War in the Modern World

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War in the Modern World

War has fascinated the minds of the greats throughout history. Its concepts and understandings have been passed on to us through the few surviving works of those, whose lives were touched by war, in an ancient archive. Some saw war as an ordinary, inevitable phenomenon that has a place among natural order of human lives (Jacob Walter), while others interpreted it as devastating and terrible deviation from the natural order of things (W.T. Sherman). Over the course of our archival readings we have learned of war through the records from the Trojans in their leather sandals (Hector), the horsemen of Sherman's brigades, the WWI soldiers with their new gas shells and machine guns, and eventually through the eyes of the jungle and desert warriors with their booby traps and air strikes. While ways and methods of war have changed with the course of time, people never seemed to have loosened their grip on war as they continued to rise to the call to arms and go to battle to kill and to die. This is a crucial observation as it allows us to reason that, perhaps, war is an important part of human existence. People eat, sleep, make love, and make war.

Aside from the consistency of its occurrence throughout history, war also fascinates with its complexity, or, more directly—its irony. It could be mesmerizing and adventurous to some participants, and at the same time evil and hellish to others (O'Brian). It combines death, destruction, fear and atrocities unheard of in the times of peace, with courage, loyalty and passion—undoubtedly qualities we all admire. Based on the records of the archive I have come to believe that to best understand this concept of irony one must look at war as at least two conflicts in one. The first one is that of the nation's leaders. It glorifies war, it tells tales of heroism and bravery and how it is a man's duty to defend his motherland. The second one is personal war—the struggle with basic human...
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