War is an organized and often prolonged conflict that is carried out by states or non-state actors. It is generally characterized by extreme violence, social disruption and economic destruction. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political communities, and therefore is defined as a form of political violence or intervention. The set of techniques used by a group to carry out war is known as warfare.
Before starting the discussion the causes of war, it is useful to clearly define “war”. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, war is defined as a “state of conflict, generally armed, between two or more entities. It is characterized by intentional violence on the part of large bodies of individuals organized and trained for that purpose (Encyclopedia, 2014). However, in order to understand the causes of wars one has to observe many other factors that play into the development of international conflict. Nations may regard each other with dislike over religious conflict or different values but this is hardly going to cause them to go to war. In International Relations, a disturbance in the balance of power (Brown, 2005, p.99) is often named as the main cause of war. In this essay, the causes of wars shall be discussed on different levels, such as on individual level, on level of the society and most importantly on the international level. This essay also will elaborate on the importance of the balance of power in this context as well as on other theories that seem to be relevant.
To observe the causes of war at an individual level requires observing human nature. According to Brown (2005, p.104), “wars occur because of some aspect of human nature”. Man in his nature seems to be violent and bound to inflict harm on his own race. Greed appears to be an essential characteristic of human nature and therefore seems to determine the actions that are taken in order to gain
Bibliography: 1. Encyclopedia. (2014). Retrieved from War. 2. Brown, M. E., Trevino, L. K., & Harrison, D. A. Ethical leadership: Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 2005. p99, p104 & p10 3. John Baylis, James J.Wirtz, Colin S.Gray. Strategy in the Contemporary World, Oxford University Press Third Edition 2010 p.25. 4. Greg Cashman What Causes War?: An Introduction to Theories of International Conflict New Lexington Press, 1993. p124 & p224