Talk:War/Archive 1

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misc. discussion

Not only does war involve weapons that kill and maim, but there is a very powerful tool often used by warring parties which usually is disseminating Information in the form of propaganda. I would like to hear about the historical perspictive on propaganda and how it has shaped wars and civilisation.

Ok who put this paragraph in? (although it's hilarious) "Another common perception of war is that it is the answer. We know that it is not the answer but many people believe it is the answer. See War Is Not The Answer for more information."

I quote the page: "Other psychologists have argued that while human temperament allows wars to occur, they only do so when mentally unbalanced men are in control of a nation. This school argues leaders that seek war such as Napoleon, Hitler, and Stalin were mentally abnormal and thus if some sort of screening process, such as elections, could prevent these types from coming to power war would end."

Hindenburg was elected to the presidency and then appointed hitler chancellor, that was in his power just like the president appoints a cabinet, the nazi party, which hitler was leader of, was also voted in with a controlling majority in the Reichstag, they then passed the enabling act giving hitler dictator type powers, hindenburg died, hitler combined the office of chancellor etc etc, my big beef is where it asks for a screening process such as elections, basically they were elected, so that should be taken out.

I can only point out that (as far as I know) every President of the USA (but you can check out with all the leaders of all the nations of this planet) "had" a War. Be very carefull with phrases like: "when mentally unbalanced men are in control of a nation", or are you saying that almost all leaders of nations were and are "mentally unbalanced"?

These "other psychologist" are talking of things (in this case politics) of which they have simply no idea, because they never never had "such power and responsability". It kind of reminds me of something like this: "What is a specialist?" "It is somebody, who can explain you today, why the stuff he told you yesterday was wrong." or "Those who know how to do, do. The others, teach. Flamarande 19:23, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Added "Costs and benefits of war" section

I'd appreciate other eyes on this section, checking for neutral POV, etc. --NathanHawking 00:52, 2004 Oct 4 (UTC)

I think the neutrality is fine. I would insert quotations rather than pose questions. I appreciate the urge to put some sort of "cap" on the subject - a summation. Perhaps move the section on the morality of war to the end to serve this function? WardHayesWilson 00:58, 17 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Thanks once again for your thoughtful feedback, Ward. I'll have a look with fresh eyes, by now, when I get a little extra time. I think your idea of moving the morality section to the end is excellent, a denouement of sorts. I'll put it on my to-do list, but don't hesitate to jump in if the urge strikes.--NathanHawking 06:22, 2004 Oct 17 (UTC)

Benefits are a values based judgement/comparison and is POV. I've removed it but you can revert if you want to discuss it. It's a fine topic for an essay, and you have written it fairly for the most part, but it doesn't belong in Wikipedia. For example, I could also write "some benefits include gaining control of natural resources, strategic positioning for future warfare, and power over the citizens of Iraq.. I mean.. the defeated country" which should give you an idea of my POV. --Ben 03:31, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

intervention != war

the example that war may be 'cost-effective' in case of an intervention to ethnic cleansing etc. seems faulty to me. because, if you intervene in such a case, this means there is already a (civil) war, and you're only helping to end it. You may argue it can be cost-effective to throw more money and effort at an already ongoing war, in order to end it, but not that it can be cost-effective to start a war. dab () 15:12, 23 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Lexical Integrity as the Cause of Social Unrest

We can theorize that basis of much political turmoil is a lexical one. This analysis is based on votes and money, but the analysis of other words would also be sufficient to explain other causes of political unrest.

Votes are intended to equal among all people, and money is intended not to be. Both are "markers" that seek to account for the value of people in society. Political unrest can occur when, from a social perspective, these words lose their expected meaning.


There is a pervasive social expectation that it's wrong to "blur the distinction" between money and votes. Citizens get angry when politics affect their personal income, and vice versa, when money is used to influence their politicians.

Likewise, political upset also occurs when the words otherwise lose their original meaning. When one person's vote counts significantly more than another's, these votes would no longer serve the purpose of recognizing our sameness.

Finally, when money is handed out liberally by a government, without requiring effort on the part of the recipient, money loses its expected social definition as a measure of effort and achievement. In economic theory, confidence in money is the very basis of it's value.

The key here is that "lexical integrity" can be viewed as a fundamental cause of social unrest, and not any given political party or theory.


Why did you revert me? George W. Bush is a current example of a leader who sought war. EventHorizon talk 07:50, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)

With no response, I am reincluding Bush. EventHorizon talk 20:20, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I disagree. Why include Bush, of all people, and not include, say, Putin, Bismarck, Caesar, Charlemagne, Hirohito, ... Granted, Bush sought war, but is the Iraq war really on equal footing with the wars of Napoleon or Hitler? In 50-200 years, will we look back on Bush and say "yes, the fact that he started the 2003 Iraq war truly changed the world, like Hitler did." saturnight 00:05, Feb 8, 2005 (UTC)
Do you have a citiation showing that some psychologists haved used Bush in this argument? Otherwise it is original research. - SimonP 23:46, Feb 7, 2005 (UTC)

SimonP... Again...

Why did you remove my section on the United Nations and war. That was a large well researched section that was written very neutrally. It mentioned instances where the UN was involved in War, the relationship between war and the founding of the UN and the current historic position between the right to wage war and international law. It was a very relevant section dealing with issues not dealt with elsewhere. How can you have an article about War without at least mentioning the United Nations. Respond or I will revert to my changes which were unjustly modified without so much as a comment. StrifeZ 20:50, June 28, 2005 (UTC)

There are a number of reasons why it should go. The section was about the United Nations far more than it was about war. If it is worthwhile content it should go into a page on the UN, not this one. However, I don't think it is worthwhile content. It is riddled with POV, phrases like "historical irony, "Coalition of the Willing", and "discontinuity in stance on the issue" all reflect a particular bias.
It also seems very much like original research. There are no references and it makes basic errors of fact that would not occur if it were based on a reliable source. For instance the statement that "Canada and Germany, and organizations such as Amnesty International, the UN Secretariat and the Non-Aligned Movement maintain that the United Nations must approve all wars for them to be legitimate" is false. Canada, for one, believes all wars must be legal under international law, UN approval is important, but not essential, for such legality. Also almost all nations, with only a few exception such as Japan, maintain the right to go to war without international approval. Other sentences just don't seem to make sense. e.g. "Even coalitions of countries waging wars typically dodge UNSC approval in pursuit of higher objectives." - SimonP June 29, 2005 02:28 (UTC)
the phrase "coalition of the willing" is not a point of view... its a semi-official name (in leiu of an official title) to the informal military alliance that invaded Iraq. Wikipedia has a section called coalition of the willing. True, the name was originally used in a POV context by president Bush, but since then, and as I used it in the article, it was more in terms of refering to the military coalition that included everyone from the US and UK down to Micronesia. Consider it a historical term, not a POV.
the phrase "historical irony" is a POV, admittedly and could have been changed in wording (although it really doesnt warrant a deletion of the subject entirely). Is it not ironic and worth pointing out that an organization that was founded to end war has ended up overseeing a period of history that has seen more large scale conflict than any other? It isnt really opinion - since the UN Charter was established, over 700 wars have occured. In dealwith with the broader subject of war, more than just the rationale and types of war, some history of how wide spread war has become over the last 60 years is probably worth including if you are going to have an intellectually honest article. Unfortunatley you deleted it rather than modified it.
I have a difficult time with you called the "discontinuity of stance" of France, Germany and Canada a POV. Its very simple - these nations had no objection, and indeed sent military support to the unilateral (from the POV of NATO, as one body even though it is a group of countries) strikes against Serbia in Operation Allied Force without UN approval, yet all were against Operation Iraqi Freedom for it being waged without UN approval a few years later. How is that not "discontinuity"? You may think it is a pejorative remark about what (some would see) as the two faced nature of these countries... but it isn't. Nations hold different stances on different issues all for their own, usually selfish ends. It is the way the international system works. The word to best highlight that is the word "discontinuity".
The section about Canada that you point out was to address the fact that all parties that are part of the UN, to the letter of international law (a phrase I used multiple times) in the UN Charter that their respective national assemblies (or other government group) ratified and agreed to , do have to seek UNSC approval for non-defensive warfare. Now many countries reserve the right right implicitly to go to war if they feel it is in their interest... as I noted, you don't see the parties in the Second Congo War filing UN resolutions. But only a few countries, such as the United States, explicitly say that they are not bound by UNSC approval to wage war. That section as I recall was an attempt to balance out, what I guess could be called "the international law" side, the "grey area" (where most nations fall as, as you stated, they i reserve the right, if only implicitly), and the "independent right" side as advocated by the United States. In truth, I realized I needed more supporting information and was adding it when your reverted the document, so the changes didnt go through.
"Even coalitions of countries waging wars typically dodge UNSC approval in pursuit of higher objectives." refered to groups such as NATO, the Coalition of the Willing, the Arab Alliance in 1967 and 1973 that, even though they are multilateral alliances of nations, work towards what could be described as Unilateral bodies because they do not necessarily seek UNSC approval or disproval. For instance, NATO went to war against Serbia, and really didn't care about any other nation's opinion on the issue except for Russia. The Coalition of the Willing led to President Bush famously being decried around the world for his Unilateralism, despite the fact that it included dozens of countries. The term "in pursuit of higher objectives" refers to the goals of the coalition in question - with NATO it was to present a united front to saythat ethnic cleansing was unacceptable in Europe; in Iraq it was disarmnament and the removal of Saddam Hussein; the Arab Alliance was the element of surprise in their offensive against Israel. Basically, it refers to why these organizations went to war without UNSC approval. They each did it because not going to it was in someway complimented their effort and otherwise would have hindered it. If NATO sought approval, Russia would have voted or it would have gotten into a "what is genocide, really?" debate. If the Coalition sought approval, it would have likley lost the vote. If the Arab Alliance sought approval, it would have been voted or resulted in a veto.
The point is, the 20th (and so far the 21st century) has been a period of great international up heaval, and hundreds of wars, yet only two have been authorized in 60 years. Why this is so is essential to understanding the nature of war since 1945, and especially modern wars, in the age of internet and cable TV beaming images around the world in near real time. The existance of the United Nations, created to avoid war because of the largest war in history, not even being mentioned in an article about it is simply rediculous and something I have attempted and will continue to address. The two are not seperable, especially because it was war that gave birth to the UN in the first place, and more than Unicef or climate change or feeding the poor in Africa, the UN's principal purpose is to prevent war on the scale of the one that brought it into existance. Simply put, you can't say it was more about the UN than about war, because the UN itself, from its charter to its structure, is mostly about war. StrifeZ 15:509, June 29, 2005 (UTC)
As you said the UN has, despite its best intentions, had very little effect on warfare. I thus don't see why it should take up a significant portion of our war article. Could you please give me some citations for where you are getting your information, because you continue to make claims not grounded in fact. Nations do not "have to seek UNSC approval for non-defensive warfare." . Many international law scholars believe that Kosovo was perfectly legal, for instance. A good summary of this particular issue can be found here. UN approval is only one of many factors in assessing whether a war is legal, not the only one. Kosovo was justified on the grounds that it is legal to intervene to prevent a humanitarian crisis or genocide, which the coalition alleged was taking place in Kosovo at the time. Those supporting the Iraq war never claimed there was a humanitarian crisis underway prior to the invasion. The central legal justification was that nations have the right to act preemptively against imminent threats and that prior UN resolutions provided sufficient justification. The Kosovo justification was very different from the Iraq one, so there is no "discontinuity" if one accepts one and rejects the other. You are right that most belligerents choose to not pursue UN approval, but this is rarely if ever in pursuit of a "higher purpose" it is almost always because they are well aware that the war will not be approved. They also skip going through the UN because a war can be perfectly legal without UN approval. Also please see our article on the Coalition of the Willing, it makes clear that the phrase reflects a very definite POV. - SimonP June 29, 2005 23:31 (UTC)

Unconventional Warfare?

This article's definition of unconventional warfare and the definition at Unconventional Warfare don't match up.

A couple of points on POV wording

A few things stick out immediately to me reading this, such as "the unquestioned horror of nuclear war", which is not necessarily true, as some people believe that nuclear war can be useful and/or effective. For example, I forget which discussion page thios was but one person made a reference to the fact that Japan surrendered in WW2 earlier than they otherwise might have, thus saving many lives that would otherwise hae been lost to battles and strategic bombing. Therefore, in this particular case, using nuclear strategy could be viewed as effective, and for the greater good. But I agree, a lot of evil does come about accidentally in war, and the best Generals are usually those who reduce it as much as possible.

On another quotation, "Many now believe that wars should only be fought as a last resort." This, I would say is not true. I can back this up with a recent local opinion poll which actually showed that the vast majority of the people in the area were actually for war against certain regimes that were viewed as not worthy of diplomacy, for example, if someone attacks without declaring war then they do not deserve the chance to discuss peace soon after, as this is perhaps dishonourable (though undoubtedly effective). Can anyone prove that many people are against war? --The1exile 00:32, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

A week with no responses prompts me to change the wording. Any comments would be preferred before reversion. --The1exile 01:12, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Hmmm, I can only say that what ppl say, is sometimes a lie.Flamarande 19:27, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

proposed rewrite

The introduction to this article currently reads:

"War is a state of widespread conflict between states, organisations, or relatively large groups of people, which is characterised by the use of lethal violence between combatants or upon civilians. Other terms for war, which often serve as euphemisms, include armed conflict, hostilities, and police action (note). War is contrasted with peace, which is usually defined as the absence of war.
"A common perception of war is a series of military campaigns between at least two opposing sides involving a dispute over sovereignty, territory, resources, religion or a host of other issues. A war to liberate an occupied country is sometimes characterised as a "war of liberation", while a war between internal elements of the same state may constitute a civil war."

I see several problems with this. First, "conflict" includes non-warlike conflicts such as economic conflict. "Organizations" is unnecessarily vague, as is "relatively large". I suggest the following, which I put here for comment:

War is a state of deadly conflict in which human beings organize for their mutual defense and the slaughter of their enemies. If the warring groups are families, then the term used is feud, with war being reserved for deadly conflict between larger groups such as tribes, gangs, cities, states, coallitions of states, religions, or empires. Other terms for war, which often serve as euphemisms, include armed conflict, hostilities, and police action (note). If the slaughter is one-sided, the terms conquest or genocide may be used.
War is contrasted with peace, which is usually defined as the absence of war or the period between wars. Until the modern times, war was universal, and no human society was at peace for more than a generation. The only recorded exception was the Pax Romana, when the Roman Empire was free of internal war from 27 BC to 180 AD.
A wide variety of reasons have been given for fighting wars, including disputes over sovereignty, territory, resources, religion, race, ideology, broken agreements, and insults. When a government wants to start a war, a reason can always be found.

Information Warfare

There is a particular portion of the information warfare section that discusses the choices of invasion and resistance made by states. In one particular line the article notes that the Argentinians "knew that Britain had the ability to defeat them" but were failed by intelligence that failed to predict that this would, in fact, come to pass.

This statement is not borne out by facts. In fact most military strategists of the time were almost certain that Argentina, possessing not only a division-sized occupation force on the islands but also significant local air superiority and anti-ship capability (cf. French-built Exocet missile), would totally wipe out any attempt the Royal Navy made to retake the islands. This was part of the reason, for example, that American support for the British was so late-in-coming and ineffectual, and that American efforts to seek settlement beforehand were so frenzied — Reagan and his Secretary of State, Casper Weinberger, were worried that a massive defeat suffered by a Western European NATO ally would display weakness to the Soviet Union at a diplomatically-critical moment and encourage an invasion of West Germany. We will never know if this would have occurred — however the opposite did, indeed, occur, and Britain returned to the first rank of powers as a direct result.

Thus, there was not in fact a deficit of information leading up to the Argentine invasion — or, if there was, it was that the Argentines, far from knowing whether the British would counter-attack (though that is a fair enough supposition), did not believe the British could defeat them militarily, given their massive material advantages. This was a view shared by many within the British Foreign Office, which led partly to its failure to predict the outbreak of war and the resignation of the Foreign Secretary, Lord Carrington. Wally 02:27, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Nuclear war

I've reverted the recent small changes.

Nuclear war's destruction is actual, not potential. We remember Hiroshima.

The anti-war movement is strongest in those areas with declining populations. Wars are still being fought in Africa, Asia, and the middle-East, where populations are increasing. Until the invention of birth control, war was universal, in every generation, everywhere on earth, throughout history. Rick Norwood 14:52, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

"The defeat and repudiation of the fascist states and their militarism in the Second World War, the huge psychological and physical damage of nuclear war and a growth of the respect for the sanctity of individual life, as enshrined in the concept of human rights and as a cultural consequence of falling natural mortality rates and birth rates, have contributed to the current view of war."

  • psychological damage The assertion that nuclear war causes huge psychological consequences is not supported by facts. There is no agreed consensus that World War II should be called a nuclear war. Typically, nuclear war is thought of as a war fought primarily with nuclear weapons or in which large numbers of nuclear weapons are used. Such a war has never been fought, so we have no experience with what the consequences, psychological or otherwise, might be.
  • psychological damage/peace link There is no scholarship that I'm aware of that conclusively links attitudes about war and peace with people's view of nuclear weapons. I would like this to be so, but in twenty years of looking I haven't found such work. I'd be interested (and pleased) if you could support this claim with evidence. But I'm skeptical.
  • population/peace link It may well be true that the anti-war movement is strongest in countries with declining populations. There is no agreed scholarly consensus that there is a causal link here. There are more grizzly bears in red (Republican dominated) states in the US, but I don't think that proves a Republican/grizzly causal connection.
  • birth control "Until the invention of birth control, war was universal, in every generation, everywhere on earth, throughout history." I can't agree with you. Cambodia, for example, experienced a period of several hundred years (say, twenty-five generations) without war prior to the Killing Fields years in the 1970s. There have been no major wars between South American nations since 1872. Birth control has been widely available in the US since at least the 1960s and I count at least four wars since then (Vietnam, Gulf War, War in Afghanistan, War in Iraq -not counting Panama, Somalia, Kosovo, etc.) The connection is suggestive, but not proven.
  • long-term trends It is dangerous to presume trends about war, even based on forty or fifty years of evidence. Europe knew substantial peace in the hundred years before 1914. The Victorians believed (and said) that they were too civilized to fight wars any more. They had lots of reasons for this. Only more primative people in the colonial parts of the world, they said, still engaged in that sort of blood-thirsty behavior. World War I savagely disabused them of their self-satisfied notions. It is even possible to discern a 100 year cycle for wars in Europe. I am suspicious of these sorts of large generalizations, but note that the Thirty Years war falls at the divide between the 1500s and the 1600s (Germany lost an estimated 60% of its population), then a break, then at the turn of the 1700s to 1800s the Napoleonic wars (100s of thousands killed), then at the turn of the twentieth century, the First World War.

I am not persuaded by the paragraph quoted above. You might be able to replace "the huge psychological and physical damage of nuclear war" with something like "the shock of the first use of nuclear weapons" which is well attested to (See Boyer "By the Bomb's Early Light"). But the whole thing of ascribing reasons for the decline in approbation towards war is very tricky and makes me uncomfortable. Long-term historical trends are notoriously difficult to discern and prove. I would be inclined to drop the whole paragraph. WardHayesWilson 17:50, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Of course, it may be true that general nuclear war will not cause psychological damage -- someone would have to survive for any psychological damage to occur. But since there is well documented psychological damage in the survivors of a nuclear war in which only two nuclear bombs were dropped, it seems reasonable to extrapolate that dropping more nuclear weapons would cause more psychological damage.
I think there is at least some evidence that Carl Sagen's writing on Nuclear Winter caused some dampening of the nuclear saber rattling.
Cambodia -- during the 25 generations of peace you mention you somehow missed resistnace against the French occupation, border wars with Vietnam and Siam, and occupation by the Japanese. If there was not an all out war, it was because repeated invasions kept Cambodia too weak to fight one.
South America: most South American wars have been revolutionary wars, rather than wars between nations, but plenty of people died.
It is true that every American president fights one little wars to insure their reelection, but there have been no wars on American soil.
In Europe between 1814 and 1914 there were revolutionary wars in Greece, France, Belgium, Poland, Russia, and Germany; wars between Germany and Austria, between Prussia and Denmark, you have wars of unification in Italy and Germany, not to mention the countless colonial wars.
No, except for the Pax Romana (which coincided with the discovery of the sheep intestine condom, widespread abortion, and a sharp decline in the birth rate probably due to use of lead pipes, the peace today in America, Europe, Japan, and Australia is unprecidented. I know correlation is not causation, but the correlation, at least, is mighty strong. Rick Norwood 20:22, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
As I understand it the point of Wikipedia is to present clearly and accurately the best available knowledge about a subject. It should reflect the best judgment of the best scholarship available, not personal points of view no matter how reasonable or well argued. The assertions in the quoted paragraph may be true (or not) but they don't reflect the general consensus of scholarship that I am aware of. WardHayesWilson 01:22, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

You are probably right, and yet, this seems to clear to me that I am at a loss to understand why it is not part of the best available knowledge about the subject. Rick Norwood 21:58, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

Morality in War

I've removed the following sentence. It is a piece of a philosophical argument, not reporting on the current best state of knowledge. "In this sense, war is no more morally problematic than maintaining an armed law enforcement community against crime." WardHayesWilson 02:50, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Predicting the outbreak of war

I just added this section. Please notify me at my talk page if I was out of line.DanielDemaret 22:07, 21 February 2006 (UTC)


Characterised in the first line should be characterized, I believe. Thanks, have a nice day!

I'm told that the first is Commonwealth spelling, the latter US spelling. In Wiki, either is acceptable. Rick Norwood 14:52, 2 April 2006 (UTC)


There should be an "environmental theories" under "causes of war". Greenwar forever! savidan(talk) (e@) 07:10, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

New section: Termination of war

How wars end (as many or most do!) was conspicuously absent, given the good treatment of how they start and play out. Anyways, I'm not a warfare expert, but I've stubbed a section there with what I believe to be a true statement. Take it from there! Remember, "the end is important in all things". -Yamamoto  ;-) --Ds13 18:32, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Nagasaki bombing image caption


The only atomic weapons ever used in war - the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan by the United States on August 9, 1945, effectively ending World War II. The bombs over Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki immediately killed over 120,000 people.

This caption seems a bit sloppy. I am going to rewrite it. --CrypticBacon 08:21, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

This is my revision:

The United States detonated an atomic bomb over Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, effectively ending World War II. The bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima (on August 6) immediately killed over 120,000 people, and are the only instances of nuclear weapons ever used in war.

Let me know what you think. --CrypticBacon 08:29, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

Better. But there's a verb missing: and are the only instances of nuclear weapons being used in war. Pinkville 17:35, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure about this. The word being seems redundant here, as you could just say the only instances of nuclear weapons used in war and have the same meaning. I included the word ever to stress the unique characteristics of these attacks. --CrypticBacon 07:47, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
It's the word "instances" that affects the verb. You could say: and are the only nuclear weapons ever used in war, but when you add "instances" you aren't referring to the nuclear weapons anymore but rather the act of using them, which necessitates "being". I agree with the impulse to say "ever", and at the time I thought "ever being" seemed awkward, but now I think maybe not. You could also say: the only instances nuclear weapons have ever been used in war, which might be best. Pinkville 13:47, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
Okay, that makes sense. I'll change it. Thanks for the tip! --CrypticBacon 04:23, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Am I the only one who's realised how fucked up the Sun Tzu quote is in this article? Someone better check it out.

Map of conflicts

This looks a bit out of date. I wonder whether Colombia, the USA and Democratic Republic of the Congo etc etc should be on here too. -- max rspct leave a message 13:37, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

This map is somewhat out of date. It unquestionably should mark Sudan as a war zone, and I don't think there is much reason to still place the Basque areas in red. - SimonP 15:58, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

War ideology and philosophy - the purpose of War

Remember back to George Orwell's 1984? War is peace...that is war philosophy right there...should we add this concept...? --Lord X 00:58, 16 June 2006 (UTC)User:Xinyu

Limited War

I'd like to work on this a little. There are limits in almost all wars. Only wars of extermination are unlimited in the scope of their killing. In almost all wars you can surrender by throwing down your weapon. In almost all wars civilians are not regularly massacred. There are very few wars of extermination (Third Punic War, American Indian Wars?). I think it makes sense to change the heading of this section to be "Treaties Limiting War". This moves it from the philosophical question of whether wars are limited and how much, to a focus on the Geneva Convention, etc., which seems to be where this should go anyway.--WardHayesWilson 19:00, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Nagasaki Illustration

I have removed the words "effectively ending World War II" from the caption to the Nagasaki picture. The most recent scholarly research is divided on the effect that using nuclear weapons had on the Japanese decision to surrender. Frank, for instance, notes that the news of the bombing of Nagasaki appears to have had no impact on the meeting of the Supreme Council on the August 9th. While there are numerous after-the-fact claims by Japanese leaders that the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki persuaded them to surrender, careful review of the contemporaneous evidence does not bear this out. There is, on the other hand, strong evidence that the invasion by the Soviet Union had an important impact on the thinking of Japanese leaders. While it has been a common assumption in the US that the Bomb ended the war, the current historical research is divided. See for example, John W. Dower, Japan in war and peace: selected essays, (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1993); Edward J. Drea, In the service of the Emperor: essays on the Imperial Japanese Army, (Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998); Sadao Asada “The Shock of the Atomic Bomb and Japan's Decision to Surrender: A Reconsideration”, Pacific Historical Review, Volume 67 (1998); Richard B. Frank Downfall:The end of the Imperial Japanese empire (New York : Random House, 1999); Herbert P. Bix, Hirohito and the making of modern Japan, (New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 2000); Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the surrender of Japan (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2005).--WardHayesWilson 02:20, 19 June 2006 (UTC)