WAR and VIOLENCE examination (WAVE)

The purpose of this WAVE is to show the history, statistics and current assessment of  war and violence in the world.  WAVE will be divided into several parts and pull data from numerous sources.

It has been estimated that the United States of America has been at war (including Indian wars/conflicts) for over 90% of its existence.  The budgetary cost of war for the US from 2001 to 2016 was $ 4.8 trillion according to a Brown University’s Watson Institute report.  It includes $ 1.8 trillion by 2017, $ 548 billion for Homeland Security, Interest on borrowing for wars $ 453 billion, a trillion in future veterans’ medical bills and a trillion in current DOD base budget and veterans spending.


War, Colonization and Decolonization

Few people know that the vast majority of Countries and Constitutions in the world are less than a century old.   World War I, WWII and the United Nations have played a significant part in the restructuring of nations.  The UN played a key role in the decolonization and independence of nations.  The United Kingdom (Britain) had granted South Africa independence in 1910 and Egypt in 1922; but it was not until after WWII that Libya (1951), Sudan (1956), Uganda (1962), Kenya (1963), Zambia (1964), Swaziland (1968), Zimbabwe (1980) and many others received such freedom.  Likewise, France followed suit first with Morocco and Tunisia in 1956; Guinea in 1957; 14 more in 1960 including Nigeria, and Congo; Algeria in 1962 and their last two held colonies by 1977.  Italy, Belgium, Spain and Portugal gave up their Africa colonies.

And in Asia the history is similar.   A country like the Philippines struggles to gain independence from Spain in 1898, only to be occupied by America and then invaded by Japan; and once again struggling to gain independence after WWII in 1946.  Wars have split countries like Vietnam and Korea in Asia and like Sudan in Africa.  In 1947, the United Kingdom partitioned British India into India and Pakistan.

Since 1990, at least 34 new countries have been created.  The USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) was created in 1922 from the Russian Empire, after WWI and the Bolshevik Revolution (1917; Lenin).  It was dissolved December 1991, and became about 15 post-Soviet Union states.  Several, such as the Ukraine, declared independence immediately.  Even so, Russia or the Russian Federation remains the largest country in the world.

Through the lands of the nations of the earth are the same age, every nation has conquered and or been conquered for the land.  War and Violence, with pride and greed, are nearly as old as our Earth.



Nearly every decade in every century has had war somewhere.  The prophet Daniel spoke of the kingdoms of Babylon, Persia, Greece and prophesied of the Roman Empire.  And before them Egypt and others; and during them wars in China and parts of Asia; and a myriad in Asia, north-Africa and the Americas even 2000 years ago.  Julius Caesar had the Romans invade Britannia in 55 BC and a civil war a decade later.   And civil wars, uprisings, rebellions and conflicts seem part of a nation being settled and defined.   But nations are not content with their own land; most nations seek to expand or at least colonize other countries for their land and treasuries.

And at various times nations have joined in war and crusades versus other nations for reasons such as religion, justice, revenge and due to alliances.   After the Reformation in the 1500s and ability and desire to explore for trade and treasuries various parts of the world, war and death followed.  And European nations commissioned, raced and fought for new colonies.

In the 18th century, every year but a few years before the American Revolutionary War was filled with war.  In the 19th century, after the end of The French Revolution, with the continued Haitian Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars until the Second Boer War,  every year except possibly 1816 and some in the 1880s and 1890s were filled with a major war.  And likewise, in the twenty century, starting with the Russian Revolution of 1905 (as opposed to the one in 1917 listed as a Civil War) through World War I, Chinese Civil War, Spanish Civil War, World War II, Greek Civil War, Israel’s ongoing fight for independence and freedom, the Korean War (and Civil War) and the 20 year Vietnam War/Conflict to the end of the Kosovo War in 1999, over 80% of the century experienced war.  And America has been in the Gulf War or war in that region for over 26 years (1990-2017).




In June of 2010 the Congressional Research Service (CRS), a research service for senators and representatives, put out a paper called ‘Costs of Major U.S. Wars’ which stated, “Before the Vietnam conflict, the Army and Navy, and later the DOD, did not identify incremental expenses of military operations. For the War of 1812 through World War II, CRS estimated the costs of conflicts by calculating the increase in expenditures of the Army and Navy compared to the average of the three years before each war. The premise is that increases reflect the cost of a temporary buildup to fight each war. Costs of the Revolutionary War and of the Confederate side in the Civil War are from other published sources. Costs of the Korean War were calculated by comparing DOD expenditures during the war with a trend line extending from the average of three years before the war to the average of three years after the war.
Figures are problematic, as well, because of difficulties in comparing prices from one vastly different era to another. Inflation is one issue—a dollar in the past would buy more than a dollar today. Perhaps a more significant problem is that wars appear vastly more expensive over time as the sophistication and cost of technology advances, both for military and for civilian purposes.  The estimates presented in this report, therefore, should be treated, not as truly comparable figures on a continuum, but as snapshots of vastly different periods of U.S. history.”

Then the report offered the following (shown in part):

Table 1. Military Costs of Major U.S. Wars, 1775-2010
(includes appropriations enacted and requested through FY2010; Current year (CY) dollars reflect values at time of the conflict and constant dollars reflect 2011 cost)

Years of War Spending        Peak Year of War Spending
Total Military Cost of War     Peak Year of War

American Revolution 1775-1783; CY $ 101 million; Constant FY2011$ 2,407 million
War of 1812 1812-1815; CY $ 90 million; Constant FY2011$ 1,553 million
Mexican War 1846-1849; CY $ 71 million; Constant FY2011$ 2,376 million
Civil War: Union 1861-1865; CY $ 3,183 million; Constant FY2011$ 59,631 million
Civil War: Confederacy 1861-1865; CY $ 1,000 million; Constant FY2011$ 20,111 million
Spanish American War 1898-1899; CY $ 283 million; Con. FY2011$ 9,034 million

World War I 1917-1921; CY $ 20 billion; Constant FY2011$ 334 billion
World War II 1941-1945; CY $ 296 billion; Constant FY2011$ 4,104 billion
Korea 1950-1953; CY $ 30 billion; Constant FY2011$ 341 billion
Vietnam 1965-1975; CY $ 111 billion; Constant FY2011$ 738 billion
Persian Gulf War; 1990-1991; CY $ 61 billion; Constant FY2011$ 102 billion
Iraq 2003-2010; CY $ 715 billion; Constant FY2011$ 784 billion
Afghanistan/Other 2001-2010; Current Year $ 297 billion; Con. FY2011$ 321 billion
Total Post-9/11—Iraq, Afghanistan/Other 2001-2010; CY $ 1,046 billion

(report was written in 2010 and another $3 trillion CY dollars were spent by 2017; by 2017 the cost of the post 9/11 conflicts in the Gulf will exceed $5 trillion, more than the $4.1 trillion in WWII which changed historical maps and costs millions of lives.)


American War Casualties (estimates)

American Revolutionary War:  25,000

War of 1812: 20,000

Mexican-American War: 13,300

Civil War: 625,000

Spanish-American War: 2,450

Philippine-American War: 4,200

World War I: 116,520

World War II: 405,400

Korean War: 36,520

Vietnam War: 58,210

Afghanistan (2001-2016): 2,400    (the War is often listed as to 2014 because Obama announced troop withdrawals and a concluded combat mission, but about 10,000 troops remain even now in 2016 and American lives are still being lost.)

Iraq (2003-2016): 4,490  (this War is often listed until 2012, but likewise troops remain and still are being killed; and often the monetary cost of this war is still significantly ongoing in the tens and hundreds of billions and including Syria, Afghanistan and all the region, in the trillions.)

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) calls the U.S. War in Afghanistan ‘the longest war’ in US ‘history’ and notes that the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1267 (al-Qaeda / Taliban Sanctions Committee) in October of 1999.   And though the CFR notes that final U.S. troops were leaving December of 2011, this is not the case.  However, the CFR did state that ‘since 2003, more than one million airmen, soldiers, sailors and Marines served in the country.’   As of September 2016, icasualties.org listed US Iraq fatalities from 2003 to 2016 at 4506, with 904 killed in 2007.



United Nations (UN) Eighth Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (2001-2002; original source: World Bank, World Development Indicators) [Some data provided by the Institute for Criminal Policy Research; 2014):

Country (2002):    Police Personnel    Total Recorded Crimes   % of population/in prison

United States:                   941,139               11,877,218          4.1%      .7%

Canada:                              58,422                  2.5 million           8%          .1%

China:                                                                                                             .2%

Iran (2013):                                                                                                   .3%

Japan:                                 231,700               2.8 million           2%          .05%

United Kingdom:               152,576               6.5 million           11%       .1%

Country (2002):    Intentional Homicides   H. w/Firearm     Thefts                   Rapes

United States:                   16,037                  9,369                    7 million               95,136

Canada:                                523                     144                       688,474               24,350

Japan:                                   746                     47                          2.4 million           2,357

United Kingdom:                1,201                   14                          2.5 million           13,395

Country (2002):    Judges/Magist.    Persons Incarcerated     Convicted Male/F

United States:                   31,320                  2,019,234            1.5 million/120,400

Canada:                              2011                     35,519                  48K/275K

China:                                  204,000               1.5 million           93% males

Iran (2013):                                                      226,220               97% males

Japan:                                 3,094                    69,502                  54K males/3K

United Kingdom:               1,330                    78,753                  60,450/3,666


No data from Iran in 2002 UN Survey.

In 2013, the United States incarceration rate (716) per 100,000 was higher than any other country in the world.  In 2007, the Bureau of Justice reported about a $74 billion cost to incarcerating and monitoring convicted persons that year.  By some statistics