The Negative Effects of Modern War

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 765 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Mar 25, 2024

Words: 765|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Mar 25, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Body Paragraphs
  3. Counterarguments
  4. Conclusion
  5. References


In the 21st century, the nature of warfare has evolved significantly, with modern wars often characterized by asymmetric conflict, urban warfare, and the use of advanced technology. This essay delves into the narrower aspect of the negative effects of modern war on civilian populations, exploring the physical, psychological, and socio-economic consequences. Drawing on evidence from conflict studies, humanitarian reports, and academic research, this paper aims to shed light on the devastating impact of modern warfare on non-combatants.

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Body Paragraphs

Modern wars often result in significant civilian casualties. The use of explosive weapons in populated areas, a common feature of modern warfare, leads to a high number of civilian deaths and injuries (United Nations, 2017). For instance, in the Syrian conflict, the use of barrel bombs and chemical weapons has caused immense suffering for civilians (Human Rights Watch, 2018). Moreover, the use of drones and other remote-controlled weapons can lead to unintended civilian casualties, as seen in U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen (Stanford Law School & New York University School of Law, 2012).

Beyond physical harm, modern war also inflicts deep psychological wounds on civilians. Exposure to violence, displacement, and loss can lead to mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety. A study by Charlson et al. (2019) found that people living in conflict-affected areas are at a significantly higher risk of developing mental health disorders. Furthermore, the trauma experienced by civilians can be passed down to future generations, as seen in the intergenerational trauma experienced by descendants of Holocaust survivors (Yehuda et al., 2001).

Modern war also causes severe socio-economic disruption. Conflict often leads to the destruction of infrastructure, disruption of services, and loss of livelihoods. This can result in long-term poverty and social instability. For example, the conflict in Yemen has pushed millions into hunger and poverty, creating one of the world's worst humanitarian crises (World Food Programme, 2020). Similarly, the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo has led to widespread poverty and underdevelopment, despite the country's rich natural resources (International Rescue Committee, 2020).


While the negative effects of modern war are undeniable, some may argue that war can also lead to positive outcomes, such as regime change, conflict resolution, or the protection of human rights. However, these potential benefits must be weighed against the immense human cost of war. Moreover, non-violent alternatives, such as diplomacy, negotiation, and sanctions, often exist and should be exhaustively pursued before resorting to war. For instance, the peaceful resolution of the Iran nuclear crisis through diplomatic means demonstrates the effectiveness of non-violent conflict resolution (Fitzpatrick, 2016).

Another potential counterargument is that civilians are not always innocent victims but can also be active participants in conflict. While it is true that the lines between combatants and non-combatants can blur in modern warfare, this does not negate the fact that modern warfare often disproportionately affects non-combatants, causing immense suffering and harm. The principle of distinction under international humanitarian law, which requires parties to a conflict to distinguish between combatants and civilians, underscores the importance of protecting non-combatants in conflict situations (International Committee of the Red Cross, n.d.).


In conclusion, modern warfare has devastating consequences for civilian populations, causing physical harm, psychological trauma, and socio-economic disruption. It is crucial to critically examine the impact of modern war on civilians and to advocate for the protection of non-combatants in conflict situations. Future research could explore effective strategies for minimizing civilian harm in modern warfare, contributing to the development of more humane and effective conflict resolution methods.


Charlson, F. J., Flaxman, A. D., Haagsma, J. A., Davis, A. C., White, R. A., Murray, C. J. L., & Ezzati, M. (2019). Population health in the context of the Syria crisis: a systematic analysis of the literature and call for data for advocacy. The Lancet Global Health, 7(3), e328-e339.

Fitzpatrick, M. (2016). The Iran nuclear deal: A definitive guide. International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Human Rights Watch. (2018). Syria: Chemical Attacks in Eastern Ghouta. Retrieved from

International Committee of the Red Cross. (n.d.). The principle of distinction between civilians and combatants. Retrieved from

International Rescue Committee. (2020). Democratic Republic of Congo. Retrieved from

Stanford Law School & New York University School of Law. (2012). Living Under Drones: Death, Injury, and Trauma to Civilians From US Drone Practices in Pakistan. Retrieved from

United Nations. (2017). Report of the Secretary-General on the protection of civilians in armed conflict. Retrieved from

World Food Programme. (2020). Yemen Emergency. Retrieved from

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Yehuda, R., Halligan, S. L., & Bierer, L. M. (2001). Cortisol levels in adult offspring of Holocaust survivors: Relationship to PTSD symptom severity in the parent and child. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 26(4), 365-378.

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The Negative Effects Of Modern War. (2024, March 25). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 20, 2024, from
“The Negative Effects Of Modern War.” GradesFixer, 25 Mar. 2024,
The Negative Effects Of Modern War. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 20 Apr. 2024].
The Negative Effects Of Modern War [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 25 [cited 2024 Apr 20]. Available from:
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