“The greatest victory is that which requiresno battle” ( The Art of War; Sun Tzu ) the typicalconcept of a war implies an armed conflict among political entities to gain peace. This is the shape taken by the two greatest warsin history, opposing two political blocks and mobilizing over 700 million soldiers/troopstogether. However, in recent decades new types of combathave appeared .
The cold war, for example has applied unprecedented forms ofbattle while conflicts of decolonization expand their horizons to new shapesand actors. More recently, wars have further evolved, adopting new shapes andaspects which fascinate the media. This transforms terrorism into today’s mostnotorious form of war. “New Wars” is anexpression that represents warfare in the Post-Cold war era.New Wars is an expression that Mary Kaldordeveloped. Mary Kaldor is a professor at the London school of economics. She isan author’s who’s books study the different aspects of war.
Throughout the1980’s and the 1990’s, notably in Africa and Eastern Europe, new forms ofviolence began to prevail. Terrorism was described under the term “lowintensity” conflict by U.S military during the cold war.
What differentiatesthe cold war from the previous ones? First of all, cold wars distinguishthemselves by their nature as they are based on indirect conflict rather thanphysical combat such as shooting and bombing. Whereas during World war 1 andWorld war 2, there has been direct armed conflict between 2 political entities,the Cold War opposed 2 nations, the Americans and the Soviets with no setbattle-ground. While the United States functioned on the basis of a democraticgovernment and its economy on free enterprise, the Soviet Union was a communistState where property and production are controlled by a single party. Theopposition of the democratic system and the communist system engaged therespective nations in a conflict involving several spheres of society:economic, political, cultural Old wars were fought by armed forces of states.
NewWars are fought by a mix of non- state and state actors. Kaldor states that newwars need to be known in terms of today’s process of globalization ( MaryKaldor New and Old War). Mary Kaldor defines old war as a traditional warfare,where conflicts are usually between interstates, these states play an importantrole in running and funding the war.According to Mary Kaldor, “new wars” were not infact “new”.
What’s different from ‘old wars’ and ‘new wars’ are thatglobalization and technology are growing. Kaldor states that that the war inIraq is indeed a ‘ new kind of war’ and uses new technologies like satellite system.NewWars are the wars of the era of globalization, usually, they happen in placesthat were significantly weakened.
New wars are the wars of the era ofglobalization, usually they happen in places that were significantly weakened,In addition new and old wars were not fought for the same reasons. Kaldor statedthe differences between the old wars and new wars by stating for what reasons theconflict happened ( Methods, goals, finance , actors).Old wars were fought byregular armies from different states,new wars are a combination of non-state and state actors.Old wars were fought for geo political matter ( socialism or democracy),whereas , new wars were fought for ethnic , religious or tribal reasons. In oldwars, the method of pursuing war was taking over territory across militarymeans.
Violence was used towards the people to control territory rather thanenemy forces. Kaldor stated that theforms of finance were different in old wars and new wars. Old wars were mainlyfinanced by states (tax). New wars , especially weaker states tax revenue is fallingwhich created new forms of finance that include kidnapping, smuggling diamonds,drugs etc…
(Kaldor 2013) The mostcommon criticism of ‘new wars’ discusses that new wars are not new. It can besaid that the Cold war made it hard to analyze ‘small wars’, many of thefeatures of new wars related with weak states are found in early modern periodand that occurrences like mass rape, banditry forced the population to move. Manyof the same feature of new wars are found in previous wars. It can be arguedthat there are some new elements.
The main elements are of course globalizationand technology, which has made it a symmetrical war (war between opponents thathave the same armory) An example r is the first Gulf war between Iran and Iraq.