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How does Domestic Commitment Contribute to our Understanding of War?

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War has severe consequences for the parties involved. Although a winner will emerge in the end, it is imperative to note casualties and cost incurred on both sides. However, the benefit to the winner is that they can cover their costs by the losers. Nations need to ensure that they only get involved in a war when it is necessary. History proves that engagement in wars results in the inability to meet their expected results. A war of necessity happens when a country is drawn or forced into conflict to protect national interests. On the other hand, a war of choice is in most cases provoked by a state hoping to achieve beneficial results in the end.

The option of a military conflict can have a depressing impact on a nation. Moreover, in most cases, minor powers that are enticed into engaging stronger nations to an armed conflict suffer. Such kind of a situation arose in the case of the Japanese attack on Americans during the Second World War. Although Japan chose to attack the United States of American, they eventually lost. Other than the international consequences of a conflict, there exist internal limitations that motivate a minor power avoid confrontation. Domestic commitment by governments to their citizens can become compromised in the event of any military conflict. Citizens experience direct effects politically, socially as well as economically.

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The outcomes of war cause the conditions, at which the citizens put in place as a way of sanctioning a war. In every military conflict, citizens’ support will be based on whether the war is of necessity or choice. A necessary war will motivate the citizenry to make sacrifices; while war of choice will face their rebellion at the moment of defeat. The biggest leverage in support of any war to the citizen is protection of sovereignty and not waging unwarranted conflicts that could easily damage their existence. Therefore, the paper focuses on explaining the effects that domestic commitments will bear on a given conflict. The most common outcomes of national commitments include social, political as well as economic impacts.

Social Impacts

While wars are important to those in leadership positions and the citizenry, compromises are required, which are a reason for stability. Crises such as civil wars have an impediment to the social development of a given population. In case of a war, it is more probable that some individuals agree to participate in a conflict. However, the might have found appealing benefits that attract them to forego the opportunity costs of development. Issues that outweigh growth may include national identity among others. People value their nationality and their culture and would make sacrifices to ensure that their interests are protected.

Patriotism and customs are considered as an incentive to human life, and denial of a right means the loss of character, hence the need to engage in war on its behalf. Both the commencement as well as the escalation of a war requires the consent of both the people and their government. Moreover, it is imperative to note that a previous military crisis has an influence on the character of the war. Thus, governments and citizens make their judgment based on particular variables. The factors include time consumed by previous wars, and the issue contributing to the conflict. Moreover, the opportunity costs that the states and the citizens had to forego to engage in an earlier war are considered as a variable too.

Further, an evaluation of the social benefits emanating from the previous conflicts is a motivator to the behavior of individuals and the opinion they develop about a new war. For example, the case of Yugoslavia crisis that led to its breakup had severe effects on the country. Despite the emergence of independent states, some regions, particularly Serbia, appeared hardheartedly hit on the social platform. The union of Yugoslavia had seen Serbia benefit and take control over other regions through their influence.

Moreover, the emergence of crisis hit the citizenry. The case of Kosovo is a good example where crops, homes, health centers, schools, and livestock got ultimately destroyed, bringing the livelihood of people to a standstill. Thus, supporting a conflict for a society is a challenge. Nevertheless, situations arise that will call for necessary wars; thus pushing the population to supporting measures intended to protect the country. Previous war experiences play a role in determining how citizens view any internal or external military crisis in which their country is about to be involved.

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Economic Impacts

In every crisis, economic and financial implications always become a pivot as to how it begins, continues and comes to an end. Engaging in a military conflict requires mobilization of finances to pay for expenses such as human labor involved, as well as purchases of the weapons needed. Thus, running a war consumes much of the resources in a country. Further, in times of military conflicts, businesses and other economic activities, including agriculture and tourism, are destroyed. The war economically strains both the state and individuals. Therefore, it is critical to consider and evaluate the potential gains and losses that could emanate from a crisis.

At the beginning of the war, the cost may be relatively down. However, as conflict escalates, the likelihood of facing the expenses keeps increasing. The longer a military conflict takes, the more economic sacrifices that a country and her citizens are required to withstand. Hostilities divert financial resources from development and production to funding the armies. Sometimes, the situation becomes very intricate as governments seek extra resources. As a response to growing military needs, the leaders hike taxes as well as borrow more funds; thus becoming overburdened in loans. The financial strain impacts the economy as people remain with limited resources to invest or save.

In addition, more government borrowing means increasing interest rates for private citizens who intended the money for business purposes. High interest rate discourages loans; and thus lowers the investments rate. Further, at the military times, the leadership gets inspiration to recruit more people into armed forces to win the war. The war shifts human resources from other dockets necessary to grow the economy in favor of fighting. Other consequences affecting economy include destroyed infrastructure. The economic downfall eventually requires reconstruction after the war, which leads to high inflation. The government’s action to print more money to cover expenses results in high inflation, which hinders the country’s productivity.

Despite the observations, conflicts do not always get determined by economic reasons alone. Other factors such as patriotism as well as self-defense play a critical role. Sometimes citizens opt to sacrifice the economic benefits to take control of their lives through forceful means. Therefore, economic commitments by both the government and the population to the nation as well as their individual motivations have an influence on the nature of the decision that a country makes at the times of war. Nevertheless, nations that grow in the war are usually devastated economy-wise. Moreover, such countries would avoid situations that are likely to lead them back to conflicts, unless they consider them to be of utmost necessity.

Political Implications

Success in the battlefields is equally a result of political leadership and the soldiers’ commitment. There could be discrepancies in the roles played by each side before the conflict resolution. However, each player has a definitive job that underpins their participation. Wars are shaped by both politicians and soldiers. Political leaders’ role is to convince the masses of the reasons that draw the country into war, while the military engages in combat. Resource mobilization is necessary and started by those in control positions.

At the commencement of war, mobilization motivates the citizens to believe that the benefits of engaging in war outweigh the costs. In order to ensure that the objective is met, political authority creates an avenue for discussion and negotiations with the population to lure them into the agenda. They are required to present a clear evaluation of the consequences and avoid discussion of losses that could rebel the masses against military involvement. People trust leadership and the commitment it has to the citizens; thus should they fail, public outcry will go against the political powers.

 

In the event that war continues and soldiers’ experience losses, they are in fear, despair, exhaustion or have impaired reasoning; the leadership has to invest effort to offer them motivation. A case in question is the experiences of American soldiers during the Vietnam War, where the soldiers faced tiredness and discontent.

However, the American political authorities were always quick to reach up to soldiers in hope to offer assurances that the war was going as intended and they were winning. Similar information was passed to the public to deter them from having a negative perception of the conflict. Besides, boosting the moral was as well entrenched in the reporting of the media and campaigns in favor of American patriotism. Such events attracted more individuals to join and support the war with the belief that military involvement was necessary. In fact, war depicted protection of American prestigious position in world leadership. Patriotism greatly contributes to a society’s reaction, when their country gets involved in a confrontation with a foreign power.

Although the politicians had kept the war going by holding the national pride card, people at home grew discontented with the progress. Moreover, the number of Americans who wanted the war to end increased by day. The government fearing embarrassment on the international platform rejected withdrawals. However, as home opposition hiked, people increasingly viewed the war as unnecessary. The country incurred grave costs in terms of killed soldiers and resources consumed in the operations. Leaders from rival groups also were discontented with a continued crisis, which resulted in complains that the costs had far outweighed the intended benefits. Eventually, the government withdrew the troops and accepted the defeat. The aforementioned negative outcomes can be avoided when a constant of bargaining platform is in place to allow for negotiations between the administration and the citizens. With home resistance, the chances of winning a battle get slimmer by time.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, domestic commitments by both the citizens and the government play a role in engaging in any war. Importantly, the economic pillar cannot get overlooked, as it has effects on the social and political factors. Despite people’s willingness to protect their nation’s interests, they feel responsible to question the importance of any military participation. Citizens, especially those who have experienced crisis moments before, fear the loss of property, human life and low economic growth. In maintaining a war, costs are usually high. Hence, the public demands to have the leadership engage only in the necessary conflicts and not in provocative behavior. Time and resources used during confrontations are irrecoverable, and severe consequences appear real when the expected benefits of winning a war dwindle. The public wants value for their money, and thus prefer developmental activities that would give them returns to use and invest as opposed to a confrontation. However, there is always a paradox when evaluating a military crisis. While the war can bring good image for the country, the cost rises and may lead to home rebellion. In other times, the public does not concentrate on the economic load but rather on protecting the interest that they feel is threatened by the enemy. Through the three perspectives of economic, social and political frameworks, the relationship between the government and the people is necessary. Responsibilities of each party and their expectations ought to get proper attention. The authorities should ensure they have a full understanding of what their people want, even if they fail to agree. Finally, phenomena such as nationalism and patriotism also advance the successes of war in determining the extent, to which individuals are willing to go to protect national interests.</p>

 

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