chapter  1
20 Pages

Psychology and warfare

War! What is it good for? Well, I guess it must be good for something because it has been part of human societies since they first appeared. It appears to be an inevitable part of human behaviour because whatever time in history you choose to look at, there will be armies marching across some part of the world in an attempt to gain control over another group of people or another territory. It is also fair to say, however, that living peacefully is another inevitable part of human behaviour, and societies spend much more time at peace than they do at war. Most people in the Western world have enjoyed a relatively peaceful existence for the last fifty years or more. We have been able to negotiate serious political difficulties in such a way that large armies have not been mobilised and our countries have not been invaded or attacked. It is possible to argue that this has only been achieved by exporting our disputes and conducting them in other parts of the world, but that argument is not really the subject of this text.