The Philosopher's Eye

News and brain candy for the philosophy community

What is to be understood about war!?

In a times on- line article from today, General Sir Richard Dannat claims that Prime Minister Gordon Brown has not understood until fairly recently the significance of the war in Afghanistan. The article states that the General was critical of how the Government had handled war-related questions, like equipment-shortages and other failed forms of financial backing. As irritating as this criticism might seem, it is not as unflattering for Gordon Brown as it migth sound. I can understand that Gordon Brown cannot understand the war. Who ever really does? Theoretically, it is sensible to free Afghanistan of the Taliban. But for many people it is not really logical that so many soldiers are killed. And it is not clear why? For democracy? A greater good? A humanitarian ideal of freedom? Since the war started in 2001, the “why?” question has become manifold and more and more complicated to answer. The wikipedia definition of war is that it is a “reciprocated, armed conflict between two or more non-congruous entities, aimed at reorganizing a subjectively designed, geo-politically desired result.” A definition that probably helps neither Gordon  Brown nor us. War is not a logical behaviour. As much as war historians are trying to argue its logic. Plato’s ideal state was based on the Good. And the beautiful. Not on war and conflict. No wonder Gordon Brown does not understand the sense in war. Neither do most of us. In Antiquity or today.

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One comment on “What is to be understood about war!?

  1. Larry
    September 8, 2016

    I can’t understand what is NOT to be understood here. War is the final push to force one’s will onto another. Be that will the will of another nation or person based on theire ideology, social values, government, economy, geography, etc. It is human nature (just check your historical facts!) for one person to force his will upon another (also check several toddlers playing together!). To assume that because one person, or group of people, or nation, or government wants to “play nice”, all others do as well, is naïve and ignorant of facts and history. And what does that person, group, nation, or government do about having another’s will forced upon them? Defend themselves, naturally! Hence……war is born.

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