There never had been perpetual peace except during the 19th century. If that is the case can we say it definitely that war will not occur in future? For that one has to look in the past as to the causes of wars that had occurred with devastating effect.
Wars basically occurred due to:
1. Expansion and Domination factor.
2. Ideological Clash between states.
3. Economic Factor.
4. Ethnic & tribal clash vis-ï¿½-vis Nationalism.
5. Unresolved disputes – a legacy of colonial power.
Briefly the above can be summarised as follows:
Expansion and Domination factor: The Second World War and other major wars prior to it were basically fought for expansion, domination and imperialism. For example:
* American war of independence against British Colonialist
* The First and Second WW- German ambition for world domination in general and conquer of Europe in particular.
* Islamic expansion and the crusade
* Iran-Iraq war where Khomeni regime want to export its ideology throughout the Middle East.
* Recently in the 20th Century with the onslaught of cold war, the Korean war, Vietnam war were basically fought for the fear of capitalist domination on communist and vice versa.
Economic Factor: Among the major cause of war is the economic factor.
* One of Hitler’s reasons was he wanted to have land for expanding population and cheap and economical raw material and labor.
* Anglo-French invasion of Egypt was for the control of Suez Canal so as to have the control of sea lane.
* Anglo-US invasion of Iraq of 2003 though in disguise for WMD but was for the control of oil wealth.
Ethnic and Tribal Clash: These wars are fought due to nationalistic approach of one nation against the other. The Serbian nationalism and its ambition to dominate against other nationalities in Yugoslavia, which resulted in the ethnic cleansing by Serbs would perhaps account as the most prominent example in this aspect.
Unresolved disputes: Some of the states which were given independence from the colonialism had to face this problem. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw recently admitted that Britain is partially responsible for unresolved disputes between states which were given independence. Among these the prominent conflicts are:
* Israel-Palestine Conflict.
* India-Pakistan dispute over Kashmir.
* Cyprus dispute.
Since the end of cold war it was generally thought that there will be permanent peace but this was not the case to be. War and conflicts continued since then beginning from Iraq invasion of Kuwait to civil was in Algeria to ethnic conflict and ethnic cleansing in former Yugoslavia to tribal conflict in Rwanda. For one reason or the other war has continued. Except for US led intervention to evict Iraq from Kuwait the world community were silent spectator to stop the blood shed.
To make the matter worse the terrorist attack on WTC in 2001 and the American retaliation against Afghanistan highlighted the precarious situation the world is in. Furthermore the American administration labelling of certain states as axis of evil or threatening the world to side with America like, “Either you are with us or with the terrorist” make the future bleak.
From the realist point of view war would always remain and present till the end of time no matter what happen. And this sounds quite logical given the facts that many of the hot spot problems in the world are yet to be found. The Israel-Palestine conflict is not yet solved. The second Intifada is now in its 4th year. Nothing much had happened since the Madrid conference. The American sponsored road map is leading to no where except more killing on both sides.
Then there is the Kashmir dispute. In the wake of 2002 terrorist attack on Indian Parliament the bitter South Asian rivals were on the verge of yet another conflict. Th Iraq the situation is far from under the control of Anglo-American occupying force with the insurgents attacking almost daily on both the occupying force and Iraqi civilians. On top of it the fear America is in the wake of September 2001 and its overwhelming response did not deter the terrorist who have no boundries. The continuing insurgency in Afghanistan is reminder that the battle against the unknown and determined enemy is far from over.
Then there is hypocrisy on the part of America to assume that the enforcement of Western democratic values in Middle East will solve the problem. History showed us that Middle East had always had either monarchy or dictatorial regime and to compare it with Japan would be a great mistake. America is supporting regime which had lost support of the localpopulation with its repressive method and where wealth are in the hands of few. Any future mas uprising by the masses will invie the Islamist to take over the Government which will in turn be against the Anerican National interest. This will tempt the US to intervene and hence more conflict and war. The North Korea dispute with US is as well not resolved.
This lead to anarchist view that in the absence of international government war will always continue unless the causes and problems are solved where justice is done to all on equal basis irrespective of power and status and double standard in international relations is put to rest. But by just having international Government won’t be enough in itself. It will be the willingness on the part of current belligerent to resolve their differences on territory and ideology peacefully. The yesterday enemy of France and Germany buried their bitter memories of the past to forge a brighter and prosperous future where co-operation and friendliness are the norm rather than destructive war. Since the end of second world war and more recently after the cold war Europe is heading for peaceful era. But that cannot be said of the other areas particularly in West Asia, South Asia and North east Asia.
During the cold war period many proxies war were fought but never has destructive like nuclear weapon been used. America and Soviet Union were on the verge of world war during Cuban crisis but the possession of nuclear weapon by both sides and fear of mass anhiliation of mankind led them to resolve the crisis peacefully. This was the same case with India and Pakistan who were on the verge of their 4th and deadly war but just because of the possession of nuclear by both sides deterred them to start the war.
So can we say there wont be any way in future. No one can say with certainties that it will not occur. But the world as it stands now with so many hot spots boiling war will always occur specially where America is contemplating preventive attack on state it deem supportive of terrorist supporter or harbour.
but wheather destructive weapons will be used or not cannot be said with definite. On the one hand it is a deterrent and on the other hand any miscalculation by one State can lead other to launch a nuclear attack when it feels threaten for its survival.