By María Paula Alvarado Mora - International Relations student
War is something that has always been present in the society, it is just that, with time, it changes due to modern artillery and the way of execution. Many times, it’s used to impose ideologies and culture in a violent way. War is used to gain power, resources and territory at the expense of destroying cities and killing people. However, not all wars are like this, some are bloodless wars, meaning that the conflict involves no harm to people or damage in infrastructure. “The desire to initiate war and emerge victorious while at the same time minimizing human harm is nothing new. Somehow achieving decisive victory without a drop of blood spilled is the ultimate political-if not military-fantasy.” (Mandel, 2004, p.1). Can war really be considered a war without bloodshed?
In order to understand the nature of war, it is important to know its definition, and why is it caused. According to the Oxford Dictionary (n.d.), war is a state of armed conflict between different countries or different groups within a country, and it is caused by territorial, political, economic, religious or social reasons. People think that war needs to have deaths, huge damages or bloodshed to be considered a war, but the reality is that, as time passes by, war is also going to change the way it’s conducted. For example, if we compare the battles from the Medieval Era and the ones from the 20th century we notice that there is a huge change. The battles from Medieval Era had a lot of physical contact with each other, they fought with swords, spears, crossbows and daggers; that’s why they were so close to each other while fighting. Nowadays, rivals don’t even touch each other. Weapons and artillery had improved drastically and technology has also been a fundamental part of this. There have been creations that have completely changed the way wars are fought, for example, the atomic bombs, the nuclear and biological weapons, radars, tanks, aircrafts, machine guns and poison gases.
War is going to end, but only in the way as we know it. There will be no more physical contact between rivals. Technology is now taking over everything we know, including the way countries fight. Each day that passes by, the chances of causing damage without seeing each other are higher. Biological and nuclear weapons have been a possibility for a lot of very powerful countries due to not only the development of new technologies, but to the economic power they possess.
Thinking that war will completely end someday it’s just unrealistic, because there will always be interests at stake between countries, there will always be something to fight about, whether it is for economic or political power, for wanting to expand their territory, or simply because a country wants what other country has. There can be a decrease in the creation of war by investing more, and using the war funds in basic needs like housing, education and medical attention, instead of using it for the creation of new weapons or war-related matters. Leaders or powerful figures should promote peace and the use of dialogue instead of a war or conflict. Technology and economic resources should be used for scientific research or for common issues that the society is facing, not in something that will only cause destruction and chaos.