Questions tagged [war]

For questions about armed conflicts between different countries.

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72
votes
11answers
20k 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 ...
68
votes
19answers
28k 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 ...
59
votes
5answers
18k views

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 ...
42
votes
15answers
14k 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 ...
38
votes
2answers
12k 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 ...
38
votes
7answers
12k 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 ...
38
votes
6answers
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 ...
34
votes
7answers
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/...
31
votes
5answers
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 ...
30
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
25
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5answers
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?
24
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5answers
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 ...
23
votes
2answers
816 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 ...
21
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2answers
2k views

What enables ~30k ISIS fighters to compete with ~190k peshmerga, & others?

I was reading this article which includes the following estimates for the numbers of fighters involved in ISIS-related regions: Between 7,000 and 30,000 ISIS fighters. Mixed levels of training and ...
19
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8answers
5k views

Why doesn't PRC help install a new leadership or stage a coup to preserve DPRK — or even take it over altogether before the US does?

I realize the title of this question is a bit odd and apparently counter-intuitive, and might give someone a good chuckle, but bear with me for a second. The People's Republic of China and the ...
18
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6answers
4k views

What are the differences between mercenaries and a country's armed forces?

I don't quite get the exact difference. I know the mercenaries act with less oversight, but are also quite expensive. So I wonder why does the US military used mercenaries in Iraq and Afghanistan so ...
16
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3answers
4k views

Can the Vatican legally declare war?

Joseph Stalin once famously quipped: "The Pope! How many divisions has he got?" Technically speaking, the pope IS a secular ruler of a country that holds an observer status at the UN, and as far as I'...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

When may the President of the United States order military action without congressional approval?

The USA has many times in the past taken military action with only the President's order to back it up legally. It was Jefferson that set the precedent of using the military to enforce foreign policy ...
15
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4answers
6k views

Did Marx or some other marxist say something like war benefits the rich at the expense of the poor?

I may be misremembering, but I vaguely recall that somewhere in the marxist (or communist) ideology there was a claim like war (and I mean actual war, not class war) benefits the rich (maybe even in ...
15
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2answers
5k views

Russia attacks Ukraine. Why is world's reaction so slow? [closed]

Russia has occupied Crimea, and Russian soldiers are getting ready to attack Kharkiv this night. About Crimea - this has been obvious for last few days. Just words. Russia don't do it, this is bad. ...
14
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5answers
2k views

What evidence did the Bush administration have that Iraq stored WMD?

The U.S. and its allies have justified the Iraq war, among other things, by citing the danger of weapons of mass destruction. According to wikipedia (emphasis mine) the U.S. stated that the intent ...
14
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2answers
2k views

Is the “War on Terror” successful? How can success be determined?

The "War on Terror" was declared on 20th September 2001; officially it has not ended. According to Time Magazine the estimated cost of the "War on Terror" is 5 trillion USD (2001-2011). Which is ...
14
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3answers
4k views

Did the USA ever officially apologize for shooting down “Iran Air Flight 655” in 3 July of 1988?

Iran Air Flight 655 was a civilian jet airliner shot down by U.S. missiles on 3 July 1988 as it flew over the Strait of Hormuz at the end of the Iran–Iraq War. 290 innocent civilians (252 Iranians ...
14
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4answers
2k views

What are the aims of the (proposed) UK military action in Syria?

The government of the UK proposes to bomb Islamic State in Syria, arguing that Islamic State is a threat to the UK. In the debate, there are often references to the attacks in Paris, but I don't ...
14
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1answer
6k views

Could the President of the United States refuse to wage a war Congress declared?

In the United States, the separation of powers is such that although the President is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Congress is the branch that issues declarations of war. Typically, ...
14
votes
2answers
487 views

How much alcohol has changed hands as part of the “Whisky War”?

Canada and Denmark have a territorial dispute over Hans Island between Ellesmere Island and Greenland in the arctic. Starting in 1984, each country has sent expeditions which have placed their own ...
13
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8answers
4k views

Why would North Korea attack the United States or a neighboring country with nuclear weapons?

There's a lot of news in the media about how close we are to nuclear war and I understand North Korea's nuclear capabilities are getting better and better. However, I would like to know in what ...
13
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3answers
1k views

Why is there no call for Hamas to protect and reduce civilian casualties?

In a recent report in the Washington Post, the article indicates that the UN is placing the entire onus of reducing civilian casualties in its war with Hamas on Israel. In Washington, the Pentagon ...
13
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2answers
1k views

Has any relevant American politician ever publicly admitted that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was a lie?

During an interview (video here) celebrity and former Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura said that "they" were admitting that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was a lie. There are somewhat credible ...
12
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4answers
1k views

Is there a precedent for a country attacking another and later admitting their casus belli was false?

Is there a precedent for a country attacking another due to unverified information and finding out later they were wrong? And what was the international response? Narrowing scope: An event that was ...
12
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3answers
638 views

How accountable will Russia be if it emerges they have supplied the Surface-to-Air Weaponry that brought down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17?

After today's events, there is a lot of speculation that Flight MH17 was brought down by surface to air weapons. Witnesses appear to have heard the loud explosions before the flight crashed, and ...
12
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2answers
720 views

What threat does the establishment of an Islamic State by ISIS pose in the region and the world?

What threat does the establishment of an Islamic State by ISIS pose in the region and the world? As far as i know they took control of a large portion of land in Iraq and Syria, however, they are ...
12
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1answer
1k views

Why does Russia hold hard on keeping Chechnya?

Since the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, lot of its republics chose to be independent states and most succeeded without any significant pressure from the then newly established Russia. But one ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Is a war likely between the U.S. and China? [closed]

China's economy has grown significantly over the past 20 years. Most forecasters see a time in the near future where China is the world's largest economy and according to some measures China has a ...
11
votes
2answers
325 views

Why is presidential approval needed for Congress to end a war it did not approve?

On December 13th, 2018, the Senate voted to end US involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. This NPR article states, "the House would have to pass the resolution by year's end and President Trump ...
10
votes
5answers
9k views

Why does India want Kashmir so much?

Pakistan wants Kashmir because at the point of the partition Kashmir was (and still is to this day) a predominantly Muslim region. Therefore, Pakistan is looking out for what it considers its people. ...
10
votes
2answers
377 views

Separatists against National Army -> Civil War?

As an European citizen, the Ukrain war happening now is worrying me. On side, the official Armed Forces of Ukraine and the separatists on the other side. Is this a civil war? This is a little ...
10
votes
1answer
279 views

Do the Naxalites enjoy popular support among the poor population?

In India, the Naxalites are various armed political groups with communist and maoist ideologies. They have been declared a terrorist organisation by the government of India. The Wikipedia article ...
9
votes
10answers
1k views

Why do countries always make up a noble-sounding excuse before invading another state?

Looking at the history of various invasions one can see a distinct pattern: The US has invaded Syria to "support democracy" France established a no-fly zone in Libya to "support the democratic ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Have Japan and Russia technically been at war since World War II?

I just learned that Japan and Russia never formally signed a peace treaty after WWII, and according to Wiki As of 2015 matters remain unresolved Does that mean that Japan and Russia are still ...
9
votes
4answers
631 views

What are the upsides or advantages to the USA of intervening in Syria?

As Syria is a Russian ally/client state, U.S. intervention in Syria's civil war was bound to anger Russia and draw them into the conflict to protect their sphere of influence. It has turned into a ...
9
votes
1answer
201 views

What influence has the Chilcot report had in the United States?

Since many of the findings of Sir John Chilcot, must apply equally as much to the United States decision to go to war with Iraq as they do to Britain, has the report had much public discussion in ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do some countries intervene in other countries' issues, especially in the form of wars? [closed]

Recently, there's been a lot of media coverage of some countries intervening in other countries' issues, including intervening in Wars (Syrian Civil War). For example, the US has had many conflicts ...
9
votes
0answers
127 views

Has a nation ever responded to a cyber attack (from a UN member state) by escalating to physical force?

A recent Washington Post headline reads in part "Israel responded to a Hamas cyberattack with an airstrike. ..." I'm looking for the first such historical instance of a physical response (an ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

As of June 26, 2018 is the United States at war? [closed]

As of June 26, 2018 is the United States at war? The interpretation of the term "war" is left solely to the individual who answers the question. If the answer is "no", what is the date of the ...
8
votes
2answers
618 views

Does international regulation forbid a country to kill children in a conflict if the other part uses them as human shields?

The question is motivated by the Israel-Palestine conflict, but it may be asked/answered in general. I am wondering if Geneva conventions or any other international regulation forbid a country (Israel ...
8
votes
1answer
320 views

What characterizes an act of war as “war crime?”

With the Israel-Gaza tension going on, I hear a lot of talk about "war crimes" by the UN. However, to me the war going on doesn't seem different at all from any other war, and leaves me to wonder how ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Why did the USA support Kosovo in the war against Serbia?

Wikipedia has quite an extensive article about the war in Kosovo, but it doesn't do a good job at explaining the rationale of the US/NATO joining the war. What was the official reason for escalating ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

International law: Are ships in international waters considered the flag states territory?

Are ships flagged under state (A) considered the territory or under the sovereignty of (A)? Is boarding such a ship by a state (B) which is not the same as (A) when (B) has an illegal blockade in ...
8
votes
1answer
556 views

What would it take to test War Powers Resolution (practically)?

Many if not most political discussions around the use of military force by POTUS tend to slide down to War Powers Resolution, and for reasonable people, those tend to slide to "who knows, the only way ...