Knowledge System

Conflicts & Wars

Manifestations of organized, goal-seeking, and violent behavior associated with hostility, undertaken by individual entities singly or jointly.


A. Types of conflict

1. Scope and extent

a. Civil vs. International
b. Limited vs. Diffused
c. Organized vs. Non-organized

2. Participant characteristics

a. Size
b. Demography
c. Capability

3. Types of warfare

a. Conventional
b. Nuclear
c. Terrorist activity
d. Guerrilla conflict
e. Independence movements
f. Combined activities

B. Causes and Sources

1. Security Concerns

a. Windows of opportunity
b. Pre-emptive strikes
c. Territorial concerns
d. Resources
e. Alliances
f. Capabilities

2. Economic

a. Access to and control of resources
b. Market competition

3. Socio-political

a. Gender issues
b. Nationalism
c. Militarism
d. Ideology
e. Ethnicity
 f. Religion

4. Conflict Processes

a. Spirals
b. Arms races and competition
c. Collapse of empires or governments

5. Misperceptions vs. Strategic Moves

C. Military-related Activities

1. Military Systems

a. Components

i. Armies, navies, air forces
ii. Regular, reserve, and "mixed"

b. Wants and needs of the organizations and the wishes of senior officers affects a government's policy
c. The military experience affects society's values

2. Weapons and weapon systems

a. Types

i. Conventional
ii. Chemical
iii. Biological
iv. Nuclear

b. Manufacture, trade, and distribution
c. Disposal
d. Management


A. Environmental damages

1. Conventional warfare

a. Transportation
b. Direct impact (destruction of terrain)
c. Indirect impact (destruction of human-made facilities)

i. Radiation from nuclear facilities
ii. Release of high-level toxins from chemical manufacturing and storage
iii. Release of enormous quantities of water from the destruction of dams

d. Post-war remnants

i. Land and sea mines
ii. Duds (artillery, bombs, grenades, etc.)

e. Seepages

2. Possible effects of nuclear war

a. Immediate effects
b. Long-term effects

i. Climate
ii. Atmosphere
iii. Radiation
iv. Biological response

B. Social impacts

1. Demographic damages

a. Casualties
b. Genocide
c. Ethnic targeting
d. Forced dislocation

2. Refugees and returnees

a. Location

i. Internal and external
ii. Regional and international

b. Extent of flow and concentration
c. Costs and impact

i. On people
ii. On governments
iii. On institutions

3. Health impact

a. Spread of disease
b. Famine and malnutrition
c. Psychological
d. Physical

4. Education and human capacity

a. Perpetuating false histories due to national policies
b. Diverts research towards war and military related aims
c. Constraints on skill development

5. Restriction of civil liberties

C. Economic impacts

1. Losses from conflict and violence

a. Farm land and pastures
b. Forests and timber
c. Shipping routes
d. Crime and plunder
e. Other, tangible and intangible

2. Problems from wartime conditions

a. Stricter regulation and control
b. Higher taxation
c. Diversion of labor and conscription
d. Dependence of economy on defense industries

D. Impacts on sovereignty

1. Imperialism and colonialism

a. State destruction

2. State building


A. Improved warning systems

1. Intelligence
2. Communication

B. Enhanced monitoring systems

C. Improved disposal of munitions


A. Confidence building measures and improved dispute resolution

B. Diplomacy and negotiations

1. Types of negotiations

a. Formal and informal
b. Governmental and non-governmental

2. Scale and scope

a. Unilateral
b. Bilateral
c. Multilateral
d. International organizations

3. Enhancing social contracts

a. Formal and informal mechanisms
b. Reinforcing accountability

C. Post-conflict reconstruction

1. Rebuilding

a. Socio-economic
b. Physical
c. Environmental remediation
d. Support

2. Strengthening restitution and accountability

a. Repatriation and safe supports
b. Protection measures
c. Rebuilding policy

3. Improved institutional forms and measures

a. Legal arrangements
b. Institutional developments
c. Organizational arrangements