When should you go to war?
When it comes to war, our minds tend to think of two main categories: just and unjust wars. But in truth, there are almost as many types of just war as there are types of conflict in this world, and most of them involve the use of military force or the threat of it at some point in their execution. Today we’re going to take a look at the different kinds of just war, what qualifies them as just wars and when you should consider using them to solve your problems. Let’s start with an overview of what makes a war just…
Assess your options
It’s not always clear when fighting is necessary, especially when diplomacy has failed. In order to determine whether going to war is worth it, examine your goals. Are they specific and attainable or nebulous and elusive? The more measurable your objectives are, the more likely it is that things will turn out as planned. If diplomatic negotiations have broken down completely, then launching a military offensive might be necessary. For example, if there’s no realistic prospect of negotiating a peace treaty with an enemy state or there’s no chance of convincing them through peaceful means, then going to war could potentially bring about lasting stability. On the other hand, if you want to spread democracy at all costs or work toward reuniting families, for example, then you may need to look for alternative options. Unfortunately, sometimes talking does no good; in such cases, consider direct action instead. At least try exhausting all alternatives before moving forward with war though—you never know what concessions may arise from one final negotiation session! Even agreeing to disagree can save lives…possibly yours…if you’re lucky. And remember that not every soldier needs a plan on how exactly they’re getting home after a successful mission…sometimes plans change halfway through too! Just think positive! We’re all really awesome people here right? Does everyone win? Right…?
Understand what makes peace sustainable
Peace is not a fixed state of affairs. There are plenty of examples throughout history of what many consider long-lasting periods of peace is marred by conflict, or even extinguished altogether. Understanding what conditions make peace sustainable is key if it’s something you’re trying to achieve. Ideally, as a leader in any area of life, your aim would be for your team and colleagues to think like you and share your values so that they’ll naturally want to achieve similar goals without having much oversight from above. It could also apply on a smaller scale; if you have family members who would rather tear each other apart than work together towards common goals, fostering more understanding between them will strengthen family bonds and help prevent future problems down the line. Learning how to create change with groups is important because most people inherently prefer stability. If you can structure things such that changing one particular aspect won’t drastically affect anything else (or at least not directly), then others will be more likely to accept it—so long as their needs don’t feel too threatened by it. You’re already on your way to doing just that when things are going well: try understanding why conditions are stable and maintaining them, seeing where changes can happen without disrupting everyone’s comfort zone too badly, and measuring how people react so you can build off of successful strategies next time around. This advice applies beyond simple conflicts over ideas – political unrest often reflects underlying dissatisfaction with general living conditions among its participants, for example.
Determine the costs and benefits of both war and peace
Ignorance can be bliss, but it is never intelligent. Part of being a good leader is recognizing when action must be taken, and part of that requires knowing how to evaluate your enemy. People can’t make informed decisions about whether or not a situation warrants conflict if they don’t have adequate information on which to base those decisions. Take care in seeking out intelligence from as many sources as possible before taking action; weighing all evidence equally and thoroughly before coming to any conclusion; limiting information flow only to individuals who absolutely need it in order to complete their tasks; avoiding groupthink by encouraging dissent among trusted advisers, and stepping back once in a while and asking yourself what would happen if everything went wrong. It’s also important to take public opinion into account—ask yourself: Is there an economic reason for keeping the peace, even if people are against war? Are these concerns legitimate enough that ignoring them could lead to greater social unrest down the road? Is there enough public support for action, at home and abroad, for intervention now or do we need time for more people to get behind it? Is there a strong domestic case for military action now rather than later (e.g., imminent threat vs future threat)? Finally—is immediate attention better spent on preventing violence elsewhere rather than stopping it here right now?
Avoid ‘terminal stupidity’ in making your decision
The number of a nation’s foreign enemies is inversely proportional to its greatness. That’s according to Carl von Clausewitz, and he was talking about military conflicts. But it makes sense that making enemies isn’t always a great way to ensure prosperity. Isolationism during times of prosperity can lead to an inward focus that ultimately harms not only your people but their prosperity as well. Leaders who keep us out of foreign entanglements (and therefore fewer enemies) are often more successful than those who drag us into every conflict under the sun. Although America has made some grave errors in judgment, we’ve also avoided many wars—and we’ve grown as a nation because of it. Despite past mistakes, our leaders should continue looking for opportunities for peace before plunging headfirst into war. The old saying goes: A country without arms is defenseless; a country without allies is ruined. Whether or not that axiom is true may depend on how we use our strength. Dictators around the world tend to think along these lines: I must attack my neighbors so they don’t attack me. War often works best as a deterrent when both sides share mutual interests and if neither side sees any benefit from fighting one another. History provides plenty of examples when deterrence worked just fine at stopping enemy advances, like World War II, where Japan never launched an attack on US soil despite possessing nuclear weapons.