Contrary to old wars, new wars have their origin in claiming of identity (super powers, military strength) as opposed to territory using guerrilla as terror tactics and their participants range from local, international, public and private (Kaldor, 2013). This paper will seek to show the difference between old and new wars, and how old wars have changed to new wars and in what ways they have remained the same.
As indicated earlier, old wars were inter-state, they were funded and run by the state and the target group was uniformed soldiers with their primary objective of traditional war was making states or expanding their existing boundaries. World War II serves as the best example of an old war, in which Germany wanted to expand its boundaries in Europe to form an empire (Kissinger, 2012). The confrontation involved uniformed and armed German and the Soviet Union soldiers fighting against each other. In this case, the basic rule of war was that it had to be declared officially by the head of a state as seen in Hitler’s declaration of war against the Soviet Union. The war also involved Germany and the states that it wanted to conquer to expand its territory by destroying them. Therefore, traditional war is different from new wars in that the later wars does not embrace discipline and rules that governed the old war.
In the new wars, majority of the targets are civilians who are non-uniformed, and usually lead to greater number of civilian casualties. For instance, in the Rwandan genocide of 1994 majority of those who were killed were non-uniformed civilians of the Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups (Golooba-Mutebi, 2008). Perpetuation of ethnic conflicts between the Hutu and Tutsi communities were evident during the Rwandan war as it led to mass slaying of many Tutsi and the moderate Hutu by the majority Hutu ethnic group. New wars emerge from state disintegration as a result of the fight for power between two opposing forces whose