‘What Every Person Should Know About War’
By CHRIS HEDGES (Published: July 6, 2003)
What is a war?
War is defined as an active conflict that has claimed more than 1,000 lives.
Has the world ever been at peace?
Of the past 3,400 years, humans have been entirely at peace for 268 of them, or just 8 percent of recorded history.
How many people have died in war?
At least 108 million people were killed in wars in the twentieth century. Estimates for the total number killed in wars throughout all of human history range from 150 million to 1 billion. War has several other effects on population, including decreasing the birthrate by taking men away from their wives. The reduced birthrate during World War II is estimated to have caused a population deficit of more than 20 million people.
How many people around the world serve in the military?
The combined armed forces of the world have 21.3 million people. China has the world’s largest, with 2.4 million. America is second with 1.4 million. India has 1.3 million, North Korea 1 million, and Russia 900,000. Of the world’s 20 largest militaries, 14 are in developing nations?
How many wars are taking place right now?
At the beginning of 2003 there were 30 wars going on around the world. These included conflicts in Afghanistan, Algeria, Burundi, China, Colombia, the Congo, India, Indonesia, Israel, Iraq, Liberia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sudan, and Uganda.
Is there a genetic reason why we fight?
There is no single «war gene.» Combinations of genes can predispose a person to violence. However, aggression is a product of biology and environment. In America, sources of aggressive dispositions include domestic violence, the portrayal of violence in the media, threats from enemies, and combat training.
Is war essentially male?
Worldwide, 97 percent of today’s military personnel are male. This is thought to be a reflection of culture and biology. Fifteen percent (204,000) of American military personnel are female.
Can women fight as effectively as men do?
Yes. While fewer women are «natural killers,» and women are on average smaller than men, there are many women who have the psychological makeup and the physical ability to fight. There are many men without either. Women have shown valor in combat. Dr. Mary Walker won the Medal of Honor during the Civil War.
Why are civilians so attracted to war?
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