Accession Number:

ADA560680

Title:

Maslow, Needs, and War

Descriptive Note:

Research paper

Corporate Author:

ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2012-02-28

Pagination or Media Count:

34.0

Abstract:

In our current thinking on war, we rely on political leaders to define the character of war and to provide military-achievable goals. In many cases, not understanding the background to these goals can lead to tragedy. Understanding where these goals come from, particularly the needs of the society they serve, will help military professionals achieve these goals. Maslows hierarchy of needs is a well-known framework that can help in the understanding of personal behaviors and -- as recent research has posited -- social behaviors. More recent research posits that societies exhibit a similar hierarchy. This paper proposes a hierarchy of needs for a society that mirrors Maslows individual hierarchy and draws lessons for warfare from that new hierarchy. Of particular interest to the theory of war and the basis of the political goals espoused by Clausewitz broadly accepted in the West and forming the basis for most of our political discourse on war are five axioms which correlate warfare, interests, political goals, and needs. Together, these axioms assert that war is a rational act entered into by agents to meet their needs. Further, they assert that wars bloodshed, ferocity, and severity can be estimated by clearly understanding the opponents views on a particular issue. A timely example demonstrates each of these axioms. Analyzing Irans current standoff with the West provides a way to examine the needs hierarchy for the two principal agents, Iran and the United States, and the implications of those needs hierarchies on the two agents political and military goals.

Subject Categories:

  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Government and Political Science
  • Nuclear Weapons

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE