Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: PR, USA
Man is a glorified animal. In an ideal world, wars wouldn't happen. Ours is not one.
History repeatedly shows that when Man becomes too civilized, those who are less will take up his word, and give him a too-close shave.
Wars and man go hand-in-hand. It is to our own benefit that the victor should always be the most advanced civilization, or the least savage one, take your pick. Pol Pot and the Serbian conflics come to mind.
Can you imagine a world with Irak, Iran, China or Russia holding the trump-cards? I realize we are not perfect, but side-by-side , we downright look like Sisters-Of-Mercy by comparison.
International Conventions try to make wars, not good, but less bad...
Guerrillas ignore these kinds of arrangements. Just see what happened in Spain after the French invasion. Most of the guerrillas were in for their own profit, criminals with a "patent de corsair" against both French and "afrancesados", the latter being usually people of means.
Professional soldiers don't enjoy killing civilians, nor make them targets...usually. Civilian warriors, OTOH, are characterized for being extremely cruel, torturing, robbing and killing prisoners. Look at Uganda, Afghanistan, Spain, Somalia, Serbia-Bosnia, Irak, the French "Resistance", the Yugoslavian partisans, etc...
Dresden was an unforgivable crime-of-war, the city was already declared open and there were no German troops within. The attacks on London's Docks were not attacks against either population or city, albeit a damaged german fighter-bomber did release its bomb load over London unwittingly. This happened while being attacked, trying to gain manouvrability to shake off its pursuers, and its pilot was courtmartialed.
The British knew this, but nonetheless went on to begin the raids, the Germans responded in kind. This was actually good for the RAF, since it relieved german bombing pressure on their downright-beaten fighter aerodromes.
All in all, the amount of bombs dropped against British civilian targets by the Germans was the tiniest fraction of that dropped by of British and Americans. Studies done after the war proved that these actions actually helped the Nazis better control the German population, by putting them in a defensive mind mode.
To boot, industrially-wise, the german factories output at the end of the war was higher than it had ever been, proving strategic bombing didn't achieve what it was meant to do (that is, beyond massacring the city dwellers). I recall a survivor telling me how allied fighters (Jabos) would specifically target the civilian food lines, diving with the engine off to catch the people unaware.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki (The most pro-western city in Japan) were nuked, not only to prevent further allied invasion forces casualties, but also to scare off the soviets, which were conventionally-wise far more powerful than the combined allied forces at the end of WWII. The allies were aware of Russian plans to invade all Europe, and that their Tank divisions were already in place. So, they made the Russians believe they had more than two nukes, by using one after the other in rapid sucession. Stalin fell for it, and the invasion was postponed.
Myself, I believe that the US won the Vietnam War, then left South Vietnam fall afterwards simply because SV had become economically-unfeasible and politically untenable. The main reason it fell was simply because Nixon stopped the economic aid required to maintain its military forces. The war had left SV rotten to the core, without principles or common identity, unlike South Korea. SV Military was more like a group of independent Daimyos than anything else, often doing business with their own NV enemies...
Wars never end or accomplish what they are supossed to do, but as instruments of change, they are the fastest. And remember, they have always been an extension of economics. If its worthwhile, a suitable reason will always be found.