Kagan The Origins Of War Analysis

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Out of the videos I have viewed thus far in the semester, I have chosen to write my paper on the interview “The Origins of War” with Donald Kagan. Having read the novel (of the same name) in which this interview was based on, I am long time Kagan devotee. Many call his ideologies “too conservative” or pro preemptive strike aggression, but I concur with a vast majority of his opinions. In this video, Kagan states three of his main points on the origins of war: in order to avoid war, be prepared for war, generally war is born out of the same 3 things - honor, fear, and interest, and finally, honor is often times forgotten in the modern world. I agree with these three points for a multitude of reasons. Kagan’s first explanation on how and why …show more content…
This ideology was first brought to attention by Thucydides in the fifth century BC, speaking about the Peloponnesian War. Fear and interest are two motives that should sound familiar to the general public, but the idea of honor may seem foreign and outdated to many. We will discuss honor in the next paragraoh. Fear is a large driving factor for copious amounts of nations to join and/or initiate a war. At any point in time when a nation is in fear for its way of life, its people, and its government, more times than not this country will fight to stay autonomous and powerful. In the twenty-first century, fear mongering from mass media outlets is larger than ever and captures the attention of millions world wide; if a nation of people are scared for their lives, war seems like a small price to pay to protect themselves and their loved ones. The media and government play on citizens fear in order to bend and shape their beliefs. Another common and well-known desire to participate in a war is national and individual interest. Interest is an umbrella term that covers a myriad of justifications for all out war. Often times it is in a country’s best interest to join a war to provide assistance to those who cannot protect themselves. This is often the case with interventionist America; in 2003, the US Invasion of Iraq was often …show more content…
Though the conflicts were thousands of years apart, the same factors lead to battle in a world that is inherently unstable and destructive. The three main concepts that Kagan brings to the table ring true in even today’s international conflicts: in order to avoid war, be prepared for war, generally war is born out of the same 3 things - honor, fear, and interest, and finally, honor is often times forgotten in contemporary societies. It is crucial to keep these things in mind if analyzing why a war began, and if it could have been

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