Military History: The Clash of Civilizations

The modern world enters a new stage in the development of military service; this fact is closely connected with the global political and economic challenges in the international arena. According to the theorist Samuel Huntington, the conflict between civilizations will become a significant push to future battles between the civilizations based on political and economic interactions. The emerging reality will be concentrated on the centralization of global military conflict in the international arena caused by intercultural oppression and global civilizations’ clash.

Huntington addressed the problem in his work ‘The Clash of Civilizations?’, underlining the idea that the conflict between civilizations will become one on the latest steps in the modern world evolution; the theorist related this fact to the creation of modern international systems regarding conflicts in the Western world. ‘The wars of kings were over; the wars of peoples had begun. (Huntington, 1993). The theorist dived into the depth of historical development, analyzing the nature of former wars and global conflicts in order to evaluate the true reasons for the coming civilization clash. Thus, it is necessary to underline the fact that at the period of the Cold War, international politics was under the pressure of the Western world; this led to the emergence of interactions between non-West and West civilizations. Huntington demonstrates the idea that during this very period, the politics developed by non-West civilizations were completely ignored by the flow of history, which resulted in sharp divisions between the First, Second and the Third worlds. Civilizations divisions are considered to be the first step to intercultural interactions and the development of military aggression. The same warlike environment is near in the future.

It is necessary to underline the fact that future civilizations division will cover the following: Western, Hindu, Confucian, Japanese, African, Latin American, and Slavic-Orthodox. The interactions will be basically connected with cultural fault lines differentiating the civilizations. As a result, dominating states will oppress minor weak cultures limiting their values and national heritage. The principle conflict will cover the political sphere leading to military aggression.

Huntington stressed that the differences between civilizations are really of great importance, and this fact realization can predict some unexpected international problems and interactions. Future military conflicts will be concentrated on the ‘game’ between Western and non-Western civilizations leading to possible de-Westernization on the basis of political, economic, and security systems introduction. The theorist underlined the fact that the conflict between civilizations will have more violent character, rather than interactions within the groups of one and the same nationality. It is necessary to underline the fact that such conflicts are considered to be the true source of escalation leading to global wars characterized by political relations such as ‘The West and the Rest. The problem is connected with the attempts of Western civilizations to make other political structures be part of their own; in return, the non-Western elite will create a conflicting environment resulting in international war. (Huntington, 1993)

Huntington managed to demonstrate the nature of civilizations’ clash and underline the basic consequences of this phenomenon through global conflicts and stop in the modern world evolution. Military service challenges will be connected with political and economic transformations and oppressions on the part of Western world causing aggression and violence; the theorist illustrated the idea that the attempts to combine the elements of modern culture developed in the Western world, with the traditional values of non-Western civilizations will result in global conflict. Huntington stressed the importance of universal civilization development to avoid future destruction of humanity; though he stated that this was completely impossible.


Huntington, S. (1993). The Clash of Civilizations? US Army Command and General Staff College.

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