War is harmful not just to the civilians but the soldiers as well. The effects range from physical, environmental, economic, psychological and even mental effects. All these effects depend on the magnitude of the war. War has enormous civil, political and moral consequences.
A society’s happiness is usually diminished due to diminished morality. War leads to loss of life and property. It harms people’s morals as well as their sensitivity to moral issues.
Economic effects of war
War has usually proved to be costly to the countries involved. There is increased military expenditure hence hampering the economic growth as most of the country’s money is channeled towards the purchase of weaponry and improving the defense. In the 1990s Russian for instance spend about three times of the Gross Domestic Product on its defense and after that it was in a serious economic chaos. War in most of the cases usually drives a country into debt and the creditor nations take advantage of this. Wars usually reduce the long-run productive capabilities of any nation as the population’s growth is reduced and there is reduced inflow of immigrants.
The economic burden of any war is usually placed on the working class as well as those who have modest education while benefiting a few for instance the war veterans. Such veterans in the United States for instance have enormous benefits. The veterans of the World War II for instance have benefits that amount to more than three hundred billion dollars, which is very expensive and unsustainable.
War is a major hindrance to globalization as it reduces the global economic output. It leads to a decline in global investment and trade. Terrorism and war bring doubts which baffle the usual estimation and discourage foreign investors since business flourish in a nation that is stable politically. Commerce only flourishes where there is political stability and economic confidence. During the period of war scarcities generally make lavishness impossible and not conducive. There is increased inflation with commodity prices being higher than normal hence reducing the purchasing power of the civilians. War leads to unrest, strikes and loss of lives as well.
Property is destroyed and the livelihood of many people is significantly tampered with. It leads to people losing their homes and becoming refugees who need economic help. It cripples the economies and destroys industrial infrastructure.
War has the ability to reshape and change society. It has for instance led to an increased participation of the womenfolk in workforces.
It leads to the women assuming the roles that were initially meant for men. War also leaves a trail of women and girls who have been raped, traumatizing them and hence affecting their attitudes concerning sex hence resulting to social problems between the women and men. While going to war, soldiers usually leave many of the war children behind. When war terminates, these children and their mothers mostly undergo retorts. War results to existence of many casualties in a country that greatly impact on the demographic population profiles in these nations. War leads to a significant change in the sex ratio hence increasing the out-of-wedlock births as evident after the Second World War.
Political Effects of War
War has a significant effect on any political ideology. It usually leads to invasion and upsetting of the long-held sentiments and political tradition. The post war period is characterized by the recognition of allies and those who were aligned during the war. The alliances and treaties that were made before world war one in Europe for instance led so many of these nations to participate in the war even while unprepared or without so much consideration being put on its repercussions.
War destroys the Environment
It is generally destructive to any prevailing development. It greatly destroys the environment due to the weapons used as some cause fire that destroys the environment. There is soil, air and water pollution. People and animals are killed and several health effects are witnessed among those who are still living.
There is a significant loss in biodiversity. In addition, there are famine and sanitation problems that are witnessed at the refugee camps. The eventual result is disease outbreak and starvation. Refugees usually opt to hunt wildlife for meat so as to certain them and there is a significant destruction of the natural habitat resulting to soil erosion and desertification as witnessed in the Congo war. Vessels that are attacked in water during the combat usually spill the oil in water hence causing enormous water pollution (Miller 56). Toxic materials are released into the atmosphere hence causing air pollution.
The noisy explosions which are from explosives are a major cause of noise pollution and could permanently affect the auditory capability of the victims. Landmines usually render the land unsuitable for agriculture. War leads to the discovery of dangerous weapons like the atomic bomb in the case of world war two. Weapons that could render the earth unsuitable to live in. the bombs have a blinding light followed by excessive heat. They cause death, break water lines and unquenchable fires with radioactive precipitation, which causes extensive death and even affect the children to be born later (Glasstone 111). The fire produced at the time of war burn down forests.
This makes the soil bare which promotes soil erosion. At the same time the fumes produced during such a war usually leads to the formation of black/acidic rain.
Psychological and Emotional Effects
War has effects not only on the civilians that are involved but the soldiers as well. There are several psychological disorders that are associated with war. This includes shell shock also known as Combat Stress Reaction. There is also the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The emotional effect of any war can be very distressing particularly to the soldiers and any of the victims. Hallucinations are particularly common to them.
Victims tend to strongly react to things that remind them of traumatic encounters that they had during the war and tend to avoid those things that are associated with that war. It usually leads to social and emotional alienation (Kassin 77). The psychological effects that are experienced by soldier after the war limits their future accomplishments. Some of these soldiers are so much affected that do not even marry to raise as they are afraid due to the near death incident they come across.
Most of the affected have witnessed the death of close friends and have even had to escape from the jaws of death themselves. War usually results to regrets with most of the victims wishing that it should never have happened. A good example is the holocaust which left the survivors wishing that they were the ones who had died.
War has fatal consequences on the mental health of the civilians as well as the soldiers. Studies have shown that there is an increase in the prevalence of mental disorders especially in the areas that are prone to war. This is witnessed more among the women as compared to men.
Other vulnerable groups include children, the disabled and the elderly. This is attributed to the traumatic experiences that these groups undergo during the period of the conflict. People in these regions live in constant fear.
Most of the children that are borne the war torn regions grow while knowing only war and they have the warring mentality. The psychological problems that these people encounter could easily escalate into permanent mental problems depending on the magnitude of the problem and how fast these problems are tackled. War has catastrophic effects on well being of a nation and the health of its people. The victims exhibit problems that are associated with mental health.
Some develop behavior that hinders them from functioning effectively. They may show depression, anxiety, psychosomatic problems like insomnia among others. People that are affected by war, particularly the children need to undergo programs that are meant to repair their psychological damage.
In war efforts are made towards subverting love’s moral force and its connection, though the end usually results in love prevailing. War leads to separation and isolation of mankind hence making love to be rare and ego takes its place instead.
It only leads to alienation and brutality. War is a human weakness which is created by the war mongering leaders who send young, gullible, ignorant and active members of lower caste of society to battle. The result is unimaginable brutality characterized by the hunger to rape and maim the desire to kill as well as inflicting suffering and pain. People act indiscriminately, not considering the rule of law and have no respect for humanity. War breeds terrorism as well as constant crime against humanity with torture being the order of the day. There is evil and tyranny.
Any extensive war in this century has a higher capability for mass killing over a long distance.
Most of the people who die from indirect and direct causes are usually the civilians. Many people are wounded with a good number of the victims being children. War results to the damage of the health as well as the economic infrastructure leading to in increase in the post-war deaths.
It is said that the civil wars usually maim and kill people a long period after the stopping of the shooting. Armed conflicts usually result in the deaths and disabilities that are related to the war long after the end of the conflict. It is unfortunate that the major victims of any war are usually women and their children.
This could be attributed to the fact that most of them are defenseless and it is never easy for them to escape as well. War results to severe injury, trauma, death and extensive suffering. It is always a better option to involve diplomatic approaches so as to minimize hostility and reject revenge by violent means. In any case, the best remedy for any conflict is peace, healing as well as reconciliation. War may have fatal effects on women who in most cases suffer more than men do. Most of them are traumatized, due to the military brothels employed during the conflict. Some are raped, trafficked for prostitution and violated.
War widows, female victims of landmines as well as those women that are refugees due to war are highly vulnerable to living in poverty, prostitution or illnesses and death in the periods after the war. Most of them are prone to sexual slavery and brutality in during the war. This renders them vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS (Phillips 29). War should never be justified. In any case, the resources that are channeled towards war could be put to good use in education, healthcare, green jobs and even other activities that are life-affirming. Foreign policies should never be based on aggression and domination.
Instead, diplomacy, compassion and commitment to international law should be embraced. All forms of sexual exploitation particularly the female trafficking should be effectively tackled. There is no evidence whatsoever that hostility and cruelty are innate aspects of mankind. In any case the reverse is true as every baby is born non-violent and cooperative. No man is borne exploitative. This is an aspect that one acquires and natures.
Love and the urge to unite are the default aspects of people of any society. The only known powerful force that can sabotage war and its might is love. War is a clear indication of the deficit of people’s emotional life. During war and in the aftermath, those who can remain sane, those who never hate the enemy are those with good relationships and those who are in love.
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Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. London: Macmillan Publishers, 2000.