Thirty five million people were casualties of the World War 1 (deceased and wounded), sixty million in world war 2; One million in the Korean war and three million in the Vietnam war. In recent times, the Bosnian ethnic cleansing led to more than two hundred thousand casualties , Iraq another one million while the number in the Syrian and Yemen conflicts run into hundreds of thousands more and still counting. The phrase “and still counting” left me afraid and flabbergasted that the report about the casualties of the various conflicts may not have been reported in its entirety by the media. Millions of human lives have been lost and may have continued but I am grateful to the organizers that have put this contest up for participants to dig out ideas that will help to prevent and criminalize war.
According to the Oxford English dictionary, war is a state of armed conflict between different countries or different groups within a country. Criminalizing war is a good idea but it will be nice to take a panoramic survey to understand the causes of war and some preventive measures. There will be a long-term devastation if war criminalization is taken as the sole solution to abort wars without employing a preventive approach. Most of the perpetrators and agents of war are hell bent on causing untold hardship to the common man. Since creation, there have been conflicts from generation to generation but despite the grave punishments that has continued to be mete out to perpetrators of wars, there are still war occurrences.
When the world was confronted with the First World War, no one ever thought there would be a second war after all the damage and destruction but unfortunately, there was a second world war. Presently, there are rumours about a looming third world war, which may eventually happen if some intelligent preventive strategies are not put in place to check mate it.
There are many avoidable reasons why people go to war and it will be important to discuss a few of them. Crave for foreign economic gain is a leading cause of war. Before the industrial age, some mineral resource like gold, silver, livestock, and agricultural products were the leading cause of war while in recent times, there is a shift to crude oil, mineral resources and technology. Predictions by scientist have shown that there may be more wars in the future as the increasing population of the world scramble for the available scarce resources. The Anglo-Indian (1766-1849) and Finnish-Soviet (1939-1940) wars are some examples of war embarked upon for economic gain. The Mexican-American (1846-1848) war was fought following the annexation of Texas from Mexico by the United States. The cause of this war was the crave for territorial gain while the Chichimeca war (1550-1590) was as a result of an attempt by Spain to prove that it was superior to Aztec civilization in modern day Mexico. Religion, which is the belief and worship of a deity is practiced all over the world but sad enough, it was the reason for the crusades (1095-1291), thirty years war (1618-1648), Lebanese civil war (1975-1990), Yugoslavia wars (1991-1995) and the second Sudanese civil war (1983-2005).
As human, we are bound to be offended. For peace to prevail, we need to avoid revenge but its negligence led to the world war two (1939-1945), where the rise of the Nazi socialist party and Germanys eventual domination of the European continent were direct results of the treaty of Versalles, which meted grave punishment on the nation of Germany.
Revolution occurs when a large section of the population of a country kicks against the individual or group that rules the country because they are dissatisfied with their leadership and this was the cause of the Portuguese revolution war (1640-1668), American revolution (1775-1783), French revolution (1789-1799), and the Haitian revolution (1791-1804)
The leading causes of war have been discussed but if proper measures are not put in place, history is bound to repeat itself with the occurrence of more war. It is important for history subjects to be introduced into the educational curriculum of all students. This will help in informing students about the great devastation that war has inflicted on nations. The students who will eventually grow up to be leaders of their nations avoid wars as a resort for the peace of their nations.
Users of social media should be cautioned about the improper use of social media. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a host of others have made communication easy but recently, novice users of these sites have used it to promote propaganda and false news. The recent agitation by the Igbo youths of Nigeria was because of news poisoning and improper use of social media. During the world war one and two, there was no social media presence but with the recent technological advancement, proper use of social media will help in combating wars instead of its promotion.
Religious differences have created disunity among nations and continents of the world. Despite the religious affiliation of communities and nations, it is important for followers of these religions to be taught about peaceful coexistence with those of opposing religions. Religious leaders who their followers listen to and obey should be encouraged to be at the forefront of preaching peace to their congregation.
The cost of organizing anti-war rallies and sensitization programs is peanuts compared to the damage, an outbreak of war can cause. Youths should be canvassed to form groups that will be saddled with the sole responsibility of enlightening the ignorant members of the society that think war is the best solution to long-term peace. The young members of the society should be preached into peace by their parents from the family unit. Countries like Rwanda, Nigeria, Syria, Bosnia, Korea and a host of others may have a repeat of war in the near future if the older populace neglect the responsibility of discouraging revenge among children.
Since a hungry man is a potential lion, it is necessary for developed countries to make provisions on how to help third world countries. The recent migration of Africans and Asians to Europe and the United States of America has the potential to cause a potential war if not properly managed. Many countries reject migrants from seeking asylum in their countries for security reasons but this is already creating hatred in the hearts of those rejected. Aids and relief materials in the form of food, clothing and shelter should be sent to these third world countries to cushion the effect of hunger and poverty.
When we put all these measures in place, we would have moved forward to create an environment that is devoid of aggression. Human beings are free moral agents, and are bound to default on the agreement to live in peace so it will be nice to criminalize war but this should be a last resort when all other measures fail.
The international criminal court should as a matter of urgency, employ measures like speedy trials of warlords and mete out strict punishments to those found guilty to serve as a deterrent to others. Nations of the world should also co-operate with international investigative agents to fish out and handover members of their nations whose activity is capable of causing conflicts.