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Defined

War is an organized and often prolonged conflict that is carried out by states or non-state actors. It is generally characterised by extreme violence, social disruption and an attempt at economic destruction. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political communities, and therefore is defined as a form of (collective) political violence or intervention.

The English word war derives from the late Old English (c.1050) words wyrre and werre; the Old French werre; the Frankish werra; and the Proto-Germanic werso. The denotation of war derives from the Old Saxon werran, Old High German werran, and the German verwirren: “to confuse”, “to perplex”, and “to bring into confusion”.[1] Another posited derivation is from the Ancient Greek barbaros, the Old Persian varhara, and the Sanskrit varvar and barbara. In German, the equivalent is Krieg; the Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian term for "war" is guerra, derived from the Germanic werra (“fight”, “tumult”).[2]

The military–industrial complex, or military–industrial–congressional complex,[3] comprises the policy and monetary relationships which exist between legislators, national armed forces, and the arms industry that supports them. These relationships include political contributions, political approval for military spending, lobbying to support bureaucracies, and oversight of the industry. It is a type of iron triangle. The term is most often used in reference to the system behind the military of the United States, where it gained popularity after its use in the farewell address of President Dwight D. Eisenhower on January 17, 1961,[4] though the term is applicable to any country with a similarly developed infrastructure.[5][6]


Just How Bad ?

Since the rise of the state some 5,000 years ago,[7] military activity has occurred over much of the globe. The advent of gunpowder and the acceleration of technological advances led to modern warfare. According to Conway W. Henderson, "One source claims that 14,500 wars have taken place between 3500 BC and the late 20th century, costing 3.5 billion lives, leaving only 300 years of peace (Beer 1981: 20)."[8] In 5500+ years there has only been 300 years of Peace. Let that sink in.

According to SIPRI, total world spending on military expenses in 2009 was $1.531 trillion US dollars. 46.5% of this total, roughly $712 billion US dollars, was spent by the United States.[23] The privatization of the production and invention of military technology also leads to a complicated relationship with significant research and development of many technologies.

The military budget of the United States for the 2009 fiscal year was $515.4 billion. Adding emergency discretionary spending and supplemental spending brings the sum to $651.2 billion.[24] This does not include many military-related items that are outside of the Defense Department budget. Overall the United States government is spending about $1 trillion annually on defense-related purposes.[9]

The defense industry tends to contribute heavily to incumbent members of Congress.[10] In a 2012 news story, Salon reported, "Despite a decline in global arms sales in 2010 due to recessionary pressures, the U.S. increased its market share, accounting for a whopping 53 percent of the trade that year. Last year saw the U.S. on pace to deliver more than $46 billion in foreign arms sales."[11]

What Can We Do?

Worldwide politicians that perpetuate war and profit from it must be removed, at every level. Humanity must unite and learn to tolerate our differences while appreciating other cultures. You do not need to share someone's opinion or preference to respect their right to personal liberty and individual freedom. A vast majority of us really want the same thing: to be happy and healthy. Before we can declare peace just as easily as politicians declare war, we must have a revolution in the way we think and live.

You can start on a small scale, with staying positive. Don't be in a rush to speak, choose your words wisely. Have a positive impact on others and it will spread from them to others as well. Have respect and compassion for others. Get involved in your community and soon enough you will learn or remember how great it feels to help others. As we mature as a species, the propaganda and tactics to keep us divided will cease to be effective.

You should be quick and merciless to debate anyone who promotes any kind of violence, ethnocentrism, racism, sexism, or any other form of discrimination. All of humanity needs to unite regardless of labels, preferences, gender, or geographical location of birth. Only until Peace, Love, Unity and Respect is a consensus will War end forever.






References



1. "war". Online Etymology Dictionary. 2010. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
2. Diccionario de la Lengua Española, 21a edición (1992) p. 1071
3. e.g. Higgs, Robert (May 1995). "World War II and the Military–Industrial–Congressional Complex".
4. "The Military–Industrial Complex; The Farewell Address of Presidente Eisenhower" Basements publications 2006 ISBN 0976642395
5. Several Authors "Global Transformations" Stanford University Press 1999, page 108
6. "SIPRI Year Book 2008; Armaments, Disarmaments and International Security" Oxford University Press 2008 ISBN 9780199548958 Pages 255–56
7. Diamond, Jared, Guns, Germs and Steel
8. Conway W. Henderson (9 February 2010). Understanding International Law. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 212–. ISBN 978-1-4051-9764-9. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
9. Robert Higgs. "The Trillion-Dollar Defense Budget Is Already Here". Retrieved March 15, 2007.
10. Defense goes all-in for incumbents
11. "America, arms-dealer to the world," Salon, January 24, 2012.