In John StoessingerБs work on БWhy Nations go to WarБ he examines ten wars that have occurred since 1914 and the one currently taking place today. These wars include World War One, World War Two, Korean War, Vietnam War, Yugoslavian War, Indo-Pakistani War, Arab-Israel War, Iran-Iraq and Iraq-Kuwait War, War on Terror, and Wars in Rwanda and Darfur. Each of these wars have many things in common, but the one thing that sticks out above many of the other statistics and reasons is that Бno nation that began a major war in the twentieth century emerged a winnerБ (Stoessinger 387). So after reading this quote you begin to ask yourself, why then would a nation choose to start a war and face the difficulties and often tragic outcomes that coincide with war. Stoessinger thesis on why nations go to war: nations go to war out of fear and misconception that leaders have of other nations. The first war that Stoessinger discusses is World War One. When the war was just beginning people did not see the catastrophe that would unfold in the years to come Бthe emperors and generals who sent their men to war in August 1914thought in terms of weeks, not months, let alone yearsБ (Stoessinger 3). This shows the erroneous belief of many leaders involved in the war. They figured their armies to be far superior and the enemy to be inferior. But that proved not the case. Instead of stepping back and assessing the situation that they were about to put themselves and their nation into, this belief that they would dominate brought Бthe world catastrophe that would snuff out the lives on an entire generation and consign the next to illusion and despairБ (Stoessinger 3).
As a leader of a nation makes decisions they should keep in mind the people that they are making these decisions for, they should make decisions that are in the best interest of their people. Wilhelm II made a mistake when he based a decision upon personal feelings, Бimpelled by a generous impulse of loyalty to his dead friend, he offered what he thought would be moral support to the aggrieved party. That this guarantee would entail military support never seriously occurred either to himБ (Stoessinger 6). He made the decision to fully support Austria without thinking of what consequences that would bring, Бthe KaiserБs decision to support Austria-Hungary under any circumstances demonstrated an extraordinary confusion of personal ethics and political judgmentБ (Stoessinger 7). Wilhelm II didnБt believe that Russia would get involved in the situation be he viewed them as being on the same side as him when it sustaining the monarchs in place in Europe, Бhis view of the Russian as a kindred-spirited fellow monarch led him to assume that such a relinquishment of control carried no risk whatsoever.
And his romanticism robbed him of all flexibility in the emerging crisesБ (Stoessinger 7). He believed himself to be in the right, and that other nations would view it the same way and side with him. What brought the war to a head was the fear. Wilhelm II had been trying to keep the war from happening between all of Europe and Russia through mediations. He had sent letters to Russia and telegraphed England on the pending situation. But the telegrams and letters he received in turn seemed to him as aggression from Russia and England. In the letter from Russia pertaining to the mobilization measures that Russia had taken had been used as a ploy, Бthe Kaiser believed that the czar had used the German mediation effort to get a five day head start in his own military preparations behind WilhelmБs back. The БWilly-NickyБ telegrams had simply bought time for the RussiansБ (Stoessinger 15). And in the telegram from England he thought it meant an attack on Germany ББin the KaiserБs view, England was combining threat with bluffБ, Бto separate us from Austria and to prevent us from mobilizing, and to shift responsibility of the warБ.
Why Do People Go to War? History is full of wars, of people fighting against one another for all kinds of reasons. Why do people go to war? That\’s it. Just two reasons. Here are some examples: went to war to get more land or better farmland or more water or more resources like iron.
The ones who attacked wanted more of something. They were trying to better their way of life. The people who were attacked fought back because they were trying to protect their way of life. , the Persian Empire attacked Greece because the Persian government and its people wanted more territory and more food and resources. The Persians also felt that Greek shipping in the Mediterranean Sea and the Aegean Sea was interfering with Persian shipping. In this case, the Persians went to war for both reasons. The Greeks, on the other hand, defended their homeland with incredible courage. They knew that if they were conquered, they would have to give up their elected government, their free thinking, and parts of their way of life. went to war quite often, mostly to get new territory or defend territory it had conquered. Overall, it could be said that Rome went to war for both reasons (though usually not at the same time). The Crusades were fought because Christian leaders in Europe wanted to take Jerusalem and the Holy Land back from the Muslims who had conquered it. The Muslims had taken the territory originally for all the familiar reasons: more food and water, more land for their people, etc. And during the Crusades, they defended their newly conquered territory and, by extension, their way of life. The Crusaders, meanwhile, fought for both reasons: They wanted to return the Holy Land to Christian hands so they could know that their shrines were being protected, and they wanted to protect the Holy Land from people they thought were dishonoring the memory of Jerusalem and other holy places. because they wanted to keep their newly declared independence from Great Britain.
They were fighting to protect their way of life. Such revolutions have been fought throughout history, to better and to protect people\’s way of life. and the Pentagon on September 11, the American people are calling for a new war, a war against terrorism. A huge number of people around the world are fed up with terrorist attacks. People in Northern Ireland and the Middle East are on this list. So are people in Europe and Asia and the Americas. If the United States and its allies do end up going to war against terrorists, it will be to protect their way of life. If terrorists can strike anywhere at any time, then people will constantly live in fear of attack. This is the case now in Northern Ireland, Israel, Palestinian territory, and other places all over the world. Many of these people are already at war against terrorists. They certainly know the horrors of terrorist attacks and of war. People who would join the war against terrorism would be seeking to make their life better by removing a giant source of fear and worry.