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Realism, Strategies and War Essay

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Updated: Feb 3rd, 2022

Realism is a concept associated with the true acceptance of reality and world matters. Thomas G. Mahnken in his book “Strategic Studies” discusses the human views towards wars and the strategies applied during and after such heavy conflicts. The reality is that people expect the worst and have to create plans for such occurrences. The strategies for nuclear wars are being drawn up constantly to avoid any hesitation and lack of options when the real threat comes. The realistic realization is often grim and pessimistic, as history has shown that people often resort to violent conflict in their decisions on the world scale. Many philosophers who wrote on realism acknowledge that human nature is very destructive. Every time negotiations fail or something goes “not according to plan”, the first answer is to wage wars and force people to obey. From ancient times wars have been an inseparable part of humanity and it seems that it has not taught people anything. The present world is filled with military conflicts while democratic countries thrive on human rights and freedoms. Realism is directed towards finding ways of dealing with the reality of the world. It is centered on creating strategies that would help avoid the unnecessary “reality” of violence and horror. Even the political front is filled with inhumane policies and unfair actions of leaders who base their opinions and goals on their own, personal and selfish realities or those of their immediate surroundings or country. Wars are the most horrible part of life that people encounter. It is extremely important to devise a strategy for dealing with them. But, primarily, these strategies focus on the prevention and not the start or continuation of wars. The reality of the unstable world demands a plan and that is why there has always been an arms race between different nations, which continues even today (Mahnken, 2008).

Realism deals with the most immediate and common truths that surround people. Every human being has their slant on the reality of the world and that is why there are so many different nations and countries. For the longest time, people based their world on realism and this is where their cultures and beliefs sprung from. As it is a very personal and cultural experience, sometimes it is hard for people to realize the truths that govern others. In a worldwide conflict people often mistake the true reasons for the easiest to see and assume. The conflicts that break out, in the true sense of things, arise from the misunderstandings and inability to be patient and find out the true reasons. People believe that reality is obvious and often assume the worst and most detrimental reality they can imagine. Realism is a philosophical branch of thinking that tries to expand the knowledge of people and explain what reality is. For example, scientific realism is based on the study of nature and its laws but at the same time, there is a great world that is impossible to see and comprehend. The criticism of realism often arises from such “invisible” issues because people often fear what they can’t see or understand. To the present day, there has been an extensive study of reality and what laws govern human existence but it seems that the surface has merely been scratched. The most important fact is that reality is here and it affects everyone, so careful consideration of actions must be the common goal.


Mahnken, T. (2008). Strategic studies. New York, United States: Routledge.

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