What are the main factors of distinction between ‘old’ and ‘new’ wars according to Mary Kaldor?
Is there a distinction between ‘old’ and ‘new’ wars? Mary Kaldor suggests that ‘old war’ is a war that is fought between states using a professional armed force in uniform, with the decisive moment being battle. In these wars, the state had a monopoly on organized violence, with Charles Tilly claiming that states were made through war and vice versa. Additionally, these wars were fought based on ideological and geopolitical motives. In contrast, Kaldor defines ‘new’ wars as the opposite to this; a weak state which no longer has a monopoly on organized violence as non-state actors become more significant, where battles are no longer the decisive moment as violence is aimed mainly at civilians. Likewise, the financing of ‘new wars’ differs from the financing of traditional Clauswitzean wars. Traditional warfare was typically funded by the state through means such as taxation; however, ‘new wars’ tend to be funded by using predatory forms of private financing such as loot and pillage, ‘taxation’ of humanitarian aid, kidnapping, or smuggling in oil, diamonds, drugs or people. Ultimately, these wars are fought based on identities which can undermine a sense of political community which can be seen in stronger states.