A Brief Overview About the Origins of War
In determining the impact of war in the environment and people, let us first find out what scholars believe about the origins of war. Anthropologists researching this particular subject have arrived at the presumption that war was never out of necessity, because it was something inherent in three mammalian species: wolves, chimps and man.
There is one common factor that moved these three groups to acts of aggression: hunting, particularly when the costs were low and the benefits high. Nonetheless, there are factors that could serve as deterrents before any of these groups launched their attacks:
(1) There is inter-group alliance, thus recognizing that the enemy has more power and resources to mobilize a defense.
(2) There is a pact, treaty, or silent acknowledgment that there are some forms of mutual benefits they could derive from each other, which is essential to each group’s existence or survival.
(3) The fear of punishment, which indicates acknowledgment of the possibility of defeat.
What sets man apart from the chimps and the wolves is his consideration for these three factors. Most human groups prefer peace as a normal condition. However, the continuing relationship between prey and predator sparks an inner thrill with regard to wielding power. Hence, the development of techniques to make aggressors more powerful and defenders less vulnerable transpired.
However, rather than dwell on the ways they became skillful in their war activities, we will shift our focus to the impacts of war on the environment and its effect on human conditions.
The following information is based on inferences of researchers, made from artifacts gathered as archaeological findings; hence, their veracity could be disputed by future discoveries.