What’s the true cost of War? It’s not only found in the countless lives of young men and women loss, turned to lost names and piles of carrion. It can be found in the loss of friends and family in war, a universal concept in warfare.
Even Sun Tzu believed that the cost of a hundred thousand men is the loss of seven hundred thousand families’ lives and livelihoods. Imagine the number of destroyed livelihoods in a time like World War Two, where multimillion armies were raised by many nations. In that aspect it’s not the violence or aggression of war destroying lives, it happens before a drop of blood has been spilt.
So if the price of raising the institutions of war is so steep, what is the price of perpetuating it? The worst of course are the families divide such as the two brothers in Liam O’Flaherty’s “The Sniper.” Imagine the shock of turning over what you thought to be your enemy, just to see your own family slain by your own actions, leading to inapprehensible self-trauma. War has an unparalleled ability of destroying families, friendships and lives in general.
Yet why does this happen, why aren’t the cries of the parents heard until after their children have been consumed by the business of perpetual war. Why, because it has been internalized and is understood that with the duty of military service comes the potential of death, which creates a well-deserved sense of pride in the armed forces.
Society perpetuates this ‘acceptable loss’ with the use of propaganda. Media will emphasize all the good done to justify the loss of not only a life but the creation of severe grief and pain for the fallen soldier’s family. It seems that is the true cost, Is war worth it to you?