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Old November 8th, 2012, 12:57 PM   #11

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i remember reading something about france declaring war against some african country because its diplomat there was insulted or something of that sort. haven't a clue when or which country.
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Old November 9th, 2012, 04:56 AM   #12
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Never confuse the reason given for a war with the reason it was fought!

You can't very well say 'we will invade xxxx because our arms manufacturers need to increase their profits', now, can you? You have to blame them for something first, even if it was done by somebody else, not even connected to them . . .
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Old November 9th, 2012, 01:51 PM   #13

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In my OP i did actualy mention that i thought wars were frequently started by flashpoints but had other deep rooted underlying causes
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Old November 9th, 2012, 02:36 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by funakison View Post
In my OP i did actualy mention that i thought wars were frequently started by flashpoints but had other deep rooted underlying causes
These reflections were already old knowledge when Polybios wrote this illustrative passage:
Quote:
Some of those authors who have dealt with Hannibal and his times, wishing to indicate the causes that led to the above war between Rome and Carthage,
allege as its first cause the siege of Saguntum by the Carthaginians
and as its second their crossing, contrary to treaty, the river whose native name is the Iber.
I should agree in stating that these were the beginnings of the war, but I can by no means allow that they were its causes,
unless we call Alexander's crossing to Asia the cause of his war against Persia
and Antiochus' landing at Demetrias the cause of his war against Rome,
neither of which assertions is either reasonable or true.
For who could consider these to be causes of wars, plans and preparations for which, in the case of the Persian war, had been made earlier, many by Alexander and even some by Philip during his life, and in the case of the war against Rome by the Aetolians long before Antiochus arrived?
These are pronouncements of men who are unable to see the great and essential distinction between a beginning and a cause or purpose, these being the first origin of all, and the beginning coming last.
By the beginning of something I mean the first attempt to execute and put in action plans on which we have decided,
by its causes what is most initiatory in our judgements and opinions, that is to say our notions of things, our state of mind, our reasoning about these, and everything through which we reach decisions and projects.
The nature of these is evident from the instances adduced above;
it is easy for anyone to see the real causes and origin of the war against Persia.
(Histories, III. VI. I-IX) For example, on this one:
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The Causes of most wars are best divided into immediate and underlying. the immediate causes are flashpoints that boil over into armed conflict,

This has to be the stupidest

Football War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
... soccer was clearly just the beginning, a mere excuse, not the cause of a war as stupid as any other.

In fact, given that this conflict had just like three thousand casualties, arguably there have been wars literally hundreds of times more stupid.
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Old November 9th, 2012, 02:42 PM   #15

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giraffe View Post
Never confuse the reason given for a war with the reason it was fought!

You can't very well say 'we will invade xxxx because our arms manufacturers need to increase their profits', now, can you? You have to blame them for something first, even if it was done by somebody else, not even connected to them . . .
Indeed. Especially considering that, unless you belong to a nomadic possessionless warlike people, war was and is a costly affair not to be engaged in lightly.
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Old November 9th, 2012, 02:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giraffe
Never confuse the reason given for a war with the reason it was fought!

You can't very well say 'we will invade xxxx because our arms manufacturers need to increase their profits', now, can you? You have to blame them for something first, even if it was done by somebody else, not even connected to them . . .
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Originally Posted by Gudenrath View Post
Indeed. Especially considering that, unless you belong to a nomadic possessionless warlike people, war was and is a costly affair not to be engaged in lightly.
Excellent points.

Ultimately, the causes of virtually any war can almost always be reduced to economy, i.e. $$$ money.
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