Questions tagged [armed-conflict]

Questions about a conflict or conflicts either inside a country (commonly known as civil war) or between 2 or more countries (more commonly known as war)

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79 votes
11 answers
21k views

We will never surrender! Why would a country have this policy?

Background A few months ago the Swedish government sent a small booklet to all Swedish households titled "If crisis or war comes" which contains official information on how to prepare for and react ...
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70 votes
19 answers
29k views

Why does the US not just accept North Korea's nuclear ambitions and attempt to mend relationships?

Many experts propose that it is not practically possible (without engaging in war and endangering the lives of many civilians, in both US and ally territory) to prevent North Korea from building ...
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67 votes
7 answers
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Why has the Israel-Palestine conflict reignited in May 2021?

I have been hearing on the news that Gaza is under attack. I understand that this is a hot topic. I want to know why Gaza is being attacked now (May 2021), who is attacking, and what they want.
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64 votes
5 answers
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Is Japan still bound by the terms of its surrender in WWII?

After Japan surrendered to Allied forces in 1945, the Potsdam Declaration required Japanese military forces to be disarmed, limited Japanese sovereignty to specific islands, and prohibited Japanese ...
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61 votes
3 answers
9k views

What does it mean for Russia to put its nuclear deterrence forces on ‘high alert’?

As can be read in various sources, for example The Guardian, Russia has put its ‘nuclear deterrence forces’ on high alert. What does that even mean? Isn’t the point of Mutually Assured Destruction (...
58 votes
3 answers
8k views

What have the US and NATO done in Afghanistan for 20+ years?

I must admit I haven't followed the war in Afghanistan for many years. I know US went in there to find Osama, and they did so in 2010 or something (he was in Pakistan). Then they spent another 10 ...
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49 votes
3 answers
13k views

What would Ukraine gain by joining the European Union rapidly?

President Zelensky of Ukraine urged the European Union today to grant his country immediate accession to the EU bloc. Would joining the EU bloc rapidly allow the European Union members to help more ...
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45 votes
10 answers
17k views

How is Russia able to maintain the 2nd most powerful military in the world at a fraction of the cost of the US & China?

The 2020 Military Strength Rankings list Russia's military as #2 in strength: United States Russia China However, their defense budget rankings show that Russia's only #8 in spending: United States ...
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45 votes
13 answers
11k views

Exit strategies for the Ukraine war

[Remark three months later, Aug 24, 2022: The question seems as pressing as ever. The conflict has indeed turned into a text book war of attrition, with neither side being able to make a decisive move....
45 votes
2 answers
8k views

What happens if a single NATO country like Poland decides to send troops to help Ukraine and gets attacked, would Article 5 still be invoked? [duplicate]

It's pretty clear that NATO does not want to get militarily involved in the war between Russia and Ukraine. However a NATO country like Poland or Romania could still decide to send in troops to defend ...
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42 votes
7 answers
15k views

Why does the U.S military use mercenaries?

With a defense budget now totaling ~686-billion dollars a year – which is about the size of the next 8 largest defense budgets combined (figure) – why does the U.S military see the need to ...
42 votes
6 answers
8k views

What happens if a country signs mutual defense treaties with several countries who later go to war with each other?

Per title. E.g. right now the US has a mutual defense treaty with the Philippines and also with South Korea. If the Philippines and Korea go to war with each other, who is the US obligated to help? I ...
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41 votes
4 answers
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Why has 20 years of US occupation not removed the Taliban in Afghanistan?

With the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, a question one might ask is how is Taliban still in power, in fact gaining more control? It is known that the majority of the Taliban's income comes ...
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41 votes
5 answers
14k views

Why does US confirm conducting strikes such as the one that targeted Qassem Soleimani?

After the recent strike targeting Qassem Soleimani I am wondering why does US performs these attacks so bluntly while nowadays it is quite fashionable to deny involvement. I assume that in order to ...
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41 votes
6 answers
9k views

Can a country avoid prosecution for crimes against humanity by denying it happened?

I found this article and what I read shocked me. There are an estimated 650,000 like Hong Hanh in Vietnam, suffering from an array of baffling chronic conditions. Another 500,000 have already ...
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40 votes
14 answers
15k views

Why are chemical weapons such a big deal?

Trump seemed to be a big supporter of the current Syrian regime up until the recent chemical weapons attack. But why are chemical weapons such a big deal? What's the difference between killing 100 ...
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39 votes
2 answers
13k views

Why hasn't the U.S. government paid war reparations to any country it attacked?

Why hasn't the U.S. government paid war reparations to any country it attacked? According to Wikipedia, the U.S. has never paid any war reparations to members of other countries. It has only paid ...
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38 votes
13 answers
5k views

What makes the war in Ukraine exceptional?

I would like to state beforehand that the war Ukraine is tragic and I hope the conflict will end soon (preferably resolved via negotiations). However it is hard to ignore that it receives a lot more ...
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38 votes
2 answers
8k views

Has China ever clearly stated that it would invade Taiwan if it declares independence?

Reading the Western press, the People's Republic of China (from hereon China) regularly threatens military brimstone and hellfire if the Republic of China (Taiwan) dares to declare independence. ...
37 votes
3 answers
9k views

How did India and Pakistan avoid war when India accidentally launched a missile at Pakistan?

India claims that on March 9, 2022, it accidentally launched a missile at its neighbor and frequent adversary Pakistan. The two countries: have fought three wars and have engaged in numerous military ...
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36 votes
5 answers
7k views

Has the American left abandoned the anti-war movement?

I know this is highly subjective, but it seems to me that since roughly the 2008 presidential election, the American left has been placing less and less emphasis on issues relating to war and peace. ...
36 votes
6 answers
6k views

What does sending weapons mean in terms of money changing hands between countries?

For months I'm hearing from multinational sources of sending weapons to Ukraine. They are all vague or deceptive on what the term "sending" means. Does it mean selling weapons for high ...
35 votes
9 answers
9k views

Pacifist position on Ukraine

What/who are the prominent pacifist movements/organizations/thinkers in XXI century and what is their position on the conflict in Ukraine? Much of the public and political discussion about the ...
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35 votes
11 answers
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Will a nuclear country use nuclear weapons if attacked by conventional means by another nuclear country?

I am a learner of the Russian language and saw the following statement by a vice-president of the Russian Academy of Geopolitical Problems: Скажу лишь то, что в условиях обычной войны, если на нас ...
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35 votes
4 answers
9k views

What is the meaning of the Z and V symbols being sported by the Russians in the current Russo-Ukrainian conflict?

There are these two symbols (Z & V) which are considered as Russian prowar symbols which are appearing on Russian Army vehicles and being worn by Russians supporting the war. There is some ...
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34 votes
14 answers
8k views

Why is sending troops different from sending military equipment?

In the current war with Ukraine it seems like the West can send any forms of weapons (short of nuclear warheads) to Ukraine without causing the conflict to escalate beyond Ukraine’s borders. This ...
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34 votes
7 answers
9k views

What is the purpose of USA warning Russia about missile strikes in Syria?

According to this article, the US warned the Russians ahead of Syria missile strikes. It does not specify when exactly this occurred (a few minutes means nothing, 1-2 hours means that some troops/...
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33 votes
8 answers
14k views

Does the German President Steinmeier's apology for WWII reflect the prevailing views of the people of Germany?

A recent CNN article says: Germany's President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has asked for Poland's forgiveness 80 years after the start of World War II. "I stand before you, those who have survived, ...
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33 votes
4 answers
12k views

Why did Putin call Ukrainian officials “drug addicts”?

Among other things, Putin has called the Ukrainian leadership a “band of drug addicts” (source) shortly before invading Ukraine in 2022. This seems like a strange accusation. He could have simply ...
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33 votes
4 answers
3k views

What is strategic about Chernobyl?

On the very first day (well, arguably) of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russian forces took control of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and ghost city, as well as Pripyat. I fail to see how is ...
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31 votes
7 answers
10k views

Why doesn't the US send airplanes to Ukraine, when the Soviets sent MiGs to North Vietnam?

During the Vietnam War, the Soviets sent hundreds of MiGs to North Vietnam. Now, Americans say they cannot send airplanes to Ukraine lest it lead to escalation. Why wasn't the Soviet assistance to ...
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31 votes
3 answers
7k views

How are the Polish, Czech and Slovenian PMs going to travel to Kyiv without getting harmed?

Czech, Polish, Slovenian PMs visiting Kyiv to meet Zelenskiy How do the Czech/Polish/Slovenian PMs know their transport isn't going to be attacked? They are after all going through a war zone. Only ...
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30 votes
5 answers
5k views

How could the past NATO expansions in Eastern Europe be seen as justification of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022?

Rumors are that in Italy parts of the public opinion are accepting the view that the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 was justified by a previous NATO expansion. What are the (given) arguments (...
30 votes
5 answers
10k views

Why did Sweden issue the 'if crisis or war comes' pamphlet?

Inspired by the question We will never surrender! Why would a country have this policy? From the question text, Sweden recently issued a pamphlet to citizens regarding what would be done if war or a ...
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30 votes
2 answers
8k views

Have the US or Chinese governments indicated a point at which they would invade North Korea?

Every time North Korea tests a rocket or gets closer to building a nuclear bomb, both China and the Western governments release a series of statements about how they're deeply concerned and ...
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28 votes
4 answers
5k views

Why isn't any unprovoked act of aggression considered a war crime?

I'm struggling to understand the notion of "war crimes". It refers to acts within the context of a war that are considered especially heinous and outside the normal parameters of armed ...
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28 votes
7 answers
8k views

Is there a way that Congress could secretly vote on approving a potential war?

The US killed Soleimani without notifying Congress, which a lot of people in Congress are angry about. There are fears this could start a war, which would constitutionally require congressional ...
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28 votes
5 answers
3k views

What are the historical claims to Kashmir from India and Pakistan?

A current map of the world shows that Kashmir within India's borders. However some parts of Kashmir are claimed by Pakistan. What historical claims do Pakistan and India make to Kashmir?
26 votes
6 answers
4k views

Why are Stinger (surface to air missiles) and Javelin (anti-tank missiles) not considered escalatory in war theater of Ukraine? [duplicate]

This is purely about military doctrine. Much effort has been made to avoid using US-made fighter planes in the Ukrainian theater because that would be seen as "escalation" and lead Russia ...
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26 votes
2 answers
5k views

If a NATO member state enters a war, are other NATO members obligated to assist it?

Let's say Turkey enters a war that is going on in the Middle East. It does not matter against whom. Are other NATO members in the obligation to assist her? Normally they should have to, if Turkey is ...
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25 votes
8 answers
7k views

Why did the US invade Iraq for weapons of mass destruction but not North Korea [duplicate]

Why can the US invade Iraq for weapons of mass destruction but not North Korea who have confirmed nuclear weapons? Are they more scared of NK?
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25 votes
6 answers
8k views

Why are the territories gained by Israel in 1967 not internationally recognized?

It seems that, prior to WWII, lands conquered in war were considered legitimately part of the winning state. After WWII, the international doctrine changed that territories acquired in an aggressive ...
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25 votes
4 answers
3k views

Can a jet fighter "wave a white flag"?

If a group of soldiers is outpowered in combat, they can wave a white flag to signal that they surrender, and by this attempt to save their lives. It is an agreed symbol that, as far as I know, is ...
25 votes
5 answers
6k views

What incentives (or stated motives) did the US have to attack Syria?

What were the motives stated for for the US attacking Syria or incentives to do that? It doesn't seem like there was any immediate threat from Syria to the US. (After all, they neither have ICBM's ...
24 votes
5 answers
9k views

Is there any sign "the West" is deliberately trying to prolong fighting in Ukraine for the sake of fighting?

In a recent answer, user kandi made this statement: the war probably could have been ended by now if the West wasn't passionatly supporting the bloodshed by provided just as much arms as to keep ...
24 votes
5 answers
5k views

Non-subjective definition of "terrorist", or widely used equivalent term?

Philipp comments: ...We all know that one side's terrorists are another side's freedom fighters... Suppose big Country X provides arms to little Country y's native "freedom fighters", who do ...
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23 votes
7 answers
4k views

Why is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict such a big issue?

In terms of casualties at least, the conflict isn't that important - there were around twice as many casualties in the last year due to the ongoing Somalian civil war as Israeli casualties in the last ...
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22 votes
6 answers
9k views

Why does Russia view missile defense as a strategic threat?

A key hurdle in the talks has been Russia’s demand that the U.S. stop resisting limits on its missile defenses, which the Russians view as a long-term threat and the Americans see as a deterrent to ...
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22 votes
5 answers
10k views

What's the basis for preparations to imminent Russian invasion into Ukraine?

A follow-up to previously closed question. As of Feb 13th, there's still no Russian invasion into Ukraine, however, some countries are retracting their air traffic to Ukraine and even de-leasing ...
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22 votes
2 answers
909 views

What incentive could Assad have to use chemical weapons?

For the recent chemical attack in Syria, most claim Assad did it, some claim it was an accident, and some claim it was a false flag operation. However, what realpolitical reasons could Assad have in ...
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