is always about the lives of many and the long-term prospects of all people.


Wars were of vital importance for the societies affected. As a result of the offensive warfare of the Roman Empire , Latin civilization spread across much of Europe, while the cultures of the conquered peoples either adapted or largely disappeared. The wars associated with the Great Migration brought about the end of the Western Roman Empire and the wars in the course of Islamization brought about the end of the Eastern Roman Empire. The effects of the collapse of the Western Roman Empire were so severe that it took centuries for the level of civilization in southern and central Europe to return to what it was during the imperial era of Rome.

Many Mesoamerican cultures of the Middle Ages used warfare to gain respect for their own gods as well as the capture of wars and slaves for sacrifice, so that the subjugated cultures were decimated in addition to paying tribute in terms of population. The permanent warfare effectively prevented social and cultural development, so that all Mesoamerican cultures were technologically inferior when the Europeans arrived in Central America and were in turn defeated by them.

Through the Revolutionary War was democratic idea spread in Europe by the peasant wars of Protestantism . By fascism in Germany nearly 50 million people were killed in Europe in World War II and entire countries devastated. Here it took years or even decades to cope with the consequences of this global war. As a direct result of the Second World War, the coal and steel union was created , the successor of which is today's European Union .

In addition to the political effects, a war always has a number of negative consequences: It can greatly decimate a country's population. The Second World War, for example, nearly wiped out entire cohorts and a large number of population groups. The many economic consequences are just as drastic . The social and psychological consequences of a war, for example through extreme upheavals in moral concepts , through the breaking of social ties , through late effects of abuse and rape , can continue to have an effect in later generations. Decades of suffering suffered by war invalids and the long-term consequential costs for them are also to be listed as serious effects of a war . Wars also always have a very negative impact on the environment, as regions themselves are destroyed by acts of war and resources for warfare are exploited.


Since one of the rational causes of war is the struggle for resources , wars become all the more improbable, the cheaper resources in one region become available for another region without having to be conquered in a military conflict at risk of death. Wars are therefore less interesting economically, the better the existing resources are used by way of agreements.

Alternatives to military resistance (“war”) when attacked are the concepts of “ civil resistance ”.

Since national economies (as well as regions, cities and families) primarily represent their own interests and withhold resources, this “ideal” of the world seems utopian.

Rejection of war

The peace symbol - sign of peace
Child soldier in Ivory Coast , Africa”, Gilbert G. Groud , 2007, mixed media ink and wax
US soldiers Charles Graner and Sabrina Harman with tied, naked prisoners who were forced to form a human pyramid
US soldier Charles Graner beats several shackled prisoners in Abu-Ghuraib .

The human longing for a peace that overcomes the “scourge of humanity” is ancient. Political peace work can therefore be based on broad and heterogeneous traditions. After lost wars, the population of the defeated states tends to reject war in general. For example, in Germany after 1918, formulas such as “ Never again war ” appeared (the poster by Käthe Kollwitz with this title is known). After victories, however, war is often glorified. There are numerous victory monuments , triumphal arches and other memories of great military successes.

In the Chinese cosmology of Taoteking and the philosophy of Laotse , avoiding war through a harmonious balance of interests played an important role.

In India , China and Japan, Jainism and Buddhism spread an ethic of non-violence, tolerance and love of peace that had existed since 500 BC. Took the form of a world religion.

In Greek philosophy of antiquity presented Socrates and the skeptics , the small matter in question claimed the truth possession and allegedly eternal rights against other be defended. The Stoics Zeno and Chrysippus turned against warfare and wondered whether wars were necessary or how to avoid them.

In all European state utopias from Plato to Thomas More , the reduction of violence through ideal legislation and human education played a role. An impressive anti-war pamphlet comes from Erasmus von Rotterdam : The Lament for Peace .

Judaism's image of God has made the widespread use of one's own religion to justify one's own wars more difficult. In the visions of the biblical prophecy of salvation , God appears as the coming world judge who instructs the peoples to final disarmament: “They will turn their swords into plowshares and their skewers into sickles. No nation will lift up the sword against the other, and they will no longer learn to wage war. Everyone will dwell under his vine and fig tree, and no one will frighten them. For the mouth of the Lord of hosts (of hosts) has spoken. "( Mi 4,2-4  EU )

Jesus Christ affirmed this directive on universal disarmament through the prophetic sign of renouncing violence ( Mk 11.7  EU / Sach 9.9  EU ) and the gift of self for reconciliation ( Mk 14.22-24  EU ) in the New Testament . That is why active engagement for worldwide peace ( Lk 2.14  EU ) is an integral part of their faith for both Christians and Jews. ( Rom 12.18  EU )

In modern times , the renunciation of force in the West has been decoupled from religions . Immanuel Kant , Jean-Jacques Rousseau and other enlighteners strove for "eternal peace" and drafted constitutional and democratic concepts to bring it about. Ludwig van Beethoven set a musical monument to this dream at the end of the 9th Symphony with his setting of Schiller's poem An die Freude (“All people become brothers”). Arthur Schopenhauer says: But the origin of all war is thieving!

In the age of the European national wars, international law, after the devastating experiences of the First World War, the idea of ​​a League of Nations to prevent war gained acceptance. The Briand-Kellogg Pact was the outlawing of war as a means of politics. The UN has banned war of aggression, made world peace the goal of all politics and, for the first time, enabled effective forms of conflict avoidance and conflict resolution.

These tendencies were necessary and strengthened by the enormous increase in the possibilities of annihilation in war. However, the UN was unable to eliminate the causes of war such as economic and political conflicts of interest and could not prevent many wars. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction has not yet been effectively stopped. The disarmament process initiated at the end of the Cold War has come to a standstill since the “new wars” and has been replaced by new armament trends. International terrorism and anti-terror warfare are causing the propensity to use violence to continue to grow worldwide.

In the age of the means of mass destruction there is no longer an alternative to peace. At least since the invention of the atomic bomb, it has become “the condition for survival of the technical age” (Heidelberg theses of the EKD 1959 ).

Appreciation of war

War is often heroized. Kant, for example, writes:

“Even war, if it is waged with order and the sanctification of civil rights, has something sublime about it and at the same time makes the way of thinking of the people who lead it in this way, only the more lofty the more dangers it was exposed to and itself courageously under it could assert: since, on the other hand, a long peace makes the mere commercial spirit, but with it low self-interest, cowardice and softness prevailing and humiliates the way of thinking of the people. "

- Critique of Judgment, § 28. Of nature as a power.

War fetishism is an excessive enthusiasm for war. The war is mostly idealized. War fetishism was found, for example, in the First World War and later in National Socialism. The war was stylized there as honorable, masculine, and admirable.

The Islam sees peace only after the conquest of the entire Dār al-Harbs (field of non-Muslims) in front. According to this, the entire earth should live under the Sharia in a "pax islamica". World conquest takes place by means of armed jihad with the aim of a " paradise under the sword of Islam".

The instrumentalization of religious ideals for political interests reached a climax with the crusades of the Middle Ages , which wanted to “liberate” the holy places and establish Christian states. The crusade ideology of the eternal struggle of “good” against “evil” still plays an important role today - not only in Islamism or among US neoconservatives .

Classification, control and martial law

The image of Satar Jabar tortured with electric shock became a symbol of the Abu Ghuraib torture scandal . Live wires were attached to both hands and penis. He was threatened with electric shock if he fell from the box. When the photo went public, the US authorities denied that the cables were live.

Time and again in history attempts have been made to subject warfare to certain rules or moral guidelines, i.e. to find a kind of code of conduct (see for example the Hague Land Warfare Regulations ). The aggression that broke out during the war is subjected to “higher values” - and ultimately relativized in the eyes of many critics.

In the European literature, a distinction is often made between "ordered" and unordered war. On the other hand, there are those who - in principle with the same basic considerations - regard economic prosperity as the best way to prevent war. Here one tends to portray the perversions of unrestrained war as the normal state of war. This leads to reflections on how war can be avoided and how one can try to achieve eternal peace. The war is seen as absolute evil, as the work of morally depraved rulers who plunge their country into a war for lowly motives .

There are also views that the character of war has changed and consequently a "cherished war" is no longer possible today. That the forms of war are changing is a statement as old as human history . At all times, new forms of war were regarded as unlawful, often as violations of a divine order. Today, in Western culture, certain forms of war are portrayed as permissible (such as bombs being dropped on cities that are intended to hit the military but also endanger civilians), while other forms of war (such as suicide bombings that do not hit military facilities) are interpreted as inadmissible. In the Islamic world, on the other hand, many people consider suicide bombings to be legitimate, as became evident after the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001 .

War is not just a means of state- organized and controlled politics . In addition to the states that had an army as the warring side , "non-regular" groups apparently played a significant role in war at all times: Cossacks , hunters , hussars , ronins , partisans , and more recently the guerrillas , irregulars , militias and the Taliban . What is not regular is discussed politically. On closer inspection, however, one notices that the theory of the irregular fighter (partisan) is a further development of Clausewitz's theory, as it was carried out by the Clausewitz experts Lenin and Carl Schmitt .

Thus the attempt to differentiate between a conflict and a formally declared war and to restrict the term “war” to those conflicts that are accompanied by a formal declaration of war fails.

Financial aspect

A war causes high costs in planning, preparation and implementation (see war economics ). The financial aspect thus plays an important role in the manner of warfare. The more resources a party has at its disposal for warfare, the more opportunities it has to defeat its opponent.

The armaments industry develops and produces weapons. It receives the orders mainly on behalf of a government or community of states. The arms industry is a branch of the economy that became an independent industry in Europe and the USA around 1850. The arms industry is linked to the capital market in peacetime.

The largest arms suppliers in the world are the United States of America, followed by Russia, Germany, France and Great Britain. All of these countries have highly developed arms factories and are in mutual competition for the latest and most effective weapon systems.

Geographical features of the war

Geographical aspects play a crucial role in warfare. Geopolitics and geostrategy are primarily concerned with the exploration of geographical circumstances in political decision-making and in warfare .

Warfare has opened up to increasing geographic dimensions in the course of human history. Traditionally, it took place mainly on land and on water . In the twentieth century, aerial warfare matured and the militarization of space and the Internet , the military use of which had been an incentive to use them from the start, advanced.

The ground war is all geographically defined dimensions of warfare which, because of the significant human can permanently survive solely on land. In addition, politically constituted communities can only be found on land. A military solution to a conflict of interest can therefore only take place on land. The main difference between the war on land and other military geographies is that, despite the recent mechanization, it remains labor-intensive.

The naval war is characterized by the physical properties of the world's water resources and their human use. Between 70% and 75% of the earth's surface consists of water masses which, with a few exceptions, are connected to one another. Naval warfare is primarily platform-centered and strategically subordinate to war on land, since humans are not naturally capable of naval warfare due to the lack of relevant water suitability. The vastness and uninhabitability of the world's oceans mean that reconnaissance and evasive maneuvers are much more important than on land.

The air war is also subjected to the life hostility to its surroundings by altitude, temperature and lack of oxygen and thus platform centered. Although air warfare equipment had already been used before, technical innovations made a systematic development of the air possible only in the 20th century. The decisive characteristic of air, its impermanence, subordinates air war to war on land. Although systematic aerial warfare has decisively changed the shape of war and created air forces , this is not a sufficient condition for military advancement.

War as a game

War games depict the “ armed conflicts between larger groups of people ” defined as wars in symbolic actions . The game takes place according to previously agreed rules that must be strictly adhered to. This includes, for example, that nobody may be intentionally harmed in the game. It is a so-called "act as if" that imitates experienced or imagined realities.

General criticism of war games usually arises from a personal dismay at the horror of wars and a hasty equation of the completely different levels of thought and action “war” and “war game”. As a rule, she overlooks the diversity of this type of game, from an abstract symbolic action such as a finger movement with the accompanying cry “Bang, you're dead, fall down!”, To historical Indian or knight games , to board games such as chess or movement games such as the game of dodgeball extends to computer games with galactic fantasy figures. In a broader sense, the big sports games, such as the football game , in which everyone easily speaks of "shooting" and "bombing", of "attacking" and "defense", are symbolic games with a warlike background. Unreflected criticism overlooks the fact that the game ends where the game becomes serious. She confuses the symbolic level of action of the game with the reality of the brutal actual war or assumes unproven and statistically completely absurd transfers between the two different lifeworlds. Similar to other imitation games such as the doctor or school games , the war game according to Siegbert A. Warwitz follows the observed or fantasized reality, not the other way around. From a pedagogical point of view, he even assigns him a possible valuable perspective where it is possible to process fears in the game or to give positive impulses to the game behavior and the outcome of the game in a creative way. He illustrates this with the didactically reworked version of the dodgeball game, historically actually a genocide game, in which the people of the other "people" who are symbolically exterminated by the "weapon ball" can "revive" themselves through their own contribution according to appropriately changed rules. . Gisela Wegener-Spöhring states that the war games with the chance to derive aggression without damage can also have an important psychological function. With creative transformations of the game ideas, parents and educators according to Warwitz such as Wegener-Spöring do better justice to the war game and the mentality of children - which is not forbidden in any case and which is spread all over the world - than with ill-considered prohibitions.

Wars in the animal kingdom

War-like behavior can also be observed in the animal kingdom . Rival states (especially ant states ) wage wars for areas and food. Some species of ants , wasps , bees and hornets attack other states in order to rob them of their raw materials and food. Here it is carefully considered whether the attack is also worthwhile - i.e. the loss of one's own individuals due to the expected gain in resources is in a favorable ratio. Also ants attack when a part of the colony no longer genetically so homogeneous , like the rest (by genetic drift or dwindling relationship between the queens ).

In contrast to humans, this form of violence is not intraspecific, i.e. not directed against members of the same species. In fact, a tendency to intraspecific violence would be a selective disadvantage compared to other species, whereas in humans, even genetic proximity does not reduce the intensity of the conflict.

Armed conflicts between hostile groups have also been observed repeatedly among chimpanzees. In some cases, groups of chimpanzees tried to expand their territory at the expense of their neighbors. Even Jane Goodall reported in the 1970s about such observations. (See also → Gombe Chimpanzee War ). In other cases, chimpanzees presumably felt threatened by loggers and fled to the territory of a neighboring group who were violently defending their territory against the refugees.

See also



  • Thomas Jäger, Rasmus Beckmann (ed.): Handbook of war theories . 1st edition. VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden 2011, ISBN 978-3-531-17933-9 .
  • Jens Hildebrandt, David Wachter (ed.): War. Reflections from Thucydides to Enzensberger . 1st edition. Röhrig Universitätsverlag, St. Ingbert 2014, ISBN 978-3-86110-554-1 .

Anthropological research

  • Azar Gat: Was in Human Civilization. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2008, ISBN 978-0-19-923663-3 .
  • Bernd Hüppauf : What is war? For the foundation of a cultural history of the war. transcript, Bielefeld 2013, ISBN 978-3-8376-2180-8 .
  • Lawrence Keeley: War before Civilization: The Myth of the Peaceful Savage. Oxford University Press, Oxford 1996, ISBN 0-19-511912-6 .
  • Siegbert A. Warwitz , Anita Rudolf: War and peace games. In: The sense of playing. Reflections and ideas for games , 3rd edition, Schneider-Verlag, Hohengehren 2014, ISBN 978-3-8340-1291-3 , pp. 126–151.
  • Gisela Wegener-Spöhring: Aggression in children's play. Laying the groundwork in the theories of play and exploring their manifestations . Weinheim 1995. ISBN 978-3-89271-557-3 .

Military history

Strategy theory

War and media

  • Gerhard Paul : Images of War - War of Images: The Visualization of Modern War . Verlag Ferdinand Schöningh / Wilhelm Fink Verlag, Munich / Paderborn 2004. ISBN 978-3-506-71739-9 .
  • David D. Perlmutter: Visions of War: Picturing Warfare from the Stone Age to the Cyber ​​Age . St. Martin's Press, New York 1999.
  • Georg Seeßlen , Markus Metz: War of Images - Images of War: Treatise on the catastrophe and the media reality . Klaus Bittermann Publishing House, Berlin 2002.
  • Paul Virilio : War and Television . Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 1997. ISBN 978-3-596-13778-7 .
  • John Taylor: Body Horror: Photojournalism, Catastrophe and War . New York University Press, New York 1998.
  • Robert Capa : Slightly Out of Focus . The Modern Library, New York 1999.
  • Thomas Knieper, Marion G. Müller (ed.): War Visions: Image communication and war . Herbert von Halem, Cologne 2005.
  • Harold Evans: War Stories: Reporting in the Time of Conflict . The Freedom Forum Newseum, Arlington 2001.
  • Natascha Zowislo-Grünewald, Jürgen Schulz, Detlef Buch (eds.): Declare war. Security policy as a problem of communication . Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main [a. a.] 2011, ISBN 978-3-631-61311-5 .

War in moral and theological reflection

Web links

Commons : War  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: War  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikiquote: War  Quotes
Wikisource: War  - Sources and Full Texts

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Definition in the lexicon of the Federal Agency for Civic Education .
  2. Definition by the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Hamburg ( Memento from January 27, 2006 in the Internet Archive )
  3. ^ Peter Rudolf : Krieg, in: Lexikon der Politikwissenschaft , Bd. 1 A – M, 4th edition, CH Beck, Munich 2010, p. 526.
  4. John Baylis et al. a .: The Globalization of World Politics - An Introduction to International Relations. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2008, p. 212.
  5. B. Jongman & JMG van der Dennen, 'The Great "War Figures" Hoax: an investigation in polemomythology' ( Memento from April 15, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  6. Gerhard Wahrig: German Dictionary , Bertelsmann Lexicon, Gütersloh 1970, Sp. 2167.
  7. ^ Kraft in: Kluge, Etymological Dictionary of the German Language. Edited by Elmar Seebold. 24th, revised and expanded edition, Berlin / New York 2002.
  8. ^ War and get in: Kluge, Etymological Dictionary of the German Language. Edited by Elmar Seebold. 24th, revised and expanded edition, Berlin / New York 2002.
  9. Bernd Hüppauf: What is war? For the foundation of a cultural history of the war. transcript, Bielefeld 2013, pp. 162 ff.
  10. Gerhard Wahrig: German Dictionary , Bertelsmann Lexicon, Gütersloh 1970, Sp. 2167/2168.
  11. Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research ( Memento from April 2, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  12. Hamburg Working Group on Research into the Causes of War (AKUF) ( Memento from January 27, 2006 in the Internet Archive )
  13. ^ Affirmative: Münkler, Herfried: The new wars, 2nd edition, Hamburg 2005; Rejecting: Jochen Hippler: "The Decisive Battle is for the People's Minds" - The Change of War: Consequences for Peace, Security and Development Policy in: Jochen Hippler, Christiane Fröhlich, Margret Johannsen, Bruno Schoch, Andreas Heinemann-Grüder ( Ed.); Peace report 2009, Institute for Development and Peace (INEF), Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH), Hessian Foundation for Peace and Conflict Research (PRIF), Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC), etc. a., Münster 2009, pp. 32–47.
  14. ^ Richard M. Auty: Sustaining Development in Mineral Economies: The Resource Curse Thesis. Routledge, London 1993.
  15. Rudolph Joseph Rummel, Democide in Totalitarian States: Mortacracies and Megamurderers. Originally in: Israel W. Charny (Ed.), The Widening Circle of Genocide ( Genocide: a Critical Bibliographic Review , Vol. 3), Transaction Publishers, 1994, pp. 3-23.
  16. Erich Weede: Peace through Capitalism. A supplement and alternative to democratic peace in: Internationale Politik , Nr.7, 2005, accessed May 2, 2020
  17. ^ Herfried Münkler, The New Wars, Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag; Edition: 4 (February 2, 2004)
  18. ^ Herfried Münkler, The New Wars, Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag; Edition: 4 (February 2, 2004) pp. 164, 225.
  19. ^ Herfried Münkler, The New Wars, Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag; Edition: 4 (February 2, 2004)
  20. ^ Herfried Münkler, The New Wars, Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag; Edition: 4 (February 2, 2004), p. 218 ff.
  21. ^ Gerhard Neuweiler: Wars in the animal kingdom. In: Forms of War. From antiquity to the present. Edited by Dietrich Beyrau u. a., Paderborn 2007, pp. 503-520.
  22. overall on this topic: Dale Peterson, Richard Wrangham, Brother Affe: Apes and the origins of human violence, Hugendubel, Munich 2001.
  23. Steven A. LeBlanc: Constant Battles. Why we fight. St. Martin's Press, 1st edition 2013 (eBook), Chapter 4 (“Our earliest Past”), pp. 81–102, here p. 96.
  24. ^ Overall Steven A. LeBlanc: Constant Battles. Why we fight. 1st edition 2013 (eBook), chap. 4, p. 91 ff.
  25. Yuval Noah Harari : A Brief History of Humanity . DVA, Munich 2013, p. 23.
  26. The Yanomani. In: John Keegan : The Culture of War. Rowohlt, Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-87134-226-2 , pp. 149–155 and Die Maring. ibid, pp. 156-163.
  27. ^ Siegbert A. Warwitz, A. Rudolf: Völkerball. In: Dies .: The sense of playing. Reflections and game ideas . 3rd edition, Schneider, Baltmannsweiler 2014, p. 142 f.
  28. ^ Overall Lawrence H. Keeley: War Before Civilization: the Myth of the Peaceful Savage. Oxford University Press, Oxford 1996; Steven A. LeBlanc: Constant Battles. Why we fight. Griffin 2004.
  29. Bernd Hüppauf: What is war? For the foundation of a cultural history of the war. transcript, Bielefeld 2013.
  30. Overall: Lawrence H. Keely: War before Civilization. Oxford University Press, 1997.
  31. John Keegan: The Culture of War. Anaconda-Verlag, Cologne 2012, pp. 149–197.
  32. ^ Lawrence H. Keely: War before Civilization. Oxford University Press, 1996, p. 89 ff.
  33. Steven Pinker : Violence: A new history of mankind . Federal Agency for Civic Education, Bonn 2011, ISBN 978-3-8389-0225-8 , p. 97 f .
  34. ^ Robert L. Kelly, From the Peaceful to the Warlike. Ethnographic and Archaeological Insights into Hunter-Gatherer Warfare and Homicide, in: Douglas P. Fry, War, Peace, and Human Nature: The Convergence of Evolutionary and Cultural Views, New York: Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 154.
  35. ^ Overall Steven A. LeBlanc: Constant Battles. Why we fight. St. Martin's Press, 1st ed. 2013 (eBook), especially chap. 5, pp. 102–127 (“Warfare among Foragers”) and Chap. 6, pp. 127-153 ("Conflict and Growth Among Tribal Farmers").
  36. John Keegan: The Culture of War. Anaconda-Verlag, Cologne 2012, p. 193 f .; however, an alternative interpretation sees the wall merely as a flood protection: Ofer Bar-Yosef: The Walls of Jericho, in: An Alternative Interpretation. Current Anthropology 27, No. 2, 1986, pp. 157-162.
  37. Ralph D. Sawyer, Ancient Chinese Warfare, Basic Books, New York 2011, pp. 19 ff.
  38. ^ A b Frank Falkenstein: Violence and War in the Bronze Age of Central Europe. In: Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation (Hrsg.): Report of the Bayerische Bodendenkmalpflege. No. 47/48. Self-published by the Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation, 2006/2007, p. 50 f
  39. John Keegan: The Culture of War. Anaconda-Verlag, Cologne 2012, ISBN 3866478356 , p. 212
  40. Friedrich Hölderlin : On the humanity of Homer with regard to the war and the belligerents of his Iliad. In: Paul Stapf (ed.): Friedrich Hölderlin, Complete Works. Berlin / Darmstadt 1956, pp. 1078-1083.
  41. Iliad 18:10.
  42. Πόλεμος πάντων μὲν πατήρ ἐστί, πάντων δὲ βασιλεύς, καὶ τοὺς μὲν θεοὺς ἔδειξε τοὺς ὲὺδειξε τοὺς δὺ ἀνεοης τοης σδοἀς, τἐδυς, τοηοης δέὲ ἀνθρυς, ροηοης σδυς, ρλδυς, τδυὲς, τδυὲς, τδυὲς, τδυὲς, τδυτὺς, τδυτές, τδυτές, τδντὺς, σδυὲς, τδυτὺς.
  43. (affirmative tendency) John Keegan, Die Kultur des Krieges, Anaconda-Verlag, Cologne 2012, p. 353 ff., With reference to (also affirmative) Victor Hanson, The Western Way of War, New York 1989; rejecting Harry Sidebottom, The War in the Ancient World, Philipp-Reclam-Verlag, Stuttgart 2008, pp. 177 ff., 8 ff.
  44. John WI Lee: Xenophon's Anabasis and the Origins of Military Autobiography . in: Alex Vernon, Arms and the self: war, the military, and autobiographical writing. Ed .: Alex Vernon. Kent State University Press, Kent, Ohio; London 2005, ISBN 978-0-87338-812-2 , pp. 45 ( ucsb.edu [PDF]).
  45. John Keegan: The Culture of War. Anaconda-Verlag, Cologne 2012, ISBN 3866478356 , p. 388
  46. so the assessment of John Keegan , who sees a continuity between the Teutonic Order and the "Frederician officer corps", John Keegan: Die Kultur des Krieges. Anaconda-Verlag, Cologne 2012, p. 426
  47. Christopher Allmand, The Hundred Years War: England and France at War c.1300-c.1450 (Cambridge Medieval Textbooks), Cambridge University Press: 1989, pp. 102 ff.
  48. ^ Seminar for Indology and Tibetology at the University of Göttingen: India and the Achaemenid Empire
  49. Roy, Kaushik, 1971-: Warfare in pre-British India - 1500BCE to 1740CE . Abingdon, Oxon [UK], ISBN 978-1-317-58691-3 , pp. 25 .
  50. ^ Roy, Kaushik,: Warfare in Pre-British India - 1500 BCE to 1740 CE . Abingdon, Oxon [UK] and Routledge, New York 2015, ISBN 978-1-317-58691-3 , pp. 46 ff .
  51. ^ Roy, Kaushik,: Warfare in Pre-British India - 1500 BCE to 1740 CE . Abingdon, Oxon [UK] and Routledge, New York 2015, ISBN 978-1-317-58691-3 , pp. 46 ff .
  52. introducing the Qin Army: Mark Edward Lewis, The Early Chinese Empires: Qin and Han (History of Imperial China), Harvard University Press, 2007, p. 30 ff.
  53. according to the presumption of Ian Morris , Who ruled the world, Campus-Verlag 2011, p. 374 ff.
  54. Heidelis Bode-Paffenholz: Indian women of North America. Volume of the series Forum Frauengeschichte , Centaurus Verlag & Media, Freiburg im Breisgau 1997, ISBN 978-3-8255-0038-2 . Pp. 55-56.
  55. Ben Kiernan: Earth and Blood. Genocide and Annihilation from Antiquity to the Present. DVA, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-421-05876-8 , pp. 322-323.
  56. ^ Alfred W. Crosby, The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492, Prager Publishers, Westport Connecticut: 2003, here: Chapter Conquistador y Pestilencia, p. 35 ff .; Jared Diamond, rich and poor. The fates of human communities, Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt a. M: 2006, here: Chapter 17: Collision of the Hemispheres. The history of Eurasia and America in comparison, p. 442 ff.
  57. Charles C. Mann, 1493.Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, Vintage Books New York, 2011, p. 14
  58. John Keegan, The American Civil War: A Military History, New York 2010, pp. 53, 328.
  59. ^ Osterhammel, Jürgen .: The transformation of the world: a history of the 19th century . Special edition edition. CH Beck, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-406-61481-1 , p. 696 .
  60. s. Lawrence H. Keely, War before Civilization, Oxford University Press 1996, pp. 89 ff.
  61. ^ Department of Social Sciences: Institute for Political Science: Work and research centers: Working group for research into the causes of war. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on September 11, 2014 ; accessed on February 28, 2015 .
  62. Conflict Barometer 2013: Middle East is becoming a permanent theater of war. In: Spiegel Online . February 25, 2014, accessed February 28, 2015 .
  63. The Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research counted 20 wars in 2013 and thus reached the highest value since 1945 (on par with 2011): HIIK: Conflict Barometer2013 ( memento from July 20, 2014 in the Internet Archive ), while the Hamburg Working Group on Research on the Causes of War ( AKUF) also counted 30 wars and armed conflicts for 2013, which corresponds to at least a short-term decline: AKUF: Number of armed conflicts again slightly decreased. ( Memento of March 4, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Press release December 19, 2013.
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  68. ^ AJ Coates: The Ethics of War. Manchester University Press, Manchester 1997, ISBN 0-7190-4046-9 .
  69. ^ A b International Institute for Strategic Studies: The Military Balance 2004-5 . 5, 2004.
  70. ^ Colin Gray: Modern Strategy. Oxford University Press, Oxford 1999, pp. 212-217.
  71. ^ Ian Speller: Naval warfare. In: David Jordan u. a .: Understanding Modern Warfare. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2008, pp. 124-177.
  72. ^ David Jordan: Air and space warfare. In: David Jordan u. a .: Understanding Modern Warfare. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2008, pp. 178-223.
  73. Gerhard Wahrig, Walter Ludewig: German Dictionary. 1st edition, Mosaik Verlag, Gütersloh 1970, Sp. 2167.
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