What were the wars?

What were the conditions that lead up to each war?

What were the probable causes for that war?

What could have been done to prevent that war?

How could the war have been limited to a smaller scale?

CAUSES: There are many theories about what causes wars. We are going to examine them all. Some wars may be caused by specific things. All wars may have inherent common factors.

1. Malajusted or mentally ill leader(s). Hitler, Stalin, Saddam Hussein are examples. Their ferocity and barbarity make us think that they were maniacs and their people should never have allowed them to get the power because it was used against their own people as well as others. We have to consider what is the psychic need of the leader or those in power?

When a country is ruled by a dictator who is abusing his citizens, is it necessary for rational countries in the community of nations to come to the aid and protection of those unarmed innocent civilians?

This would make us well aware of our need to insure competent sane mentally healthy leaders in our system; it would encourage America to work for the selection of comparably rational leaders for all other countries, too.

2. False stereotypes of the prospective enemy. Labels and prejudicial descriptions which dehumanize the opponent and portray him as evil and the devil/Satan incarnate are precursors to war.

3. When public opinion is manipulated or guided or shaped to demonize another country, it can be part of forces leading to war or making a war more acceptable to the country’s population. I remember as a child in 1951 seeing a propaganda drawing of Communist soldiers in Korea cutting off the hands of a child. The public’s opinion about North Korea was attempted to be shaped. In World War I descriptions of the raping pillaging ruthless Hun were common place.

4. A society or country in which its people feel frustration, insecurity, and fear is more prone to be lead to war.

5. “The perfect storm” syndrome. When many forces and factors are all shaping up to lead to war, it is much more likely that a war will occur.

It is as if we need to have a multi-factor measuring device to record how these forces and factors are doing. Are the all pointing toward war? Are they all intensely pointing to war? There could be a score for each country. If the index number is too high, then America needs to do what it mush to lower the forces that are agitating or contributing toward war.

6. A country may proclaim that it needs more territory.

7. A country may proclaim that it is being overcrowded.

8. A country may proclaim that it needs more space/land/room for developing food or to rear a larger population.

9. A country may take action because because there is a rivalry for certain possessions. eg. Falkland Islands between Argentina and Great Britain.

10. A country may experience the intrusion of foreigners, refugees, or soldiers into their territory

11. A country may declare that its legitimate claims, needs, rights are being frustrated by another country.

12. A country act to secure domination of another.

13. A country act to ward off the domination by another country.

14. A country may take violent acts of reprisal against another

15. A country may attempt to further unification of people and lands that have some basis of commonality with it

16. A country may start an unusually heavy emphasis upon promoting “nationalism.”

17. A country may develop a new effort to emphasize patriotism.

18. Reprisals and rounds of reprisals with increasing quantity and levels of violence contribute to the start of a war.

19. Assassinations are viewed as preliminaries to war. Can they be used to prevent a war?

20. Hostage taking may put greater pressure on a situation to be resolved by war, or it can be a means of prevent an attack from taking place. Hostage taking is usually considered a breach of the laws of war. Trading hostages between countries threatening war might be a way of forestalling the outbreak of war until diplomatic or other means are tried.

21. Religious factors may enter into a decision to go to war. In the past, this casue was more common, eg. The Crusades. Is this factor coming up again in the form of “fahidas? Muslim Holy wars”

22. Special interest groups are accused of promoting wars that would benefit them. That could be the military -industrial complex that Eisenhower warned the US about after world War II.


1. War is a political act. Therefore pressures/influence to counter the start of war will ultimately have to be pressed against political entities in the potentially aggressor nation.

2. Enforce the laws of war.
Judicial punishment of war crimes needs to be threatened and promised and followed through on. If an aggressor is considering committing war crimes, but he knows that he ultimately will be punished, he would probably not commit the dastardly deeds. Desperate men will do desperate things. Someone with no acceptable alternative besides the power he presently possesses may not be dissuaded by ultimately being punnished for his war crimes. Certainly Hitler was not.
For instance Syria’s preparation to use chemical and or biological weapons against civilian combatants must act as a trip wire to bring the united nations and allied nations into agreement on how to stop Syria from doing that or take military actions to punish Syria for doing that. (December 6, 2012)

3. A very negative world opinion against the potential or actual unjustified aggressor needs to be created.


1. In self defense
When an attack is imminent.
To prevent an attack
Reduce the severity of its effect.

2. When it is part of a United Nations sanctioned counter-aggression

3. When it is part of a “Peace-Keeping” mission.

4. Some ideologies affirm that a war is justified if it occurs to promote or defend that ideology
The U.S.S.R attacked Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968 with that justification.
Some Muslim adherents would affirm that attacking foreign countries that are inimical to the Muslim faith is valid.
Is a nation permitted to attack other nations for the sake of establishing their own ideology in the attacked state? Was Irag attacked by the U.S. and allies in 2002 for self-defense or to spread democracy and replace a dictator?

5. Aiding wars of national liberation may be acceptable or acts of war. Communist countries and the U.S. and its allies struggle over the same 2nd tier or developing countries and try to influence the course of their political systems’s develoment


External wars have three stages.
Inception, conduct, and termination.

We are interested in being able to apply effective pressure at each of those stages to minimized death and destruction and lost opportunities.

Internal (Civil) wars
It seems as if this is more a question of justice, liberty, and the creation of a society and government that can equitably satisfy the needs of human beings.

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