War

Mural of War (1896), by Gari Melchers
The percentages of men killed in war in eight tribal societies, and Europe and the U.S. in the 20th century. (Lawrence H. Keeley, archeologist)
The Egyptian siege of Dapur in the 13th century BC, from Ramesseum, Thebes.
Japanese samurai attacking a Mongol ship, 13th century
Finnish soldiers during the Winter War.
American tanks moving in formation during the Gulf War.
Soldiers of the Australian 4th Division equipped for chemical warfare in WWI, Ypres sector, 1917
Global deaths in conflicts since the year 1400.
The Apotheosis of War (1871) by Vasily Vereshchagin
The remains of dead Crow Indians killed and scalped by Sioux c. 1874
Les Grandes Misères de la guerre depict the destruction unleashed on civilians during the Thirty Years' War.
Ruins of Warsaw's Napoleon Square in the aftermath of World War II
The Ottoman campaign for territorial expansion in Europe in 1566
Women and priests retrieve the dead bodies of Swabian soldiers just outside the city gates of Constance after the battle of Schwaderloh. (Luzerner Schilling)
Increasing population and constant warfare among the Maya city-states over resources may have contributed to the eventual collapse of the Maya civilization by AD 900.
Kuwaiti oil wells on fire, during the Gulf War, 1 March 1991
U.S. Marine helicopter on patrol in Somalia as part of the Unified Task Force, 1992
Median age by country. War reduces life expectancy. A youth bulge is evident for Africa, and to a lesser extent in some countries in West Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and Central America.
U.S. soldiers directing artillery on enemy trucks in A Shau Valley, April 1968
U.S. Marines direct a concentration of fire at their opponents, Vietnam, 8 May 1968
Morning after the Battle of Waterloo, by John Heaviside Clark, 1816
In besieged Leningrad. "Hitler ordered that Moscow and Leningrad were to be razed to the ground; their inhabitants were to be annihilated or driven out by starvation. These intentions were part of the 'General Plan East'." – The Oxford Companion to World War II.
Anti-war rally in Washington, D.C., 15 March 2003

Intense armed conflict between states, governments, societies, or paramilitary groups such as mercenaries, insurgents, and militias.

- War
Mural of War (1896), by Gari Melchers

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Serious land degradation in Nauru after the depletion of the phosphate cover through mining

Land degradation

Process in which the value of the biophysical environment is affected by a combination of human-induced processes acting upon the land.

Process in which the value of the biophysical environment is affected by a combination of human-induced processes acting upon the land.

Serious land degradation in Nauru after the depletion of the phosphate cover through mining
Potato field with soil erosion
The rate of global tree cover loss has approximately doubled since 2001, to an annual loss approaching an area the size of Italy.
Overgrazing by livestock can lead to land degradation
Soil erosion in a wheat field near Pullman, US

land-use constraints associated with armed conflicts.

Clockwise from top: US troops at Uday and Qusay Hussein's hideout; insurgents in northern Iraq; the toppling of the Saddam Hussein statue in Firdos Square

Iraq War

Clockwise from top: US troops at Uday and Qusay Hussein's hideout; insurgents in northern Iraq; the toppling of the Saddam Hussein statue in Firdos Square
A UN weapons inspector in Iraq, 2002
Excerpt from Donald Rumsfeld memo dated 27 November 2001
United States Secretary of State Colin Powell holding a model vial of anthrax while giving a presentation to the United Nations Security Council
From the left: French President Jacques Chirac, US President George W. Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Chirac was against the invasion, the other three leaders were in favor.
Anti-war protest in London, September 2002. Organised by the British Stop the War Coalition, up to 400,000 took part in the protest.
Destroyed remains of Iraqi tanks near Al Qadisiyah
US Marines escort captured enemy prisoners to a holding area in the desert of Iraq on 21 March 2003.
US soldiers at the Hands of Victory monument in Baghdad
Iraqi tank on Highway 27 destroyed in April 2003
Map of the invasion routes and major operations/battles of the Iraq War through 2007
US Marines from 1st Battalion 7th Marines enter a palace during the Fall of Baghdad.
A Marine Corps M1 Abrams tank patrols Baghdad after its fall in 2003.
Humvee struck by an improvised explosive device attack in Iraq on 29 September 2004. Staff Sgt. Michael F. Barrett, a military policeman in Marine Wing Support Squadron 373, was severely injured in the attack.
Polish GROM forces in sea operations during the Iraq War
Marines from D Company, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion guard detainees prior to loading them into their vehicle.
Occupation zones in Iraq as of September 2003
Saddam Hussein being pulled from his hideaway in Operation Red Dawn, 13 December 2003
Coalition Provisional Authority director L. Paul Bremer signs over sovereignty to the appointed Iraqi Interim Government, 28 June 2004.
US troops fire mortars.
A USMC M198 artillery piece firing outside Fallujah in October 2004
Convention center for Council of Representatives of Iraq
US Marines from 3rd Battalion 3rd Marines clear a house in Al Anbar Governorate.
Nouri al-Maliki meets with George W. Bush, June 2006
President George W. Bush announces the new strategy on Iraq from the White House Library, 10 January 2007.
US soldiers take cover during a firefight with insurgents in the Al Doura section of Baghdad, 7 March 2007.
A graph of US troop fatalities in Iraq March 2003 – July 2010, the orange and blue months are the period of the troop surge and its aftermath.
Iraqi army battalion trains for urban operations
3D map of southern Turkey and northern Iraq
An Iraqi soldier and vehicles from the 42nd Brigade, 11th Iraqi Army Division during a firefight with armed militiamen in the Sadr City district of Baghdad 17 April 2008
General David Petraeus in testimony before Congress on 8 April 2008
An Iraqi Army unit prepares to board a Task Force Baghdad UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter for a counterinsurgency mission in Baghdad in 2007.
Street fighting in Mosul in January 2008
Aerial view of the Green Zone, Baghdad International Airport, and the contiguous Victory Base Complex in Baghdad
Election map showing the largest list in every governorate
US Navy and Coast Guard personnel stand guard aboard the Al Basrah Oil Terminal in July 2009.
Iraqi commandos training under the supervision of soldiers from the US 82nd Airborne in December 2010
Alabama Army National Guard MP, MSG Schur, during a joint community policing patrol in Basra, 3 April 2010
M1 Abrams tanks in Iraqi service, January 2011
US Army soldier on the roof of an Iraqi police station in Haqlaniyah, July 2011
US and Kuwaiti troops closing the gate between Kuwait and Iraq on 18 December 2011
June 2015 military situation:
Wounded US personnel flown from Iraq to Ramstein, Germany, for medical treatment (February 2007)
Marines unload a wounded comrade from an Army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter for medical treatment at Al Qaim.
A city street in Ramadi heavily damaged by the fighting in 2006
A memorial in North Carolina in December 2007; US casualty count can be seen in the background.
Child killed by a car bomb in Kirkuk, July 2011
This photograph from Abu Ghraib released in 2006 shows a pyramid of naked Iraqi prisoners.
Car bombing was a frequently used tactic by insurgents in Iraq.
Protesters on 19 March 2005, in London, where over 150,000 marched
A woman pleads with an Iraqi army soldier from 2nd Company, 5th Brigade, 2nd Iraqi Army Division to let a suspected insurgent free during a raid near Tafaria, Iraq.

The Iraq War was a protracted armed conflict in Iraq from 2003 to 2011 that began with the invasion of Iraq by the United States–led coalition which overthrew the Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein.

Thomas Robert Malthus, after whom Malthusianism is named

Malthusianism

Idea that population growth is potentially exponential while the growth of the food supply or other resources is linear, which eventually reduces living standards to the point of triggering a population die off.

Idea that population growth is potentially exponential while the growth of the food supply or other resources is linear, which eventually reduces living standards to the point of triggering a population die off.

Thomas Robert Malthus, after whom Malthusianism is named
The Malthusian catastrophe simplistically illustrated
Global deaths in conflicts since the year 1400
A chart of estimated annual growth rates in world population, 1800–2005. Rates before 1950 are annualized historical estimates from the US Census Bureau. Red = USCB projections to 2025.
Growth in food production has historically been greater than the population growth. Food per person increased since 1961. The graph runs up to slightly past 2010.
Wheat yields in developing countries since 1961, in kg/ha Largely due to effects of the "Green Revolution". In developing countries maize yields are also still rapidly rising.

This event, called a Malthusian catastrophe (also known as a Malthusian trap, population trap, Malthusian check, Malthusian crisis, Malthusian spectre, or Malthusian crunch) occurs when population growth outpaces agricultural production, causing famine or war, resulting in poverty and depopulation.

Ibn Khaldun statue in Tunis, Tunisia (1332–1406)

Gunnar Heinsohn

German author, sociologist and economist and professor emeritus at the University of Bremen.

German author, sociologist and economist and professor emeritus at the University of Bremen.

Ibn Khaldun statue in Tunis, Tunisia (1332–1406)

In his theory about the "youth bulge", Heinsohn argues that an excess in especially young adult male population predictably leads to social unrest, war and terrorism, as the "third and fourth sons" that find no prestigious positions in their existing societies rationalize their impetus to compete by religion or political ideology.

According to Keeley's book, modern western societies are not more violent or war-prone than (historical) tribes. This bar chart compares the percentage of male deaths as caused by warfare in eight tribal societies (Jívaro, Yanomamo, Mae Enga, Dugum Dani, Murngin, Huli, Gebusi) with Europe and the US in the 20th century. The chart is based on War before Civilization.

War Before Civilization

Book by Lawrence H. Keeley, a professor of archaeology at the University of Illinois at Chicago who specialized in prehistoric Europe.

Book by Lawrence H. Keeley, a professor of archaeology at the University of Illinois at Chicago who specialized in prehistoric Europe.

According to Keeley's book, modern western societies are not more violent or war-prone than (historical) tribes. This bar chart compares the percentage of male deaths as caused by warfare in eight tribal societies (Jívaro, Yanomamo, Mae Enga, Dugum Dani, Murngin, Huli, Gebusi) with Europe and the US in the 20th century. The chart is based on War before Civilization.

The attrition rate of numerous close-quarter clashes, which characterize warfare in tribal warrior society, produces casualty rates of up to 60%, compared to 1% of the combatants as is typical in modern warfare.

The Battle of Gettysburg, by Thure de Thulstrup.

Legitimate military target

The Battle of Gettysburg, by Thure de Thulstrup.

A legitimate military target is an object, structure, individual, or entity that is considered to be a valid target for attack by belligerent forces according to the law of war during an armed conflict.

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Consequentialism

Class of normative, teleological ethical theories that holds that the consequences of one's conduct are the ultimate basis for judgment about the rightness or wrongness of that conduct.

Class of normative, teleological ethical theories that holds that the consequences of one's conduct are the ultimate basis for judgment about the rightness or wrongness of that conduct.

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Jeremy Bentham, best known for his advocacy of utilitarianism
Max Weber

The "material wealth" of Mohist consequentialism refers to basic needs, like shelter and clothing; and "order" refers to Mozi's stance against warfare and violence, which he viewed as pointless and a threat to social stability.

A Viet Cong base camp being burned during the Vietnam War. An American private first class (PFC) stands by.

Asymmetric warfare

A Viet Cong base camp being burned during the Vietnam War. An American private first class (PFC) stands by.
Oil-drum roadside IED in Northern Ireland removed from culvert in 1984
Remnants of rifles used by Filipino soldiers during the War on display at Clark Museum
Improvised molotov cocktails
This Cougar in Al Anbar, Iraq, was hit by a directed charge IED approximately 300 – in size.

Asymmetric warfare (or asymmetric engagement) is the term given to describe a type of war between belligerents whose relative military power differs significantly, or whose strategy or tactics differ significantly.

World population, 10,000 BCE – 2,000 CE (vertical population scale is logarithmic)

Human history

Narrative of humanity's past.

Narrative of humanity's past.

World population, 10,000 BCE – 2,000 CE (vertical population scale is logarithmic)
Cave painting, Lascaux, France, c. 15,000 BCE
Monumental Cuneiform inscription, Sumer, Mesopotamia, 26th century BCE
Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
The Buddha
Persepolis, Achaemenid Empire, 6th century BCE
Pillar erected by India's Maurya Emperor Ashoka
Obelisk of Axum, Ethiopia
Maya observatory, Chichen Itza, Mexico
The Pantheon in Rome, Italy, originally a Roman temple, now a Catholic church
University of Timbuktu, Mali
Hagia Sophia, in Istanbul, is among the most recognizable symbols of the Byzantine civilization.
Great Mosque of Kairouan, Tunisia, founded 670 CE
Crusader Krak des Chevaliers, Syria
St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City.
Notre-Dame de Paris in Paris, France: is among the most recognizable symbols of the civilization of Christendom.
A brass "Benin Bronze" from Nigeria
Chennakesava Temple, Belur, India
Battle during 1281 Mongol invasion of Japan
Angkor Wat temple, Cambodia, early 12th century
Moai, Rapa Nui (Easter Island)
Machu Picchu, Inca Empire, Peru
Gutenberg Bible, ca. 1450, produced using movable type
Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man (c. 1490), Renaissance Italy
1570 world map, showing Europeans' discoveries
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul (formerly Constantinople), Turkey
Taj Mahal, Mughal Empire, India
Ming dynasty section, Great Wall of China
Watt's steam engine powered the Industrial Revolution.
Empires of the world in 1898
The first airplane, the Wright Flyer, flew, 1903.
World War I trench warfare
Atomic bombings: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, 1945
Civilians (here, Mỹ Lai, Vietnam, 1968) suffered greatly in 20th-century wars.
Last Moon landing: Apollo 17 (1972)
China urbanized rapidly in the 21st century (Shanghai pictured).

Contemporary history (a period also dubbed Pax Americana in geopolitics) includes historic events from approximately 1945 that are closely relevant to the present time. Major developments include the Cold War, continual hot wars and proxy wars, the Jet Age, the DNA revolution, the Green Revolution, artificial satellites and the Global Positioning System (GPS), development of the supranational European Union, the Information Age, rapid economic development in India and China, increasing terrorism, and a daunting array of global ecological crises headed by the imminent existential threat of runaway global warming.

Two warthogs preparing to fight

Aggression

Overt or covert, often harmful, social interaction with the intention of inflicting damage or other harm upon another individual; although it can be channeled into creative and practical outlets for some.

Overt or covert, often harmful, social interaction with the intention of inflicting damage or other harm upon another individual; although it can be channeled into creative and practical outlets for some.

Two warthogs preparing to fight
Male elephant seals fighting
Testosterone to Estradiol conversion

The ǃKung people were described as 'The Harmless People' in a popular work by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas in 1958, while Lawrence Keeley's 1996 War Before Civilization suggested that regular warfare without modern technology was conducted by most groups throughout human history, including most Native American tribes.