Is war between major powers obsolete?

Has it been for the most part obsolete since 1945?
The cold war is the most recent conflict in which two superpowers squared off. As we all know, not a single shot was fired.
Could these be because of a change in socio-cultural views in more modernized countries following both World War 1 and 2.
Europe used to be rife with war, and after World War One they seemed to realize the futility in war and the tragedy of it. (As evidenced by their puny attempts to avoid war with hitler by simply appeasing him.)
Also, does nuclear deterrence truly play a factor in war today? Mutually Assured destruction?
How about this, does globalization play a factor? Against the english in the revolution, we were merely a tool for their economic betterment. We were not a partner, we did not have much of an incentive to cooperate with the English. In World war 1, imperialism once again fueled the flames of conflict. Countries were extra competitive in trying to physically attain resources, instead of looking into free trade (correct me if I’m wrong anywhere here, because I very well might be.) In World War 2, hitler had serious problems with both capitalism and communism, and only one economic model could prevail.

Were there m
any economic incentives for the U.S. to avoid war with Iraq (the first one)? I don’t know but I highly doubt it.

The war in korea can be chalked up to the U.S. trying to prevent the Soviet Union from spreading its influence, and the same goes for Vietnam.

Those times were all different, the countries were economic opposites. Let’s take for example right now what most people would regard as a major power in the world: China.

China is probably the greatest military threat to the U.S. The other two major powers we could say are Russia and India. India would most definitely not go to war because they are so closely linked to the U.S., not to mention they haven’t done nearly enough defensive spending to last in a war. Let’s throw them out. The U.S. does have some major concerns about Russia, such as the limiting of freedom of the press, centralization of political power, limits of economic freedom, and the erosion of democracy in Russia. Even so, with all these concerns, the U.S. does not view the Russians as a military threat as of 2006 (according to the quadrennial defense review.)

China does seem committed to spending a crap ton on their defense budget, mostly (supposedly) in response to Taiwanese threats. I think that the Chinese are truly building themselves up just so they can avoid being militarily strong armed into economic agreements with the U.S. In other words, I think the arms build up is an attempt to make sure they are not take advantage of and can become a true superpower in the world, however, all the while continuing to be economic partners with the U.S. Slowly, that country is liberalizing like the rest of the world, and that process will only continue when they begin to see the financial benefits of a successful capitalist market.

So, i guess, in summation (and i’m kind of rambling sorry if this doesn’t make sense) the world is changing into a global economy, and superpowers may no longer be worried about simply controlling everything, but instead realizing how profitable they can be through simple world trade and capitalism, without the mess of a costly major war (high costs in both finances and lives.) Any thoughts?
To the first response: let’s define “war between two major powers” as an instance where both sides directly attack each other and there is a minimum of 1,000 battlefield deaths.
I’m not saying there won’t be conflict anymore, or that wars won’t occur, simply that superpowers will not directly go to war with each other

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  1. Pfo says:

    “The cold war is the most recent conflict in which two superpowers squared off. As we all know, not a single shot was fired.”

    That’s a questionable assessment. While the US and the USSR did not engage in head on warfare, they spent years funding proxy wars around the world. Quite a few shots were fired.

    The build up to the Cold War was decades in the making, so it seemed inevitable, nuclear weapons ironically prevented it from being an all out blood bath (the threat of MAD caused both sides to resort to proxy wars).

    Because the US and USSR had tensions, they had to resolve them diplomatically or go to war, not choosing either only delays the two choices. In the end, the USSR ceased to be, dissolving the conflict.

    We would probably be in the same boat with China today had diplomacy not occurred under Nixon.

    My thought is it won’t be a concern until 2 major superpowers find an irresolvable conflict again. As populations grow and resources become strained, it could happen.

  2. marco says:

    “So, i guess, in summation (and i’m kind of rambling sorry if this doesn’t make sense) the world is changing into a global economy, and superpowers may no longer be worried about simply controlling everything, but instead realizing how profitable they can be through simple world trade and capitalism, without the mess of a costly major war (high costs in both finances and lives.)”

    The U.S. is spending a lot of money in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we’ve lost a lot of American lives. It’s been costly on both accounts.

  3. "Respica te, hominem te mem says:

    Has it been for the most part obsolete since 1945?
    No we are still having gain from our smaller brush fire conflicts and thus war is not obsolete.

    The cold war is the most recent conflict in which two superpowers squared off. As we all know, not a single shot was fired.
    Could these be because of a change in socio-cultural views in more modernized countries following both World War 1 and 2.
    War weariness has taken its toll on the more developed nations. After world wars one and two people have seen the amount of destruction a major war can create. A particular point would be the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Everyone knew what a bombing raid did to a city, thousands of bombs dropped by thousands of planes could kill thousands of people. Now though people are scared. A SINGLE plane dropping a SINGLE bomb can now kill millions. Those in Japan who saw the plane before it dropped its bomb didn’t think it anything special, they didn’t even send planes up to intercept it, and then a bright light and everyone is dead. With the power the government has with that one button no one who knows its power ever wants it fired against them.

    Europe used to be rife with war, and after World War One they seemed to realize the futility in war and the tragedy of it. (As evidenced by their puny attempts to avoid war with hitler by simply appeasing him.)
    Also, does nuclear deterrence truly play a factor in war today? Mutually Assured destruction?
    Yes M.A.D. is the biggest reason to keep us from a war between super powers. If one bomb is dropped you are committing murder on the other country and committing suicide for your own.

    How about this, does globalization play a factor? Against the english in the revolution, we were merely a tool for their economic betterment. We were not a partner, we did not have much of an incentive to cooperate with the English. In World war 1, imperialism once again fueled the flames of conflict. Countries were extra competitive in trying to physically attain resources, instead of looking into free trade (correct me if I’m wrong anywhere here, because I very well might be.) In World War 2, hitler had serious problems with both capitalism and communism, and only one economic model could prevail.
    Globalization is what is keeping these brush fire conflicts alive. It has not ended nor will it ever end, something as precious as black gold will be fought over till there is none left. As far as only one economic model can prevail, that is true to an extent. If you look around the world ALL prosperous nations are moving to capitalism. China for being the super power that it is is moving very quickly into capitalism. You cannot have a communist society with a free market economy. The ideals are completely opposite and will thus crash.

    Were there many economic incentives for the U.S. to avoid war with Iraq (the first one)? I don’t know but I highly doubt it.
    Yes, the whole war cost more than the gain in oil. If you look at the war we went in to stop a terrorist from gaining the power behind that oil. Yes we gained oil but the overall cost was far more.

    The war in korea can be chalked up to the U.S. trying to prevent the Soviet Union from spreading its influence, and the same goes for Vietnam.

    Those times were all different, the countries were economic opposites. Let’s take for example right now what most people would regard as a major power in the world: China.

    China is probably the greatest military threat to the U.S. The other two major powers we could say are Russia and India. India would most definitely not go to war because they are so closely linked to the U.S., not to mention they haven’t done nearly enough defensive spending to last in a war. Let’s throw them out. The U.S. does have some major concerns about Russia, such as the limiting of freedom of the press, centralization of political power, limits of economic freedom, and the erosion of democracy in Russia. Even so, with all these concerns, the U.S. does not view the Russians as a military threat as of 2006 (according to the quadrennial defense review.)

    China does seem committed to spending a crap ton on their defense budget, mostly (supposedly) in response to Taiwanese threats. I think that the Chinese are truly building themselves up just so they can avoid being militarily strong armed into economic agreements with the U.S. In other words, I think the arms build up is an attempt to make sure they are not take advantage of and can become a true superpower in the world, however, all the while continuing to be economic partners with the U.S. Slowly, that country is liberalizing like the rest of the world, and that process will only continue when they begin to see the financial benefits of a successful capitalist market.

    So, i guess, in summation (and i’m kind of rambling sorry if this doesn’t make sense) the world is changing into a global economy, and superpowers may no longer be worried about simply contro

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