Monday, October 1, 2007

Civilians in war

Historians view the American Civil war as the first of the modern wars. They cite many reasons for this. One reason is Sherman’s march to the sea. He waged war against civilians. After his march, the war lasted only 5 more months. Throughout history, armies fought primarily against each other. Civilians did get in the way, and at times they were targeted. The vast majority of the time, the enemy army was the primary objective. Punitive wars were fairly rare. In sharp contrast, modern warfare has waged war directly against civilians on numerous occasions. One obvious reason is that the more technology has advanced, the more the entire military is dependent upon the civilian economy. Modern warfare has far less tolerance for ‘innocent civilians’ than at any time in the past. This trend can not only be expected to continue, but to accelerate. Sooner or later, another large war will break out. WMD will almost certainly be used. Almost certainly, cities will be the primary targets.

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