The Negative Impacts of War

By Holly Santero and Justin Stemerman

War, a common political conflict, can often have major negative effects on every aspect of a civilization. From economic downfalls, environmental destruction, disease, to emotional and physical pain, war has successfully impacted almost every part of a society.

The Story:

Even societies thousands of years ago in the ancient times were negatively impacted by the burdens of war and conflict. Some of these civilizations include Byzantine, Maya, Khmer at Nagor Watt, and Rome. Societies like Byzantine suffered from economic impacts when they battled against Turks, which caused them to lose half of their empire. Along with half of their empire they lost half of their trading resources which was a huge blow to their income and economic stability. Like the ancient civilization of Byzantine, the United States has also suffered from war. Their wars against both Afghanistan and Iraq cost a total of 6 trillion dollars, the most expensive war in US history. Along with the 6 trillion already spent, an estimated $836 billion is expected to be spent over the next decades on medical care and disability benefits for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. This massive expense has caused tax cuts and a huge amount of debt for the country. Civilizations that experienced environmental problems include the Maya empire, being stricken with disease from the rotting bodies that were killed by invaders, and also the current Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These two cities had hydrogen bombs dropped on them which led to horrendous immediate impact, killing thousands of people. The bombs caused radiation sickness and birth defects and major destruction of their buildings. Another issue caused by almost every war on a civilization includes many types of emotional trauma. Diseases like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder haunt veterans of war. For example, one in every five US soldiers who fought in the war against Afghanistan have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Not only are people burdened with disease and emotional pain after war, but many times they’re left to struggle with their social and family dynamics. For example, after the genocide in Rwanda, more than 100,000 children were orphaned and many households were distraught over not having a male or adult presence. Another example of a social impact of on a civilization from war occurred when Rome was invaded by Germanic tribes. Their citizens lost motivation and generally disliked, even despised, being called a Roman. There was a major loss of nationalism and Roman strive once their people realised the invaders weren’t all too bad. All of these issues were and still currently are the major side effects and impacts caused by waging wars between past, current, and most likely future civilizations.