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SECURITY AND WAR IN THE 21st CENTURYfafgadgags

(A REALIST PERSPECTIVE)

PAMELA M. GAMILLA

INTGLOS A66- 08/29/14


From spears to missiles, wars have evolved from sharp and deadly stones to bombs that could

diminish a civilization, but after all these centuries, the cause is just as it is thousands of years ago, it’s still all

about conquering and defending what they want and what they have.

The first war ever recorded in history took place in Mesopotamia in 2700 BCE between Sumer and

Elam. During that time, the only thing civilization like them would most want is to expand. Considering the

population they have and the land they already have, it is clear that even before, greed has always been

through humanity.

You may deny it as much as you want but greed is just one part of the dark side of human nature, we

wouldn’t admit it, of course, but we would very much like to be in the spotlight. The one in charge, the one in

power. Greediness, selfishness, ego, non-contentment, insecurities, ambition; these are parts of us that makes

us human. Think about it, without all these, would the world war 1 ever happen? Would the world war 2 even

exist? Or would even the word “war” exist? It’s so hard to see or envision the world without all these things

because by that, it’s like imagining a world without humans. And imagining a world without humans, there

would be so much peace and harmony that it’ll be deafening.

I once read a quote from tumblr (a social networking site), it says: When the power of love is greater

than the love of power, the world will know peace. The post is too beautiful that I have to put it here no

matter how idealistic it sounds. Then you might ask, Idealistic in what way? Let’s not forget that love is the

oversimplified version of trust, commitment, selflessness, humility and contentment. Love counteracts

everything dark about humanity, it’s one too beautiful thing to think about but it doesn’t matter if love could

be the real solution for these wars because even in fairytales, none of those would ever happen.

When the First World War happened, the context of war isn’t at all new to humanity. We all already

know the cycle of engaging to a battle where some of us might die and hoping and may be even praying that

more of your enemy’s dies. The world war was extremely bloody, drowning Europe for five years with

screams of terror, detonating bombs, gunshots and dead bodies. The real objective of the world war 1 is to be

the war that end all wars, as how America proclaimed it. Then if ending a war means engaging into a war, they
might have as well used another word rather than making it sounds ridiculously ironic. It’s like saying that you

could only put down a fire by adding some more fire and help it spread a little more.

The second world war was said to start with either of the two: when Germany invaded Poland and

when Japan invaded China, whether of the two, it is clear that the war started in a conquer-defend process

too. Just like all the wars even before civilizations. Just like world war 1, world war 2 incased so many deaths

and destruction, even worse. It was merciless and revengeful. Unlike the first world war which at least had a

purposeful objective (although wasn’t attained), the world war 2 was just about avenge, revenge and killing.

World War 2 was a nightmare we could only pray to not to happen again. It’s an evidence of how much

humanity’s dark side could go. An evidence of how humans destroy one another.

In both wars, we should have and must have learned three things: First is that the struggle for power

is very real. How people would kill and drag their own kind to the ground just to be on top or bring a city or

an island down just to prove their point. The second thing is that there might be no other way to end a war

but to start another war. That the only thing that could counteract death is more death and the only thing that

could neutralize violence is to give out more guns. And the third and the most important thing that we should

have learned: In the reality of war; no one actually wins. It’s neither a game nor a competition, it’s about

survival; someone would definitely die, someone would definitely mourn and someone would definitely kill.

While the liberalist would believe that these wars are just challenges to the interconnection or

interaction of all nations, that it’s the time’s form of strengthening their relationships. Then I have one

question: do all the bloods that flowed out due to all the wars necessary in strengthening international

relations?

The wars in the 21st century are no different to these previous wars. They still all revolve around

conquering and defending.

Tony Blair, a political editor says that religion is the world’s biggest source of conflict. He believes

that the acts of terrorism are perpetrated by people motivated by abuse of religion. He believes that it’s the
perversion of faith. Perversion in a way that we are no longer talking about bibles and rosaries or sacredness,

we are talking about killing; shotguns, grenades, a bit of prayer here and then and more guns in defending

their faith. Tony Blair says that the battle is no longer about extreme political ideology, like those during the

20th century but because of cultural and religious indifferences.

One war that we are all aware about that started around 1988 is the Al Qaeda versus the United

States. The ironic thing here is, what the Al qaeda truly wanted from the beginning is just to disperse the

soviet union community camping in their lands, then what happened? What turned them into terrorists? Al

Qaeda is a group of Islamic people, that spread through out Asia with a perverse form of making and proving

their point. They want to prove how powerful the Muslims are, how they could conquer this world and make

it more than what it is today. Better, brighter, innovative and harmonious. They blame the Western culture of

how much they affect a Muslim’s discipline and devotion. How much the western influence is ruining all

nations. From their own twisted standpoint, they think terrorism is for the common good. They think they

could conquer the world with threats and violence and fear. The scary thing about this is watching the group

evolves from one ideological thing to one monstrous thing. It’s not anymore about proving their point as a

religion or as a nation, it’s about stealing the hegemonic throne, being on top and ruling the world already.

Another war that have sparked from greed for power is the north Korea and South Korea war. The

division happened at the end of world war 2, when the United States fought for the south and the China

handling the North. The conflict never bulged until today; North Korea, never once taking off their eyes to

their glorious nuclear bomb and South Korea, holding themselves against by training all their men to be ready

to fight at any given time. Before the said division, Japan held Korea for so long since 1910, when the Soviet

union declared war against the Japanese to colonize Korea, they’ve come into an amendment with the United

States, dividing the country into a half: North and South. But the amendment sooner deceased when the

north decided to ignore it and ambitiously invaded the south. United States then, together with the other

countries, to hold their dignity and pride as the hegemon, pushed itself in to the battlefield, acted like they
were there to defend the South when actually; they just wanted to remind everyone of how much power they

could render to the nations that will choose to follow them.

The sparking war of China against the Philippines for defending their territorial access to an island is

also an example of defend and conquer. China, shoving guns and threat to the Philippines is one way to

prove that they have the military defense capacity to protect what they think they have, or rather, what they’d

like to think they have. Which the Philippines obviously didn’t have. The America, on the other hand,

pushing in to the issue again, giving off their support to the Philippine military team is just another move to

remind their hegemonic power once again. Plus giving them the advantage of streaming some of their forces

around the Philippine archipelago to watch over the other countries that surrounds it that may hold branches

of their worst enemy, al Qaeda.

There is also this war between Ukraine and Russia that some thinks as Russia’s attempt to take over

the Crimean peninsula, seeing it as one fragile land that they could easily cross through the borderline. At

first, The Ukraine’s blame to the Russian government was ridiculous but as soon as Vladimir Putin admitted

it, the tables have turned. Because of this Ukraine have to defend their threatened sovereignty and dignity as a

state and has to show even an ounce of power against Russia. When the revolution started, when Ukraine

started to mobilize their armed forces and reserves, Russia accused United States and the European Union,

out of the blue, of helping and funding Ukraine to direct the nation against them. But the conflict really

started when the Supreme Council of Crimea voted to separate from the Ukraine and join the Russian

federation instead. With this, the united nation quickly reprimanded the decision with most of the nations

condemning Russia of breaking an international law of violating Ukraine’s sovereignty. Now two questions

raised from the issue: What could the Russia possibly want in the peninsula of Crimea? For one thing, could

this be a territorial thing? A hegemonic competition, with Russian trying to steal the crown from the United

States? Just this week, Obama stated that Russia might just as well be proclaiming for the third world war.
Proof that all nations still treats hegemony as a crown or a throne they could always be stolen with enough

risks and arms.

Now let’s talk about security in the 21st century. Defining security from the dictionary, it’s the state

of being free from danger or threat. Without me enumerating all the wars that are happening right at this very

moment, let’s cross out these wars for a moment and think about the crimes that is happening every second

of the day: Assaults, frauds, homicides, burglary, rape cases, drugs, woman as sexual intruments and child

abuses and all forms of frauds; you cannot sleep without locking yourselves in, you cannot walk into streets

with you phone dangling out, women are said to provoke adultery from men, human trafficking and all those

youngsters doing drugs. I do not need to justify how dangerous our world has become because of humanity’s

greed. Greed for wealth, our great passion for money, for fame, for power and even attention.

And if you needed another reminder of how dangerous this world has become, think about the

nuclear bombs in Japan, Russia, North Korea, United states and other states that I could not specify. Think

about how much power they have on their hands and think about how many innocent lives could those

bombs kill in one click. And what do they say are all those bombs for? For protection, for security, for

defense and for the common good. It’s not. They wanted to form the illusion that the world is safer with

those bombs. Bombs are not meant to defend, they are made to kill. These bombs are proofs of endless

threats and danger. Proof that the world was never once at peace. Proof that however how much they try to

pretend that these nations are united, all those nations are still ready to kill to defend and conquer at all times.

We were never had security. Do you really think you were safe because you have a nuclear bomb

underneath an ocean, knowing that could just be the very reason why you are not safe at all?

If you would view all these according to a realist perspective, honestly, all these wars’ objectives are

not about bringing peace and making this world a better place. It’s all about making their point, maintaining

the hegemonic status and colonizing. Why is America still fighting in the middle east? Because they have to

win it and prove that they are still the most powerful country. They have to keep their hegemonic status, they

have to maintain the image and scare the other nations of what they could do. Why is China eyeing
Philippines’ obvious territory? Because they know they could take down Philippines easily. Why is America

getting in to the China-Philippines territorial fight? Because they have to keep The Philippines as an effective

business extensions and at the same time, keeping the China as one of their effective business partner. Why

does America continues to provide military enforcements (eg. Balikatan)? Because Philippines is the closest

they could get to all the muslim countries in the southern part of it, they have to keep track of them. You

don’t believe America is doing a charity work, do you? Of course they always get to have something in return

because international relationships could just be all politics and business.

International relationships aren’t about bridging every other nation for peace and harmony, of

course, it’s about bridging the opportunities and the benefits. Call it United Nations all you have but once one

of them take out a gun, everyone would take out a gun and some are even ready to throw open a grenade.

They say that history might have ended the moment all these nations has signed the treaty of peace, as a

realist I would say everything in this world is temporary and so is the ink they used to sign in that treaty, and

so is peace. Most nations today must be at peace right now until something triggers it.

And you may never know whatever little thing could trigger it.

Violence will always be a part of our everyday life; it happens down the street, it happens in the most

peaceful or the most crowded place, it has become something that the headlines could never lose. Security in

the 21st century has become a luxury very few could afford.
References:

www.meriam-webster.com

crime.about.com

en.m.wikipedia.org

pcjj.org

globalsecurity.org

livescience.com

warsintheworld.com

icrc.com

americanoutlook.com

Americanhistory.si.edu

Ancient.eu.com