Friday, January 21, 2011

Why Nations Go to War?

Aggression is a human nature while War is a learned behavior. As psychology is science of behavior, we can discuss this topic under the psychological perspective that why nations go to war. Some abstract forces like nationalism, militarism, alliance system and economic issues play their role in starting a war. However, with regard to the problem of the outbreak of war, major wars of twentieth century indicate the crucial importance of the personalities of leaders. Let take the outbreak of World War II; there is no doubt that the victor’s peace of Versailles and the galloping inflation of 1920s brought the rise of Nazi Germany. But it was the personality of Hitler that was decisive.

More Examples:
  •  Emotional instability of Kaiser Wilhelm’s of Germany
  •  General McArthur’s personality because of which Korean War Prolonged by two years.
  • Fragile egos of American Presidents during Vietnam war
  • Volatile personality of Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt.
  •  Yahya Khan’s ego of not to be cowed down by a woman during 1971 Indo-Pak war.
  • Saddam’s and Khomeini’s personalities during Iran-Iraq war.

Misperception also played a vital role to start a war. This was in four different ways:

Sponsor's Ad:

  1.  Leader’s image of himself
  2. Leader’s view of his adversary character
  3. Leader’s view of his adversary’s intentions about himself
  4. Leader’s view of his adversary’s capabilities and powers.

Example for 'leader’s image of himself':

  • WW1 – Kaiser Wilhelm’s famous words that our soldiers will come before the leaves had fallen from the trees shows how he was overestimating his power.
  • WW2 – Hitler’s confidence in early German victory.
  •  Korean War – General McArthur’s overestimation of his power that Chinese military will not go to war with American military power even if he cross the 38th parallel line.
  • Vietnam War – During Vietnam War, each American soldier was thinking that just a few more bombs and then will come victory. This proved wrong when this war became the longest war of American history.
  • Arab-Israel Wars – Arab countries overestimated their capabilities when armies of four Arab countries invaded Israel. As a result, they lost Gaza strip and West Bank to Israel.
  • Indo-Pak Wars – After success in a minor military conflict at Rann of Kutch, Pakistan overestimated her power and started mission Gibraltar.
Example for ‘Leader’s view of his adversary character’:

  • WW1 – Kaiser Wilhelm once said “he hated the Slavs, even though one should not hate anyone.” This reflects his hatred toward Slavic peoples.
  • Vietnam War – American President Johnson’s words “Americans, the child of light, had to defeat the child of darkness in twentieth century crusade” shows his view about Asian communism.

5.    Examples for ‘Leader’s view of his adversary’s intentions about himself’:

  • WW1 – When Russians started military mobilization on defense out of fear of possible Austrian attack, Wilhelm considered it as preparation for a possible attack on Germany.
  • WW2 – Similar in case of WW2, Hitler was of the fear that England and France are ready on borders so he invaded both on eastern and western countries simultaneously.
  • Arab-Israel War – Because of fear of Israeli operation on Golan Heights, Syria and Egypt invaded Israel.

Examples for ‘Leader’s view of his adversary’s capabilities and powers’:

  •  Korean War – General McArthur, during his advance through North Korea toward the Chinese border, stubbornly believed that the Chinese Communists did not have the capability to intervene. When the Chinese did cross the Yalu River into North Korea.
  • Arab-Israel Wars – After three successful was, Israel viewed Arab power only with contempt and its own as unassailable. That was wrong, as Israel had to learn in the Vitter war of October 1973.

In short, the beginning of each war is a misperception. The war itself then slowly, and in agony, teaches the lesson of reality.
Source: Why Nations Go to War by John G. Stoessigner

Buy this book by John G. Steossinger: 

1 comment:

  1. Have many topic to talk and make reseach why you chose WARS cho talk and thinking ? do you have any spectial reason for that ? Please share by the way your posting is nice .fishak


Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...