While Helen of Troy may well have had, “The face that launched a thousand ships,” the truth is that even the Trojan War was fought for economic purposes. Troy controlled the port of Dardanelles. It charged ships for access to the Black Sea. The Greeks were keen to defeat Troy so as to eliminate fees. Helen may well have been a reason, but this was not a war fought for gallant purposes.
The truth is that war is fought for commerce and business purposes. The motive behind everything is money. When a country or an individual has money, they are in control to do whatever is needed. War after all is all about control. Control of business interests, permits, and requests.
Take, for instance, the American Civil War. It was fought for a noble cause – to abolish slavery. Why then was there so much opposition to the war? Because the people who did that, wanted their cotton plantations to be tended to, to make profits and for life to go on in that vein. The south of the country was so economically dependent on the cotton crop, among other things, that that in itself became a reason to indulge in the horrible practice of slavery.
Metal has been a reason for more than one world conflict. The attack on Pearl Harbour was about commodities which include metal. The war between erstwhile Soviet Union and Finland also happened for nickel. But if you are in any doubt about the connection between business and war, here are three words for you: oil, water, gas. Everywhere in the world, wars are being fought for control of these three products.
Look at the fights for control of the South China Sea. It’s widely believed that there’s as much oil in the beds there as in the oil-rich kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This conflict is new, but no one can forget about the Kuwait war. Why would Iraq attack Kuwait if not to gain control over the oil reserve?
The present conflict in Syria also stems from the need for oil reserves. The sanctions on Iran by the United States are again mainly due to the massive oil reserves that Iran holds. It’s not only this part of the world that’s in conflict. The UK and Argentina have gone to war over the oil reserves in the Falklands. The same holds good in Russia, Crimea and Ukraine as well. The list is endless, in actuality. The demand for fossil fuels and its by-products has put untold strain on the world, leading to a loss of lives and resources.
Water is the new oil, many believe. They are not too far from the truth. We need water for everything from daily life to cultivation, industry and processing. Israel’s need to control Golan Heights is about water, among many other things. India and Pakistan have been fighting the war in Jammu and Kashmir to gain control over the abundant rivers that flow in this picturesque valley. Egypt, China, Ethiopia, South Korea – all these are regions of the world that put water in the centre of many conflicts.
Wars are fought for control, pure and simple. The methods may be different, what needs to be controlled may be different, but war is eventually about business. And the results are easier to predict than the NFL Superbowl odds: blood and destruction, mainly of innocent lower-class citizens.
Once a country has been decimated due to war you will find the businessmen converging on these countries to build it back. The building it back involves a lot of money because everything such as schools, bridges, buildings and the like need to be rebuilt and the vultures keep circling to get a piece of the action.