The countdowns to wars often follow a familiar pattern which can easily be observed and briefly expressed. Wise leaders might understand what is happening and take action to achieve happier outcomes, but so often they do not.
Sometimes they are encouraged in their descent into violence, cruelty and self destruction by countries benefitting from arms sales and nurturing out of date theories of war fighting. They imagine peace is achieved by a “balance of power” or “dividing and ruling” or “demolishing the structure of a society to make it ungovernable and unsustainable by killing the leadership, destroying centres for administration, communication links, factories, and other civilian infrastructure”. All illegal and punishable under international law. This policy was tried in 1999 in Serbia (the Kosovo War), and 2003 in Iraq. The cost in human suffering and the floods of refugees are part of the price of such a policy.
Most of the world, the peaceful majority of it, finds security through friendship and cooperation with neighbours rather than violence and threats of violence.
This poem, The Path to War, was written in 1999 about the Kosovo War, but readers may see the pattern applying to other wars.