Belligerents are in a state of war when the political and military leadership of the armed confrontation participants remove the limits for using its armed forces and suitable weapons. Generally, the armed forces receive an order to start fighting.
State of war entails a number of legal consequences, an end to diplomatic and other relations between the warring states, the termination of treaties, etc. For example, all treaties between Japan and Russia on the delimitation of the Islands (Sakhalin, and the Kuril Islands), in the 19th century, lost power in the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-1905, so any references to them in our time are not proper.
The war can end with unconditional surrender of one of the warring parties or by peace agreement partially satisfying the parties involved. In any case, the war ends with peace, which is usually defined as the absence of war or removed contradictions between warring states.
Up until the 19th century, wars had relatively narrow economic base and were made, as a rule, by few professional armies. From the second half of the 19th century and especially from the twentieth century war requires enormous exertion of the warring parties and involving multimillion-dollar mass of people in the long fighting. If a military conflict involves many countries, the conflict is called the world war. In the First World War, more than 70 million people were involved. In the World War II, it was about 110 million.
Role of war in human society is estimated ambiguously:
- Negative effects of wars, in addition to the deaths, can be attributed to the complex, which is designated as a humanitarian catastrophe: famine, epidemics. Today’s global wars are associated with enormous human and material losses and an unprecedented first destruction and disasters. For example, European countries lost (the killed and died of wounds or disease) was as follows: in the 17th century, 3.3 million, in XVIII century, 5.4 million, in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (until the first world war), 5.7 million, in the first world war — more than 9 millions, in the second World War (including deaths in Nazi concentration camps) – more than 50 million people.
- Positive consequences of war include information exchange (through the battle of Talas, the Arabs learned Chinese secret of making paper), a burst of scientific and technological discoveries, as well as the removal of contradictions (war as a dialectical negation of the time by Hegel).
Some researchers believe also positive for human society as a whole (not the person), the following factors:
- the war brings biological selection back in human society when the offspring leaves the fittest to survive, because in normal human community laws of biology when choosing a partner are badly weakened.
- the war clears all bans that are imposed on the person in a society at the usual time of peace. As a result, the war can be seen as a way and method of removing the psychological tension in a society.
- fear of imposition of alien will, fear in the face of danger is extraordinary stimulus to technological progress. It is no coincidence that many new products are invented and first appear for military needs and only then find their application in civilian life.
- improvement of international relations at the highest level and the appeal of the international community to such values as human life, peace, and stuff in the post-cold war period.
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