To expand their horizons to new shapes and actors.

To What extent
have new wars emerged in recent decades?

“The
greatest victory is that which requires no battle” (The Art of War; Sun Tzu)  the  typical
concept of a war implies an armed conflict among political entities to gain  peace. This is the shape taken by the two
greatest wars in history, opposing two political blocks and mobilizing over 700
million soldiers/troops together. However, new types of combat have appeared in
recent decades. The cold war; for example, has applied unprecedented forms of
battle while conflicts of decolonization expand their horizons to new shapes
and actors. More recently, wars have further evolved, adopting new shapes and
aspects which fascinated the media. This transforms terrorism into today’s most
infamous form of war. The “New Wars” is an expression that represents warfare
in the Post-Cold war era.

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“New Wars” is an expression that Mary Kaldor
developed. Mary Kaldor is a professor at the London school of economics. She is
an author’s whose books study the
different aspects of war. Throughout the 1980’s and the 1990’s, noticeably in Africa and Eastern
Europe in specific, new forms of violence
began to prevail. Terrorism was described by the
U.S
military during the cold war under the term “low
intensity” conflict as well as used by
different authors in the term of ‘peoples war’ by Holsti, or “transnational wars”
by Duffield.

What differentiates the cold war from the
previous ones? First of all, cold wars
distinguish themselves by their nature as they are based on indirect conflict
rather than physical combat such as shooting and bombing. Whereas during World war 1 and World 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 set battle-ground. While the United States functioned mostly
on the
basis of a democratic government and its economy on free enterprise, the Soviet
Union was a communist State where property and production were controlled by just a single
party. The opposing system of the democratic and the communist, engaged
the respective nations in a conflict involves
several spheres of society: economic, political and cultural. The Old wars were fought by armed forces of states. The New
Wars are fought by a fusion of state and non-state actors. Kaldor states that
New Wars need to be known in terms of today’s process of globalization (Mary
Kaldor New and Old War). Mary Kaldor defines Old War as a traditional warfare,
where conflicts are usually between interstates, which play an important role
in funding and running the war.

According to Mary Kaldor, the “New
Wars” were not in fact that recent . What’s different between the “Old Wars”
from the “New Wars”, is that globalization and technology are growing. Kaldor
states that the war that took place in Iraq is indeed a ‘new kind of war’ and still
uses new technology such as satellite systems. “New Wars” are the wars of the globalization
era which usually happen in places that were significantly weakened (Kaldor
2013), furthermore ,  the New and the Old
Wars were not fought for the same reasons. Kaldor expressed the differences
between the two Wars by stating the multiple reasons the conflict happened; “Actors: Old wars were fought by the regular
armed forces of states. New wars are fought by varying combinations of networks
of state and non-state actors.–. Goals: Old wars were fought for
geopolitical interests or for ideology (democracy or socialism). New wars are
fought in the name of identity (ethnic, religious or tribal). Finance: Old
wars were largely financed by states (taxation or by outside patrons). In weak
states, tax revenue is falling and new forms of predatory private finance
include loot and pillage, ‘taxation’ of humanitarian aid, Diaspora support,
kidnapping, or smuggling in oil, diamonds, drugs, people, etc. It is sometimes
argued that new wars are motivated by economic gain. Methods:
In old wars, battle was the decisive encounter. The method of waging war consisted of capturing territory through
military means. In new wars, battles are rare and territory is captured through
political means, through control of the population) (Kaldor 2006: 10) The most
common criticism of ‘new wars’ discusses that new wars are not new. It can be
said that the Cold war made it hard to analyse ‘small wars’, many of the
features of new wars related with weak states are found in early modern period
and that incidents like mass rape, banditry forced the population to move. Many
of the same aspect of new wars are found in previous wars. It can be argued
that there are some new elements. The main elements are of course globalisation and technology, which has made it a symmetrical war (war between enemies that
have the same armoury) An example  is
the  Gulf war which was  between Iran and Iraq.

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