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Flashcards in War Deck (14):

Basic characteristics of war

- Conflict between or among political groups

- Organised violence

- Violence on a large scale, UN says 1,000 deaths a year

- Lasts a significant period of time


Differences between Old and New War?

1) Old Wars were conducted by state armies; New Wars have blurred lines between civilians and combattants

2) Old Wars were fought with clear geopolitical aims in mind; New Wars are fought for identity or ideology

3) Old Wars used set piece battles and followed conventions; New War uses guerrilla tactics to terrorise civilians

4) Old Wars were state funded; New Wars are funded by criminal means


Criticisms of New War

- Intercommunal war has always existed eg French Wars of Religion in the 16th century

- War has caused disruption to civilian life for years

- War has strayed from the rules on many occasions — the Holocaust!


Why are asymmetrical wars so hard to win?

- Global public opinion deems it inappropriate

- States struggle with guerrilla tactics

- Wars over identity are hard to stamp out the root cause of


Why has the term Terrorism been criticised?

- It is subjective

- It is applied subjectively

- It is only applied to non-state actors


How was terrorism evolved since 9/11?

- It is now transnational

- Motivated by a broad, often religious, ideology

- Terrorists aim for maximum damage with minimum notice


How can we counter terror?

- Strengthen state security by curbing some human rights

- Military repression

- Political deals


Why has identity politics become more significant?

- Post colonialism has led former colonies to seek their own identities

- Failure of Communism has led to the reemergence of ethnic and religious groups

- Globalisation, especially Cultural Globalisation, leads to a clash of cultures (or maybe civilisations 😘)


Why has there been a reemergence in religious fundamentalism?

- Rise of social conservatism like Islamic Revolution or the Christian Right

- Secularisation

- Post-colonialism has led ex colonies to search for a new identity to unify under


There is a global Clash of Civilisations

+ There’s been a resurgence in national and religious identity, especially in Islam

+ Post 9/11 terror is based on cultural conflict

+ Tensions is strong on boundaries between Huntington’s civilisations

- Civilisations are complex and fragmented compared to the clarity of state interests

- Cultural harmony is possible and still takes place

- Tension between states is normal


Conflict between Islam and the West is inevitable

+ Political Islam doesn’t recognise boundaries between religion and politics

+ War on Terror and subsequent terror largely plays out between the West and Islam

+ Globalisation is West-centric which can be read as an attack on Islamic values

- Islam, like all religions, is fragmented

- Complex interdependence overrides West/Islam divide

- Democratic Peace!


Why do states pursue nuclear weapons?

- Deterrence

- Strengthening power and influence

- Regional tensions and fear of opponents


Nuclear weapons are a threat to peace and security

+ Human fallibility can bring us too close to mass destruction

+ Dangers of horizontal proliferation in the post-bipolarity age

+ Threat of rogue states arming

- Balance of terror, MAD

- Horizontal proliferation is slow enough for the international community to adapt to it

- Nuclear weapons change the mindset of a state


Why is nuclear disarmament so difficult to achieve?

- Some states are pursuing them rationally so won’t stop

- Globalisation means the technology and information are difficult to contain

- Weakness of intergovernmental agreements