Conflicts of the twentieth century
- Appointment of the High Representative
- Features of the role of the High Representative
Interstate succession wars gradually led by internal conflicts and are more deadly for civilians (e.g. with 800,000 dead in Rwanda in 1994). Therefore, it seems that as long as states exist, conflicts resulting from rivalry and vested interests remain. The causes of these wars are always the same, starting with the need to ensure their security. Conflicts can also occur under the pretext of ideologies which may be political or religious as few of the people want to expand their influence.
However, diplomacy is dominant and the use of force occurs when there is no other choice, when a state sees an opportunity or when opinions are formed from fatal mechanism. This presentation will address three fundamental issues: how the war has evolved since the eighteenth century and what will be its shape in the twenty-first century? What are the causes of the forth coming wars? What are the ways of prevention and peacemaking?
It is a war of mass and an absolute goal - the annihilation of the enemy - accompanied by a collapse of the rear (civilians) by terror. Two phenomena are responsible. First, the French Revolution opened the way for mobilizing ideologies such as popular sovereignty, democracy (the subject becomes a citizen), the nation-state and equality among people. This means the death of empires, like the Habsburgs in Austria-Hungary for example. Conscription replaces the mercenary and announces the great national wars.
The concept of nation in arms is for example the French Army, founded in 1792, reaching 500,000 men in 1794. In addition, the Industrial Revolution began in the late eighteenth century and caused the emergence of new technologies used for military purposes. The railway leads to a change of speed, concentration of troops and logistics. The telegraph greatly improved communication between the back and front.
The new fire power has also been evident: guns and cannons are in charge now breech, again, heavy weapons like machine guns appear. Health conditions are improving: Before the Industrial Revolution, most of the soldiers died of disease. In the late nineteenth century, these proportions were reversed. At the instigation of Prussia in 1871 is to the staff: French strategic hegemony disappeared. Finally, means of transport were emerging as armed submarines, tanks or planes. These advances lead to a professionalization of the army in some areas.
The First World War was a war of attrition where there was offensive defensive bonus. The difference was also due to the demographic power, because the tactics proved to devour men. Indeed, this was the first mass war; and it was accompanied by a culture of war, front and rear. These were the industrial and financial resources prevailing. Allied victory was due to the shortness of the German rear.
WWII was a war of mobility, and speed. The Germans took early advantage with a new strategy, the blitzkrieg (lightning war) that primarily used aircraft and tanks. In this war, civilians were an integral objective. In France, the country became a battle front, because the resistance was a latent home front.
Tags: French Revolution, sovereignty, democracy, French Army, Industrial Revolution