The opinions. Section 3: Warfare, a necessity
So today was a bit slow as it was warm and sunny (and as a consequence, I feel lazy). Nevertheless, I will write something this fine Sunday afternoon just to pass the time.
Today’s topic will be on warfare. Why we do it, and why it will never go away.
Simply put, most living species will fight. Humans fight over resources, and ideologies. Mountain Goats fight for mates likewise wolves fight for territory, ants the same story, so forth and so on. This topic is a rather touchy subject so before I continue on, I will say this, if you disagree, you can simply turn away. Keep comments clean, positive, or just don’t comment at all.
Now back to the subject. History has shown us that strength of arms is what keeps us safe. This truth remains to this day as there are many groups, some in power in their respective countries, who dislike our way of life and if we did not have a sizeable force to deter attack, they would be more than happy to strike. People will always disagree, and when they disagree, they fight. We can regulate our behaviour in a conflict environment, for example no raping or looting, and proper treatment of prisoners of war. Yet the underlying fact remains that warfare is part of the human psyche, much like the need to breed, eat, sleep, and think. Where there is living species that do not possess a hive mind-like mentality, differences will arise. When those differences reach a certain threshold, conflict arises.
As warfare advanced, indeed our techniques and technology became more devastating, but at the same time it helped minimize casualties on our side which is important considering how smaller nations can only produce so many soldiers, vehicles, and weaponry. This progress is natural, with the exception of nuclear warfare (we have yet to have a scenario where it is absolutely necessary to deploy such devastating weaponry). However it is important to point out that while nuclear weaponry is devastating to begin with and I stated it was somewhat unnatural, it is natural the sense that we have reached a sort of limit when it comes to weapons of mass destruction, much like a person reaches a maximum height upon adulthood. Like all things in life, military technology will continue to progress, however one constant remains, humans will always be in control of it. Realistically, technology will fail you in a combat situation, and when it does, boots on the ground (people) matter. It will rest on the men and women of the military to carry out the mission and achieve the objectives when the drones and self-propelled artillery malfunction and quit at a critical moment. I know I’m deviating from the general topic of warfare but the point of this paragraph is state that progression in weapons technology is natural as is the progression of computer technology, medicine, science, etc. There will always be a need for soldiers. A modern nation requires one. While there are those small dots in the world such as Costa Rica that have little to nothing in the form of a military, countries with something to lose will have a military of some sorts to prevent the sudden loss of both resources and way of life.
Warfare is also an asset in a nations arsenal when dealing with the international community. While it may not be wise to always declare war, it certainly helps to have a military asset with which one can place into an international coalition to strengthen ties with other countries and hopefully open lines of communication, trade and diplomacy. It is a tool that should not be taken for granted, likewise it is a tool that should not be misused. A tradesperson would never fool around with a saw, thus a president, monarch or prime minister should never misuse or abuse the military.
Putting aside all the ideologies, propaganda (in the case of totalitarian states), and rationales, we see that warfare is simply a method to solve disputes. While some of the disputes are questionable, when force is presented as a solution, then it must be met by force. If a belligerent does not want to talk, they are not going to sit down at a table. This is the reality of human life, and while it is depressing at times, there is also hope and happiness.
Experience in the military humbles an individual and makes them appreciate what they have in life, especially if they come from well off middle class backgrounds. In most cases it develops a sense of family and breaks down barriers between various ethnicities (ie: Singapore Armed Forces via their National Service program). It is an institution where ability is judged, not background, and finally it is a place where people can find interesting work and in most cases make a career out of it. Nothing quite bonds people like going through hardship together, surviving together, and achieving victory together. This is from personal experience and observation.
So to summarize, we discussed the reality of life and why the military is necessary, how progress in technology related to warfare is natural, why there will always be a need for soldiers and how it provides an additional asset to governments, and finally some notes on how the military can be an ugly and beautiful beast at the same time. Now I’m going to conclude this topic here as there are many areas of military life that due to their (sometimes lengthy) nature, should be touched on separately, or is a topic I’m not comfortable with discussing for the time being. Again, if you are to post a comment, please keep it clean and positive, otherwise I ask that you refrain from making any negative remarks. Nothing good to say, then there is no need to post.
Anyways, thanks for reading folks and I’ll see you next time.