Wars have always been fought for the profit of the very few and brought about anguish and sufferings for the very many. They have always been caused by the rapaciousness of the leaders. The people have always been the ones who had to bear the grim consequences of the selfish greed and lust for power of these very few who see plunder and destruction of lives and happiness of the many as their self-evident birthright. Wars have had many different stated reasons over the centuries, but the common denominator has always been greed. It's frightening to realize that in every generation there are a number of unfeeling human beings who gladly sacrifice anything of real value in their lives in order to gain power and accumulate wealth. The price does not count, only the booty that is carried home. These emotionally handicapped people do not know of the sufferings of others. They are blind and deaf to anything that might intrude on their predatory instincts and get in the way of their own self-interests.
Wars of conquest of yesteryear
Throughout past history wars used to leave the conquering nations exhausted and impoverished. The greatly reduced numbers of the conquering armies dragged their sore feet and their tired and frozen bodies back to their homes. Back to their countries that were suffering from hunger and general neglect due to the absence of the men who had died or who came back sick and wounded. Only the generals and the nobility lived high on the hog after the conquests and the people had to pay all the rigors, the suffering and the deaths. Rewards for the mighty were of course substantial from the conquered regions, but the poor got nothing but starvation and bleeding.
Today, the nature of wars has changed in some respects. The thousands if not millions of dead and severely wounded are now mainly to be found in the invaded countries where lives are of no consequence to the invading nation. Nothing fundamental has changed however. It's still the people who have to suffer from exhaustion and from the loss of limbs and health. The rulers of the world remain in safe havens just waiting for the booty to come home.
The colonial wars, the real beginning of the destruction that is currently ruining lives, environment and entire civilizations, began with the Spanish and Portuguese conquistadores in the 16th century, who brought back huge treasures of precious metals, spices and other priceless booty from the defenseless native populations in what is today Latin America.
These colonial imperial conquests were followed up much later by the various European empires-to-be in Africa and Asia and were to continue flourishing until well after the Second World War, when it finally became clear that the booty was not worth the price, when the uprisings of the conquered people were becoming so loud and strong that the colonial powers had no choice but to withdraw. The plunder of defenseless countries would from now on put on a different face.
The most powerful colonial power in the past was of course Great Britain and we know how their relentless efforts to colonize a multitude of countries in Asia, Africa and America in many cases ended up with total failure. Afghanistan for one would never let itself become a slave nation to Great Britain and India ended up being such an expensive and hard to manage nation (or multitude of kingdoms) to rule over that Britain finally sent out Lord and Lady Mountbatten in February 1947 to wind down the critical situation in the only way that was left for the British, that is, to let India have its independence. All of the wealth that India produces went to the people in power and the majority of the people have remained in deep poverty.
The rest of the European colonial powers saw their advantages diminish in rapid succession after the end of World War II. Most of the countries having gained their independence went into long periods of wars, ethnic and religious, that for all too many of them are still not over today. The mayhem sown by the colonial powers and maintained by those same powers to their own advantage is far from over and neocolonialism has followed rapidly in the footsteps of 19th century and early 20th century colonialism. European nations, including Russia are interfering cruelly in the present-day local wars and fomenting unrest and tension wherever there is a delicate power struggle. Wherever there is smoldering discontent and conflicts, Europe intervenes and pours fuel on the fire and grabs a share of the booty. Just look at Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo for the nefarious influence of former colonial powers.
But the face of neocolonialism has changed too and the most visible aggression is now mainly being exerted by the lone Superpower in today's world; the U.S. Empire. Europe is carefully making sure it's still on board, but the power center is the U.S of A in the most intimate cooperation with the multinational Corporations. The new colonies in this global game will be the countries that are seen as potential hurdles in the never-ending race for the supremacy of the lone Superpower. Modesty and collaboration are completely foreign notions that just do not enter into the equation .
The United States expanding its territory
After having gained possession through a series of long-lasting wars with Mexico and Spain during the 19th century of huge additional areas in the West and the South, the United States made its conquering march west to uproot the native population in order to take over their fertile lands. The big country, the way we know it today, was finally ready to take over the rest of the world. From coast to coast, from sea to shining sea stands the Titan ready to take on the planet.
The two World Wars
However, the two World Wars were going to change the map of the world again, this time in Europe and the Near East. After the First World War and a long and cruel trench war in France, the part of the world where the war had ignited fell apart. Two empires ceased to be, the Austro-Hungarian and the Ottoman Empires. The world was fractured and it was restructured most arbitrarily by France and Great Britain. The outcome was catastrophic and we are today seeing the results of the haphazardness of the borders drawn up as on an architect's drawing board by overbearing and ignorant civil servants and generals of the one remaining empire, the British Empire, with the equally ignorant cooperation of France.
As any student of an empire knows, its servants have no idea or don't bother to take into account the intricacy of ethnic groups and religious and human ties. The treaty of Versailles in 1919 with the foolish punishment of Germany by taking away great parts of its land and making it pay heavy amends to the winning powers, was a disaster and it right away should have foreshadowed the coming of another great war.
In the Second World War, the United States of America came to the rescue of the antifascists, after it had most willingly supported the movements in both Italy and Germany with great admiration for Mussolini and Adolf Hitler, the man who was going to gobble up Europe under the sign of 'the pure Aryan race'. Italy was a questionable ally of convenience. Then, with the help of the Japanese who were declared honorary Aryans, the unbeatable Germans, die Ãbermenschen, were going to conquer the entire world. The rest of the story is well known. The U.S. had to get its house in order fast, build war planes, submarines, tanks and guns and together with the rest of the European Allies they managed to once again beat the Germans to pulp. In doing so, the Unites States pulled itself out of the Great Depression.