“The the different aspects of war. Throughout the 1980’s

“The
greatest victory is that which requires no battle” (The Art of War; Sun Tzu)
 the  typical concept of a war implies an armed conflict among
political entities to gain  peace. This is the shape taken by the two
greatest wars in history, opposing two political blocks and mobilizing over 700
million soldiers/troops together. However, new types of combat have appeared in
recent decades. The cold war; for example, has applied unprecedented forms of
battle while conflicts of decolonization expand their horizons to new shapes
and actors. More recently, wars have further evolved, adopting new shapes and
aspects which fascinated the media. This transforms terrorism into today’s most
infamous form of war. The “New Wars” is an expression that represents warfare in
the Post-Cold war era.

“New
Wars” is an expression that Mary Kaldor developed. Mary Kaldor is a professor
at the London school of economics. She is an author’s whose books study the
different aspects of war. Throughout the 1980’s and the 1990’s, noticeably in
Africa and Eastern Europe in specific, new forms of violence began to prevail.

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Terrorism was described by the U.S military during the cold war under the term
“low intensity” conflict as well as used by different authors in the term of ‘peoples
war’ by Holsti, or “transnational wars” by Duffield.

What
differentiates the cold war from the previous ones? First of all, cold wars
distinguish themselves by their nature as they are based on indirect conflict
rather than physical combat such as shooting and bombing. Whereas during World
war 1 and World war 2, there has been direct armed conflict between 2 political
entities, the Cold War opposed 2 nations, the Americans and the Soviets with no
set battle-ground. While the United States functioned mostly on the basis of a
democratic government and its economy on free enterprise, the Soviet Union was
a communist State where property and production were controlled by just a
single party. The opposing system of the democratic and the communist, engaged
the respective nations in a conflict involves several spheres of society:
economic, political and cultural. The Old wars were fought by armed forces of
states. The New Wars are fought by a fusion of state and non-state actors.

Kaldor states that New Wars need to be known in terms of today’s process of
globalization (Mary Kaldor New and Old War). Mary Kaldor defines Old War as a
traditional warfare, where conflicts are usually between interstates, which
play an important role in funding and running the war.

According
to Mary Kaldor, the “New Wars” were not in fact that recent . What’s different
between the “Old Wars” from the “New Wars”, is that globalization and
technology are growing. Kaldor states that the war that took place in Iraq is
indeed a ‘new kind of war’ and still uses new technology such as satellite
systems. “New Wars” are the wars of the globalization era which usually happen
in places that were significantly weakened (Kaldor, M. (2013). ), furthermore ,  the New and the Old Wars were not fought
for the same reasons. Kaldor expressed the differences between the two Wars by
stating the multiple reasons the conflict happened; “Actors: Old wars were
fought by the regular armed forces of states. New wars are fought by varying
combinations of networks of state and non-state actors.–. Goals: Old wars were
fought for geopolitical interests or for ideology (democracy or socialism). New
wars are fought in the name of identity (ethnic, religious or tribal). Finance:
Old wars were largely financed by states (taxation or by outside patrons). In
weak states, tax revenue is falling and new forms of predatory private finance
include loot and pillage, ‘taxation’ of humanitarian aid, Diaspora support,
kidnapping, or smuggling in oil, diamonds, drugs, people, etc. It is sometimes
argued that new wars are motivated by economic gain. Methods: In old wars,
battle was the decisive encounter. The method of waging war consisted of
capturing territory through military means. In new wars, battles are rare and
territory is captured through political means, through control of the
population) (Kaldor, M. (2013). ) The most common criticism of ‘new wars’ discusses that new wars
are not new. It can be said that the Cold war made it hard to analyze ‘small
wars’, many of the features of new wars related with weak states are found in
early modern period and that incidents like mass rape, banditry forced the
population to move. Many of the same aspect of new wars are found in previous
wars. It can be argued that there are some new elements. The main elements are
of course globalization and technology, which has made it a symmetrical war
(war between enemies that have the same armory) An example of this case is the
 Gulf war which was  between Iran and Iraq.

Edward
Newman is a British Political scientist who shares interests with Mary Kaldor.

He’s written multiple debates about New Wars.

According
to Newman, New Wars are represented by the transformation of society and the
state failure due to liberal economic forces; private armies and criminal warlords
often organized according to some form of identity, and gives rise to
competition over natural resources. He explains that ethnic and religious
conflicts are more characteristics of new wars that political ideology. The
Bosnian civil war was a typical example. “The literature of the “New Wars”
provides a great service in explaining patterns of contemporary conflict, and
especially in drawing attention to the social and economic aspects of conflicts
and the relationship between security and development however much of this is
not new all of the factor that characterize have been present to varying
degrees, throughout the last 100 years” . (Newman, E. (2004). )   The fighting was represented by mandatory human
displacement, the violation of human rights and the politics of ethnic
identity. Edward Newman states: “Globalization is an important component of the
political economy of New Wars, and the starting point is that the ages of
globalization is characterized by a gradual erosion of state authority.” (Newman, E. (2004). ). In Kaldor’s eyes,
wars have been created based on globalization that have formed an identity
crisis where people who crave power believe they need to fight for what they
call a “Identity War”. She also discusses that society has been separated due
to globalization which is divided into two groups, where some people are
benefiting from the result of globalization and some people who don’t; those
people are usually left out of society but tend to make their way back by
creating their own identity.

To
conclude, “war” is a concept that has evolved through time and history, taking
on new faces and aspects and involving a large variety of actors. The causes of
war have broadened their horizons as well, from territorial conquests to
technological conflicts. A typical image of war sets two armies shooting and
bombing each other on a set battleground. This is the case with World War I for
example. This is where it becomes obvious that the Cold War is unlike its
precedents as its actors entered a war that affected every sphere of society
and involved military troops as well as inexperienced civilians. New wars have
however transformed society since they rely on the action of certain groups
that act upon a shared identity or interest. In recent decades, the world has
been led by a hunger for power, forcing states to lead ethnic battles on one
another. This means that new wars are fought for reasons surpassing
geopolitics, which seemed to be at the center of old wars, and now base
themselves on cultural and religious attributes, as Mary Kaldor believes.

Globalization and technology are central elements in what forms a new kind of
war. These components have made it obvious that new wars are in fact a reality
that has emerged in recent decades, forever changing the way a war is waged.

Yet, Newman still argues that these aspects have been present in wars
throughout history, discrediting Kaldor’s argument and setting the idea that
new wars have not yet emerged.

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