Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Causes of war

See also strategy
geopolitical analysis of the world
Causes of war

The causes of war are many and varied. Some of the more common or notable situations which prompt war are:
When there are no other perceived options for resolving differences or grievances.
In the face of a perceived immediate threat from an aggressor.
When one party desires something another has.
In the case of an immediate need to secure essential resources for survival, such as food, water or shelter.
When areas of a country (such as provinces, states, and colonies) desire independence from that country.
As the result of a long standing hatred between nations that has built up over a number of years (rivalry or other antagonisms).
When belief in one nation's or race's superiority over others prompts that group to cast aside people it sees as inferior.
As a result of antagonism caused by different interpretations of some religion among different parties.
As a result of Ideological differences between different parties. For example, Nazism's hatred of Communism contributed to the outbreak of war between Germany and the Soviet Union during the Second World War. The Sino-Soviet Split nearly became an armed conflict between the Soviet Union and China over the goals of Communism.
When some party wishes to pursue global domination.


Historical theories

Historians tend to be reluctant to look for sweeping explanations for all wars. A.J.P. Taylor famously described wars as being like traffic accidents. There are some conditions and situations that make them more likely but there can be no system for predicting where and when each one will occur. Social scientists criticize this approach arguing that at the beginning of every war some leader makes a conscious decision and that they cannot be seen as purely accidental. Still, one argument to this might be that there are few, if any, "pure" accidents. One may be able to find patterns which hold at least some degree of reliability, but because war is a collective of human intentions, some potentially quite fickle, it is very difficult to create a concise prediction system.

Psychological theories

Psychologists such as E.F.M. Durban and John Bowlby have argued that human beings, especially men, are inherently violent. While this violence is repressed in normal society it needs the occasional outlet provided by war. This combines with other notions, such as displacement where a person transfers their grievances into bias and hatred against other ethnic groups, nations, or ideologies. While these theories may have some explanatory value about why wars occur, they do not explain when or how they occur. In addition, they raise the question why there are sometimes long periods of peace and other eras of unending war. If the innate psychology of the human mind is unchanging, these variations are inconsistent. A solution adapted to this problem by militarists such as Franz Alexander is that peace does not really exist. Periods that are seen as peaceful are actually periods of preparation for a later war or when war is suppressed by a state of great power, such as the Pax Britannica.

If war is innate to human nature, as is presupposed by many psychological theories, then there is little hope of ever escaping it. One alternative is to argue that war is only, or almost only, a male activity and if human leadership was in female hands wars would not occur. This theory has played an important role in modern feminism. Critics, of course, point to various examples of female political leaders who had no qualms about using military force, such as Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi or Golda Meir.

Other psychologists have argued that while human temperament allows wars to occur, they only do so when mentally unbalanced people are in control of a nation. This extreme school of thought argues leaders that seek war such as Napoleon, Hitler, and Stalin were mentally abnormal.

A distinct branch of the psychological theories of war are the arguments based on evolutionary psychology. This school tends to see war as an extension of animal behaviour, such as territoriality and competition. However, while war has a natural cause, the development of technology has accelerated human destructiveness to a level that is irrational and damaging to the species. We have the same instincts of a chimpanzee but overwhelmingly more power. The earliest advocate of this theory was Konrad Lorenz. These theories have been criticized by scholars such as John G. Kennedy, who argue that the organized, sustained war of humans differs more than just technologically from the territorial fights between animals.

In his fictional book Nineteen-Eighty-Four, George Orwell talks about a state of constant war being used as one of many ways to distract people. War inspires fear and hate among the people of a nation, and gives them a 'legitimate' enemy upon whom they can focus this fear and hate. Thus the people are prevented from seeing that their true enemy is in fact their own repressive government. By this theory, war is another 'opiate of the masses' by which a state controls its people and prevents revolution.

Anthropological theories

Several anthropologists take a very different view of war. They see it as fundamentally cultural, learned by nurture rather than nature. Thus if human societies could be reformed, war would disappear. To this school the acceptance of war is inculcated into each of us by the religious, ideological, and nationalistic surroundings in which we live.

Many anthropologists also see no links between various forms of violence. They see the fighting of animals, the skirmishes of hunter-gatherer tribes, and the organized warfare of modern societies as distinct phenomena each with their own causes. Theorists such as Ashley Montagu emphasize the top down nature of war, that almost all wars are begun not by popular pressure but by the whims of leaders and that these leaders also work to maintain a system of ideological justifications for war.

Sociological theories

Sociology has long been very concerned with the origins of war, and many thousands of theories have been advanced, many of them contradictory. Sociology has thus divided into a number of schools. One, the Primat der Innenpolitik (Primacy of Domestic Politics) school based on the works of Eckart Kehr and Hans-Ulrich Wehler sees war as the product of domestic conditions, with only the target of aggression being determined by international realities. Thus World War I was not a product of international disputes, secret treaties, or the balance of power but a product of the economic, social, and political situation within each of the states involved.

This differs from the traditional Primat der Aussenpolitik (Primacy of Foreign Politics) approach of Carl von Clausewitz and Leopold von Ranke that argue it is the decisions of statesmen and the geopolitical situation that leads to war.

Malthusian theories

Pope Urban II in 1095, on the eve of the First Crusade, wrote, "For this land which you now inhabit, shut in on all sides by the sea and the mountain peaks, is too narrow for your large population; it scarcely furnishes food enough for its cultivators. Hence it is that you murder and devour one another, that you wage wars, and that many among you perish in civil strife. Let hatred, therefore, depart from among you; let your quarrels end. Enter upon the road to the Holy Sepulcher; wrest that land from a wicked race, and subject it to yourselves."

This is one of the earliest expressions of what has come to be called the Malthusian theory of war, in which wars are caused by expanding populations and limited resources. Thomas Malthus (1766 - 1834) wrote that populations always increase until they are limited by war, disease, or famine.

This theory is thought by Malthusians to account for the relative decrease in wars during the past fifty years, especially in the developed world, where advances in agriculture have made it possible to support a much larger population than was formerly the case, and where birth control has dramatically slowed the increase in population.

Evolutionary psychology theories

Close to Malthusians is the application of Evolutionary psychology to analyze why humans have wars. Wars are seen as the result of evolved psychological traits that are turned on by either being attacked or by a population perception of a bleak future. The theory accounts for the IRA going out of business, but leads to a dire view of current wars.[1]

Information theories

A popular new approach is to look at the role of information in the outbreak of wars. This theory, advanced by scholars of international relations such as Geoffrey Blainey, argues that all wars are based on a lack of information. If both sides at the outset knew the result neither would fight, the loser would merely surrender and avoid the cost in lives and infrastructure that a war would cause.

This is based on the notion that wars are reciprocal, that all wars require both a decision to attack and also a decision to resist attack. This notion is generally agreed to by almost all scholars of war since Clausewitz. This notion is made harder to accept because it is far more common to study the cause of wars rather than events that failed to cause wars, and wars are far more memorable. However, throughout history there are as many invasions and annexations that did not lead to a war, such as the U.S.-led invasion of Haiti in 1994, the Nazi invasions of Austria and Czechoslovakia preceding the Second World War, and the annexation of the Baltic states by the Soviet Union in 1940. On the other hand, Finland's decision to resist a similar Soviet aggression in 1939 led to the Winter War.

The leaders of these nations chose not to resist as they saw the potential benefits being not worth the loss of life and destruction such resistance would cause. Lack of information may not only be to who wins in the immediate future. The Norwegian decision to resist the Nazi invasion was taken with the certain knowledge that Norway would fall. The Norwegians did not know whether the German domination would be permanent and also felt that noble resistance would win them favour with the Allies and a position at the peace settlement in the event of an Allied victory. If in 1940 it had been known with certainty the Germans would dominate central Europe for many decades, it is unlikely the Norwegians would have resisted. If it had been known for certainty that the Third Reich would collapse after only a few years of war, the Nazis would not have launched the invasion at all.

This theory is predicated on the notion that the outcome of wars is not randomly determined, but fully determined on factors such as doctrine, economies, and power. While purely random events, such as storms or the right person dying at the right time, might have had some effect on history, these only influence a single battle or slightly alter the outcome of a war, but would not mean the difference between victory and defeat.

There are two main objectives in the gathering of intelligence. The first is to find out the ability of an enemy, the second their intent. In theory to have enough information to prevent all wars both need to be fully known. The Argentinean dictatorship knew that the United Kingdom had the ability to defeat them, but their intelligence failed them on the question of whether the British would use their power to resist the annexation of the Falkland Islands. The American decision to enter the Vietnam War was made with the full knowledge that the communist forces would resist them, but did not believe that the guerrillas had the capability to long oppose American forces.

One major difficulty is that in a conflict of interests, some deception or at least not telling everything is a standard tactical component on both sides. If you think that you can convince the opponent that you will fight, the opponent might desist. For example, Sweden made efforts to deceive Nazi Germany that it would resist an attack fiercely partly by playing on the myth of Aryan superiority, and by making sure that Hermann Göring only saw elite troops in action, often dressed up as regular soldiers, when he came to visit.

Economic theories

Another school of thought argues that war can be seen as an outgrowth of economic competition in a chaotic and competitive international system. In this view, wars begin as a pursuit of new markets, of natural resources, and of wealth. Unquestionably a cause of some wars, from the empire building of Britain to the 1941 Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in pursuit of oil, this theory has been applied to many other conflicts. It is most often advocated by those to the left of the political spectrum, who argue that such wars serve the interests of the wealthy, but are fought by the poor, however it is combated by the capatalist message of poverty is relative and one poor in one country can be the wealthiest in another ideology. Some social activists argue that materialism is the supreme cause of war.

Marxist theories

The Marxist theory of war argues that all war grows out of the class war. It sees wars as imperial ventures to enhance the power of the ruling class and divide the proletariat of the world by pitting them against each other for contrived ideals such as nationalism or religion. Wars are a natural outgrowth of the free market and class system, and will not disappear until a world revolution occurs.

Political science theories

The statistical analysis of war was pioneered by Lewis Fry Richardson following World War I. More recent databases of wars and armed conflict have been assembled by the Correlates of War Project, Peter Brecke and the Uppsala Department of Peace and Conflict Research.

There are several different international relations theory schools. Supporters of realism in international relations argue that the motivation of states is the quest for (mostly) military and economic power or security. War is one tool in achieving this goal.

One position, sometimes argued to contradict the realist view, is that there is much empirical evidence to support the claim that states that are democracies do not go to war with each other, an idea known as the democratic peace theory.

See also"Eliminating the Causes of War"

Underlying Causes of Intractable Conflict


(1) 「天皇悪玉説」

(2) 「天皇制問題説」

(3) 「大日本帝国政府は軍部に主導権を握られた帝国主義の政府であったため説」

(4) 「軍隊を持つと必然的に戦争を始める説」

(5) 「白人と有色人種が戦うのは歴史の必然であった説」

(6) 「アジア諸国を欧米の植民地状態から解放するために戦った説」

(7) 「日本はアメリカの陰謀により、ハルノートなる無理難題を押しつけられて開戦するしか無かった説」

(8) 「日独伊三国軍事同盟を結んでいたため欧州の戦争に巻き込まれる形で戦争をした説」

(9) 「軍部陰謀説」

(10) 「統帥権問題説」











2. ディスインフレ型の戦争


3. リフレ型の戦争






5. リフレ型戦争の特徴





共同研究 「イラク戦争を考える」



●百年戦争 ひゃくねんせんそう

ヨーロッパ フランス共和国 AD1339 フランス王国
 1339~1453 中世末期のイギリス-フランス間の戦争で,戦闘と休戦を繰り返しつつ1世紀以上に及んだのでその名がある。両国の政治・経済・社会に重大な影響をもたらし,中世的性格をもちながらも近代的要素の発芽がみられる戦争であった。


これに対して藩王は、独立を望みました。しかし、それは達成できず、結局はインドへの帰属について同意することに決めました。これは 、藩王が要求する1)インド軍の援助、2)住民投票の実施、について、インド政府が認めたからとされています。

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