Monday, March 30, 2009

Why is war fought?

War! Huh! Yeah!
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing!
Say it again.

Recently I have been watching some shows on cable like Warriors on the Military Channel and Battles BC on the History Channel. I have always liked the history of WWI and WWII from a military aspect but now, seeing the wars and battles from ancient history, it got me thinking. Why are wars fought?

Since the beginning of sentient mammals on this planet, war has been about land[1]. Oh there are always other reasons that are used to go to war, the two most prominent being religion and revolution/independence. However, when you get to the bottom line it is always about conquest. The US War of Independence was a fight to determine who would "own" the land in North America. The Crusades, while being touted as a holy war, what simply about who would control the "Holy Land." Every war that has been fought anywhere has been about land. Until now.

In the last half of the 20th century, the tactic of organized, international terrorism as a means of combat became popular. The idea wasn't to fight a war but to cause so much fear that war would not happen. The terrorists could "win" without having to field and support an army. There were still wars, but after the fall of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Block nations, these became smaller and more localized. International war has now become passé. Conflicts are now fought with the weapons of terror.

Since September 11th, 2001, war hasn't been waged over land. The reasons most often used are religion, racial hatred and to "drive the evil ones from our land." However, when you dig through all the hype and rhetoric the only thing left is the need to kill the proverbial "Them." This makes countering the attacks difficult at best. In terror, there is no land to defend. There is no army to fight. There is no economy to build or destroy. How do you fight an enemy who is not trying to conquer you? What do terrorist groups really want? While they may claim this or that outcome as terms for a secession of violence, the only thing that will quench their fire is blood. For example, Al Qaeda is only going to stop killing when there's no one left to kill. So again, the question is how do you fight this kind of enemy?

I honestly wish I knew.

[1] Economy and money are just the fruits of conquering land.


  1. Al Qaeda is not "going to stop killing till there's no one left to kill". It is about religion. If you look into their view of the muslim religion you'd understand that. If you're not for them you are against them is how they look at it. And if you are against them then you should die. As jacked up as it looks that's how it is for them. Al Qaeda won't stop killing till everyone joins them in their fight or the enemy is gone.

  2. That's an interesting take. However, the militant fanatics like Al Qaeda have absolutely nothing to do with religion. Their interpretation of Islam isn't even close to any accepted form of the religion. If you investigate their tenants and dogma you'll see they don't give a rats ass about Islam or anything religious. The only connection they have with religion is their blatantly bastardized use as an excuse to kill.

    Did you know that one of the surest ways for a Muslim to go to hell is to commit suicide? Just as it is for Christians and Jews. It's doubly worse to kill others along with yourself when committing suicide.

    No, there is nothing religious at all in these groups.