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How new are the 'new wars' Evaluate Kaldor's thesis with respect to both the newness of the empirical trends she identifies and - Essay Example

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How New are the New Wars? Kaldor Thesis Professor Introduction In the recent years, debates about “new war” have currently gained a lot of attention. Many scholars have held that the international system has been marked with profound transformation since the time world war two and the cold war…
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How new are the new wars Evaluate Kaldors thesis with respect to both the newness of the empirical trends she identifies and
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"How new are the 'new wars' Evaluate Kaldor's thesis with respect to both the newness of the empirical trends she identifies and"

Download file to see previous pages Mary Kaldor coined the term new war in her 1999 book ‘New and Old Wars’. Kaldor’s new war thesis is the most widely acknowledged in the new war debates. Kaldor described new war “as being increasingly fought over new identities rather ideologies, by non-state combatants rather than regular state armies, engaging in attacks on the civilian population rather than direct military encounters, and undermining rather than building the sate” (Rigterink 2012, n.p.). The thesis has been critics savaged especially on the empirical ground. This paper evaluates the Kaldor’s thesis with respect to the newness of the empirical trends identified in trying to answer that question whether new war are really new. The two world wars especially the Second World War made it necessary that globally systems be put in place to address any inter- states conflicts and civil wars. There has been a large success in addressing inter-states conflicts and wars, but clearly conflicts and violence has not been banished (World Bank 2011, cited in Kaldor 2013). The increase of different actors in wars: criminal gangs, mercenary groups, local warlords and paramilitary units only contribute to make wars more complex (Kaldor 2006, p.9). The emerging trend of new wars is characterized by increased violence and a higher ratio of civilian to the military casualties. Munkler (2002, p. 15) adds that the new wars are “more bloody than any other kind of war since 1945.” According to Kaldor (2006, p.9), the ratio of civilians to military combats have increased from 1:8 in old wars to about 8:1in the new wars. In her article, In defense of new wars, Kaldor says that new wars are a means to elucidating the logic of contemporary war with the aim of offering a research strategy and guide to policy (Kaldor 2013). She argues that new wars need not be looked only in terms of its empirical basis; otherwise, truth will be lost. She, however, agrees that some of the critics are indeed valid but then the existence of new wars should not be lost so that the political elements of the wars can be addressed (Kaldor 2013). How new is the new war thesis? Kadlor argues that the wars we are experiencing today are indeed different in character from the old interstate wars. She gives a distinction between the old and the new war with respect to a complex of non-state actors; irregular participants and fighting; violence targeting civilians; prevalence of identity politics; widespread criminality; absence of centralized states directions; and transnational networks participation in providing financing, soldiers, and weapons (Kaldor 2006). Critics, however, argue that there is nothing new about the stated elements that indeed all have been experienced in various past conflicts. The truth is that the elements described are not entirely new but what Kadlor intended in proposing the new war thesis was that new strategy need to be embraced in researching the present conflicts and in policymaking (Kadlor, 2013). Critics, for example, that the states are being involved in today’s war will misses the point of the new war logic, since the new war thesis only offers input that a new trend of non-state actors are being drawn into the war without refuting the fact that states actors are still operation. Therefore, it would be important that one concludes that though new war have emerged it does not imply that the old forms of wars are no longer in play. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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