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Last updateWed, 11 Oct 2017 11am

 

History and Evolution of Military

It is often said that the history of armed conflict is as old as human history itself. Whether or not this is true, we do know that military history stretches back millennia. 

It seems that as soon as their were tribes big enough to muster an army and technology to make weapons, there was armed war between them. Although a lot of the people who study this stuff are armchair generals and war hawks, it is useful information to have no matter what your political persuasion is. Whether you believe in the necessity of armed conflicts, or feel that, one day, we can transcend all of this violence and live a more peaceful existence, you can learn a lot by studying why and how nations make war on each other.

One of the most interesting aspects of military history is how completely it is driven by individual egos. A lot of the time, we are taught both ancient and modern history as if it is the rational decisions of states and their leaders. We are taught to think that governments go to war for ideological, political, and territorial reasons, but we very rarely see the role that vanity plays in this. Taking a close look at military history teaches us that, in fact, often wars are fought simply because of the territorial aspirations of one particular leader. Even more disturbingly, sometimes it is just a matter of a King feeling the need to prove himself to his peers.

This is not to say that there is no more to military history than rich folks making war on each other. Obviously, there is a lot more to it. One aspect of it that I never expected to find interesting has since come to captivate my imagination: the actual history of warfare. The way that one simple innovation in technology can lead one group of people to completely dominate the other and change the course of world civilization itself is fascinating. Whether it is the horse, gunpowder, longbow, nuclear weapons, or what have you, one scientific breakthrough can make the difference between otherwise evenly matched foes.

Although I started studying military history fairly late in life, it would have been better for me to start earlier. In high school, I was targeted heavily by recruiters because I lived in a minority community. Some of my friends enlisted in the military without knowing very much about it, while others flat-out rejected it without really looking into it. I feel like It would've been better for both groups if they had known more about what they were being asked to participate in. (TIMExplore.com)

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