Wednesday, December 10, 2008

War Rarely Works

I dislike war, because the benefits seldom outweigh the costs. The situations where war has positive benefits are extremely rare. Here are some of the possible options.

  1. When a large country is attacked by a small country, fighting to defend the large country does make sense, but this situation is very rare, as most small countries would not run the risk of getting a hiding by taking on a big one.

    Georgia did not under stand this reality. A country that has a mini-empire as a near neighbour has its options really constrained. For Georgia, a war with Russia was bound to end in failure.
  2. When a small country is attacked a big country, fighting is a waste of time, because the small country is going to get beaten anyway. The people might as well give up and seek the best possible terms for peace. Jesus talked about this situation (Luke 14:31-32).
  3. Sometimes a small country may persuade a powerful ally to help defend it against attack by a large country. This often does not work, as the powerful ally usually have its own agenda. The big country will only defend its smaller ally when it suits them.

    This was Georgia’s problem too. The president of Georgia expected assistance from the United States, if Russia counterattacked. Unfortnately, Big George needed help from Russia to put pressure Iran, so he talked tough, but did not come to little Georgia’s aid.
  4. A small country being attacked by another small country is about the only situation where war might work, as collateral damage is likely to be limited. However, if the two countries are evenly matched, the war might drag on with many casualties and no benefit. There are many places in the world today where this is happening.
  5. War between one empire and another empire never works. Two many nations and people get drawn in and the costs escalate without decisive result (The First World War was a good example of this situation).
Many politicians see war as just another policy option. War is not a policy option. War is a failure of the human spirit.

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