Total War in the 21st Century

Is Total War Conceivable in the 21st Century

Total War is defined as ' A war which is unrestricted in terms of the weapons used, the territory or combatants involved, or the objectives pursued.'[1]. Total war also implies a total victory and not a conflict wherein a truce or cease fire terms are negotiated[2] This essay will look at two examples of total war. These examples are from completely different periods and will look at the belligerents, some of the reasons for the war and weapons used. This will aid in showing that although their has been advancements in weaponry and strategies a total war still involves mobilizing every possible resource available to a nation. With the continuous advancement in weaponry is it possible for nations to participate in a total war in the 21st century? If so what would be the consequences for the rest of the globe?

The very first documented Total War broke out in 431 BC, The Peloponnesian war was a conflict   between the Delian league led by Athens and the Peloponnesian league led By Sparta. The Delian league was a collection of democratic states and Sparta was an oligarchic   This war consisted of a series of conflicts and minor wars and   lasted until 445 BC . Hoplites armed with spears and fought in large groups of men known as a   phalanx formation were the main body of the Greek state army.   Hoplites were the citizens of a state and had to provide their own weapons and armour. Armies would meet on the battlefield and terms discussed between leaders before an engagement.   During this time the Delian league had superiority both on land and on the sea with the help of the Athenian naval fleet.   some of the reasons blamed for this war was the jealousy of Sparta towards the growth of the Athenian empire and the rebuilding of the Athenian high walls which was in defiance of Spartan request not to.   The first Peloponnesian war ended in a draw in which Athens and Sparta signed the treaty of Nicias which allowed   both keeping the...