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Do you think that wars of the past impacted civilian populations differently than modern wars do?

Created: 03/20/16

Replies: 10

Posted Mar. 20, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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Do you think that wars of the past impacted civilian populations differently than modern wars do?

Gertie Morton wrote that he and his brother had failed to appreciate that the "nature and method of war had changed for all time in August 1914 and that no war in the future would exclude anybody, civilians, men, women or children." Do you think that's true, that wars of the past impacted civilian populations differently than modern wars do?


Posted Mar. 21, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jwbriggs13

Join Date: 05/09/12

Posts: 33

RE: Do you think that wars of the past impacted civilian populations differently than modern wars do?

Yes, things have changed greatly. In WWI and WWII, young men rushed to enlist; it was a societal norm. Families and communities were heavily and emotionally invested in the war effort. With an "all volunteer" military, today many families have no direct contact with people who serve so they are removed from the emotions and concerns that come with having loved ones directly in harm's way.

Previous wars asked citizens to make personal sacrifices or purchase war bonds to help with the cost of the war. Our conflicts over the past 15 years has asked little or no direct sacrifice of us.

And then there are the technologies that are used to fight today's wars. Many of today's weapons are located a half a world away from the battlefield. The current methods of fighting are a full century away from the trench warfare of WWI.

The civilian populations located in the actual war zones of today probably experience the same horrors that were experienced by the civilian populations in past wars, but the experiences for the rest of us are much less intense.


Posted Mar. 21, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurief

Join Date: 09/08/12

Posts: 25

RE: Do you think that wars of the past impacted civilian populations differently than modern wars do?

Most definitely in the current age of instant information. With the avalanche of social media, "Breaking News", etc. Civilians may know more about the different aspects of a conflict faster than those actually fighting. The question remains, are we better off?


Posted Mar. 21, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
linz

Join Date: 08/12/15

Posts: 26

RE: Do you think that wars of the past impacted civilian populations differently than modern wars do?

I'm not sure that we know more about what's going on today with wars. We have been at war for 13 years and its barely mentioned on the evening news. Our young people are fighting far away and out of the spotlight. Our attention is not focused on the war. In other wars, people clamored for whatever news they could get about the war.Now we hardly notice. All this technology has made it farther away. There's just too many other things to get our attention.


Posted Mar. 23, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianec

Join Date: 03/15/12

Posts: 21

RE: Do you think that wars of the past impacted civilian populations differently than modern wars do?

Yes, in the sense that today's wars impact distant civilizations that have different, seemingly inscrutable, cultures. It's also easier to kill civilians remotely today, when in the past you had to see their faces, their homes, their children. An effort to make war more humane on the part of the aggressors does not really mean it's kinder on the the civilian population.


Posted Mar. 24, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 160

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RE: Do you think that wars of the past impacted civilian populations differently than modern wars do?

Yes, in at least two ways: 1) the instant availability of "news from the front" makes modern wars play out in our living rooms or even on our phones 24/7; in the past, one had to wait for news to come, depending on the era, from the nightly radio broadcasts, the daily newspaper, or even telegrams. 2) With the weapons of terrorism and mass destruction available, the very definition of war has changed. Not all wars are declared by governments, and not all battles are fought on battlefields. Civilians are more vulnerable to terrorism in the places they go in their daily lives--airports, train stations, the workplace, city streets.


Posted Mar. 24, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
peggya

Join Date: 06/03/15

Posts: 11

RE: Do you think that wars of the past impacted civilian populations differently than modern wars do?

Absolutely, yes. In the past there were strict rules observed in how to conduct a war which both sides or combatants followed. Currently, as we see what atrocities have recently been committed in Paris and now Brussels-- the objective is to directly target innocent civilians who happen to be going about their daily lives.


Posted Mar. 27, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
celiaarnaud

Join Date: 04/18/12

Posts: 35

RE: Do you think that wars of the past impacted civilian populations differently than modern wars do?

Modern wars affect different civilian populations differently. In our case, with our highly technological weapons, wars can be fought with fewer people, so there's less of a sense of having a personal stake in it and that makes it seem very distant. For other populations where the wars are actually being fought, it can be much more destructive. And there's also the sense that of what's being fought as "wars" now wouldn't really even be recognized as such back then. When people bring up the Paris and Brussels attacks, I think of that as terrorism and not war per se. The days of wars in which armies lined up across from each other on a battlefield are over.


Posted Mar. 27, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Lea Ann

Join Date: 04/20/11

Posts: 99

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RE: Do you think that wars of the past impacted civilian populations differently than modern wars do?

I"m still thinking on how to answer this question. I'm almost 84 and my husband is 91 so our outlook is different from the younger readers/writers here. As some have mentioned, war was "real" to us in earlier conflicts. I remember Victory gardens, collecting grease and scrap metal to turn into to centers, no shoes of leather, no stockings for my mother, no car because no gas. None of those things affect us now and we have no blue or gold stars hanging in our windows. And yet, what about people in war torn countries such as Syria? The war has come to them, not a war that is being fought someplace else. Their women , children, elderly are dying. It's been over 100 years since that has happened in the USA and our attitudes have changed. As someone else mentioned, even though we have a better communication system now to spread news of war, it's happening elsewhere and few, comparatively speaking, of our young folks are fighting, so we don't even pay attention to the few news items of war with our people involved. Yes, war is different now for us than it was even within the lifetime of us older citizens.


Posted Mar. 28, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorianbc

Join Date: 04/25/11

Posts: 25

RE: Do you think that wars of the past impacted civilian populations differently than modern wars do?

I appreciate Lea Ann's response to this question. My only experience with war has been either learned or watched through media. The answer to this lies in which civilian population is being considered. Yes, we certainly have faster, perhaps more vivid ways to witness war, but those that are in the middle of the conflict still suffer.


Posted Mar. 31, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
katherinep

Join Date: 07/16/14

Posts: 60

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RE: Do you think that wars of the past impacted civilian populations differently than modern wars do?

I am slightly younger than LeaAnn and her husband--73, born in Washington DC during WW II. So what she says about war on the home front resonates with me, since my parents spoke of both WW's and wartime US. On the other hand, Korea and Viet Nam didn't have the same impact on me and my friends. It wasn't wartime here, even though we knew guys in the service and lost some who had been in school with us. The wars that have come since are even more removed. Nevertheless, the people living in the war zones suffer just as those have done during wars through the ages.


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