Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A few more thoughts on war and conflict

A long time ago, after studying history, I came to a conclusion: Battles and campaigns may be won or lost on strategy and tactics, but wars are won or lost economically. Each side fights until either it no longer has the capacity to fight, or winning is no longer profitable.

In the American Civil war, for example, the south simply didn’t have the economic capability to field an army for the long, long term. The same thing happened to Germany in WWII. They ran out of stuff to wage war with. No more supplies, no more weapons, no more soldiers.

In Vietnam, it became politically unprofitable for us to continue the war, so we stopped fighting. The cost of lives and investment was no longer worth the outcome, so we quit.

Which leads me up to another conclusion. No-one really wins a war. The winner is the side that loses the least.


MRKH
Mark Hansen
http://markhansenmusic.com

2 comments:

  1. Exactly true. Actually, no war in history has been fought for any other reason than economics. People who are saying we should not be fighting over oil are missing the point. We've always fought over oil, cotton, slaves (a commodity at the time – the Emancipation Proclamation was not a human rights effort at the time, it was intended to break the economy of the South), real estate to make money with, the Holy Land that the Church could make money with... Of course we are fighting over oil. Without stability in the Middle East, the price of oil will be unpredictable. Check with an economist with what THAT would do not only to the US, but the rest of the world. It just sounds a lot better to say that we are deposing a tyrant who victimized his own people and with aspirations for WMD's with which to destabilize the region (all of which is also technically true).

    War is terribly inefficient at achieving its goals, and you are absolutely correct, you hope to win the war with more then a pyrrhic victory, such as the Soviets realized after WWII, and end it while you can still afford it, or better yet, come out economically ahead (rare, but it happens).

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  2. DIANE HENIFIN12/12/06, 2:51 PM

    HELLO MARK,
    I HAVE HAD A WALK THROUGH YOUR WEBSITE...IT WAS QUITE AN EXPERIENCE. AND THE COMMENTARY ON OUR WARS IS RIGHT ON TARGET. THE WV INSURRECTION WAS JUST ANOTHER POINT, LET ALONE OUR CIVIL WAR..AND NOW IRAQ'S "CIVIL WAR." IT IS TRAGIC FOR OUR MEN AND WOMEN AND THOSE OF THE IRAQI'S. I PRAY EVERY MORNING WE WILL ALL FIND PEACE.

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