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How has the nature of war changed? Has it changed the way of making peace?

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  1. Introduction.
  2. An intrepretation of the book 'New and old wars'.
    1. The goals.
    2. The methods of warfare.
    3. The financing of the conflicts.
  3. New aspects of warfare on a more technical and strategic level.
  4. The role of the non-state actors.
  5. Various theories old wars and new wars.
  6. The change in the nature of war.
  7. Conclusion.
  8. Bibliography.

?War appears to be as old as mankind, but peace is a modern invention? . This quotation of Sir Henry Maine seems obvious: wars have been a common feature of mankind history. On the other hand, implementation of durable peace, and not only end of the war, is a more intricate notion. The regular intervention of the United Nations and Western countries in conflicts around the world is a relatively new phenomenon. Despite of that, ?small wars?, expression used in the 1970's by the Financial Times to name any internal conflict , multiply rapidly. Moreover, the distinction between war and peace becomes tricky, which shows that the nature of war itself has changed and does not have a Clausewitzean dimension anymore. After the Cold War, in the beginning of the 1990's, some intellectuals believed in the end of wars and consequently in a perpetual peace. In reality civil wars, new wars, post-Cold War or post-Clausewitzean conflicts (depending on the source) hold centre stage.

[...] Therefore, we can say that the way of making peace has not quite changed. This is a fact; the nature of war had changed. Charles King underlined in his book Ending civil wars[39] that all those conflicts are peculiar and there cannot be any objective generalisation, no universal aspects of the causes and evolutions. After all, some intellectuals such as Mary Kaldor, called theorists of new wars, tried to sort out some particularities so as to show the divide between pre-Cold War and actual conflicts. [...]


[...] As a consequence, one could logically think that the way of making peace has changed as well. This is not the case. Western peace-makers seem to have kept in mind the Clausewitzean idea of war and consequently do not adjust their methods of bringing peace. However, some solutions to this problem of maladjustment had been developed In the 1990's, top-down interventions such as humanitarian aids and UN peace-keeping operations have been seen as the best way to first protect civilians and then to manage the end of the conflicts[22]. [...]


[...] First he points out that due to the variety of civil wars, the endings are also various: in Cambodia a cease-fire was needed before any negotiations, in Angola it was the other way round, in South Africa the establishment of a constitutional power-sharing had been the first step to bring peace, whereas in Liberia peace-keeping forces had been deployed at first[32]. Then King sorts out four common aspects of actual internal conflicts: a high level of violence; durable and constant large-scale violence; negotiated peace is not usual and negotiations bring more instability than with a clear victory of one warring party[33]. [...]

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