The War Cycle – Overview


For an overview of the “War Cycle”, you can consult and download the War Cycle Synthesis which covers most of the pages of the “War Cycle” in a single document.

This overview is divided into different parts:

  • The War Cycle itself
    Its origin and initial assumptions
  • Contexts of the “War Cycle”
    Some conflicts and regions to which the “Cycle of Wars” applies, with visual presentation of data
  • Modeling the outbreak of wars
    This modeling is necessary to understand how the “Cycle of Wars” can act.
  • Materialization of the “War Cycle”.
    The mere demonstration of the “War Cycle” by the events that trigger wars is insufficient for a complete demonstration. It was possible to materialize the “Cycle of Wars” by thousands of points, which is an important track for a better demonstration.
  • What did the father of polemology, Gaston Bouthoul, say about the periodicity of wars?
    It happens, from time to time, that people quote, abruptly, an author who would have shown that a periodic phenomenon of wars is not possible. In response, it is necessary to recall what the father of Polemology said, which has as much value as a few abrupt quotes used to try to bury the “Cycle of Wars” without even examining the data.

The War Cycle

The “War Cycle” is a periodic cycle with an amplifying effect on violence and wars.

From the Theory of Return to the War Cycle

This cycle was not found by a statistical study on the outbreak of wars but by studying the returns from the past. For example, the Second World War can be seen as a 25-year return from the First World War. Another example, the Arab-Israeli Yom Kippur War in 1973 can be seen as a 25-year return from the First Arab-Israeli War in 1948.

Having spent a few years identifying returns from the past, including the outbreak of major wars, I was surprised to find in 1999 that all these identified returns could be considered as belonging to the same periodic cycle of about a third of 25 years, i.e. around 8 and a half years. This cycle was initially called the “Cycle of Return”, in reference to the past returns that made it possible to highlight it. It seems more logical to call it the “Cycle of Wars” which is more meaningful for those who do not understand the path that led to this discovery.

The periodicity of 3085 days (a little less than 8 years and 6 months) was defined in the spring of 2001 after taking the dates of the outbreak of the main wars of the 20th century and replaying the deviations of these wars from the peak of probability with different values. (The list of the wars retained for this exercise is in the 2003 edition of the Clock of the Unconscious).

As of 2004, contexts and graphs have been defined equivalent to those you will find below.

To demonstrate that this cycle of wars does not depend on a single conflict or a single region, several Contexts/Graphs have been defined: Arab-Israeli, India-Pakistan, Europe, World, showing that the same phenomenon applies to several regions and thus to the earth.

Other contexts/graphics could and could be imagined, but it will be part of a real evaluation to get others other than the author to make other ones. As long as the author is the only one to present such evidence, he will be suspected of arranging things in his own way. Someday someone will have to dare and agree to evaluate the data presented and look for more. This is how new ideas are usually validated.

Initial Assumptions of the War Cycle

The war manifests itself through a military episode of some importance. The beginning of the war is the observed beginning of military operations.

In the case of a war such as the Arab-Israeli conflict, each military round (e.g. the 6-day war) is considered a war.

There may be a need for a clearer definition of war. An isolated incident is not a war either. Punctual bombings that are not followed by a military incursion are not considered a war either. There may be ambiguity for major incidents that degenerate into war. There are generally few of them.

It is important to understand the assumptions made to demonstrate the cycle of wars:

  •  the T0 of the “War Cycle” chosen is the date of the outbreak of the First World War, as commonly expressed by historians
  • the only event initially used to demonstrate the “Cycle of Wars” is the date of the outbreak of a war. All other events are for information purposes only. We will see later that the date of the outbreak of a war is not enough for a complete demonstration but is sufficient for a partial demonstration.
  • This unique type of event is important so that others can confirm or disprove it in the same setting. The credibility of cyclical phenomena is weak when different types of events of different nature are mixed: this is not the case here.
  • for those who know how to do date calculations with Excel, it is easy to recalculate all the dates from the T0 and the 3085 days periodicity, but beware of the limitations of Excel: it does not work to calculate these dates in the 19th century or before. Special software would be needed.
  • After a few years of context studies and after modeling the outbreak of wars, it was found that the demonstration by the outbreak of wars alone is an imperfect demonstration. The “materialization of the War Cycle” was added to complete the initial demonstration. To date, there is no single demonstration but different demonstrations that complement each other in order to apprehend the periodic phenomenon observed.

Contexts of the “War Cycle”

The contexts presented here are:

Why these contexts?

The contexts are presented with the date of the outbreak of the wars as the first element of “statistical” demonstration.

If you understand The war outbreak modeling, the cases where the “War Cycle” will trigger a war are usually the recurring conflicts that are always on the verge of explosion. On these recurring conflicts, there is always an almost permanent tension that can turn into a new war episode, during an amplification phase. Moreover, these recurring conflicts are very long-lasting and make it possible to verify this over several successive cycles.

Contexts are also used to make some predictions about recurring conflicts.

The author has therefore chosen a few contexts, leaving it to others to present other contexts.

What do these contexts demonstrate?

  • that the periodicity of the wars observed is not related to a single conflict, which is an argument sometimes put forward by those who do not even bother to look at the data and attempt to make a final judgment without even looking at the data presented. These hasty judgments are helped by the fact that sometimes the demonstrations of cyclical phenomena are a bit far-fetched.
  • that this phenomenon concerns the whole earth, in different cultures and continents.

Are there regions that are not demonstrable in this way?

YES, there are 2 of them recognized

  • South America

South America has not had a protracted interstate war for more than 80 years. Just a few skirmishes, but virtually no wars and no usable data to present them in context.

There are indeed some internal wars that partially verify this phenomenon, but here again the data are insufficient for it to be really significant.

Why does South America have so few wars?

Il semble qu’il y ait plusieurs raisons:

1 – First of all, there is no nearby continent with which wars would be possible,

2 – Then there are few states in the whole of South America: they don’t need to expand into the neighbor’s country.

3 – Finally, the natural borders between states mean that possible friction between states is limited.

Allison Fedirka of geopoliticalfutures.com published in February 2016 an excellent article developing these 3 reasons to understand why South America is really special.

  • Africa

There are so many wars in Africa that when I did a context test or statistical analysis on wars, from the list available on wikipedia, the first result is that we do not see the phenomenon.

However, if we retain Major Conflicts, we can begin to see something equivalent to what is seen in the contexts that have been retained.

Yes, there are some African conflicts that are recognized as recurring and follow the same laws, but there are too many wars to make a “natural” sort, as we can do in the case of the Arab-Israeli or Indo-Pakistani conflict or in Europe.

In the state of research on wars in most countries, the “War Cycle” is not easily demonstrable in Africa. The advantage in Europe since World War II is that there have been few wars. When one takes these wars to present the European context, there is no ambiguity since the wars selected are practically the only ones. If, in order to demonstrate the “War Cycle” in Africa, 20 wars out of 60 must be retained for the presentation to be meaningful, one will cry out for manipulation. To make a context on Africa to try to demonstrate the “War Cycle” will be polemical and not significant.

Modeling the outbreak of wars

I

t was necessary to model the outbreak of wars in order to begin to explain how the phenomenon of the “Cycle of Wars” would act.
This point is important and can be the subject of much controversy. This modeling of the outbreak of wars is not yet recognized. Without prior agreement on this explanation of the wars and therefore the causes that can be included, the discussion on the “Cycle of Wars” could turn short. Many authors try to reduce wars to a single type of causes of wars. This is not the case here. Every war is the result of several causes. Knowledge of the “Cycle of Wars” is an additional cause, invisible to those who do not know it.

What is not clear to this day is the importance of the “Cycle of Wars” cause in relation to other causes. Would the two World Wars of the 20th century have taken place without the amplification phenomenon observed in the “Cycle of Wars”? I don’t think so, but it is my opinion that cannot be demonstrated without finding the cause of this cyclic phenomenon that amplifies the wars. It is a multidisciplinary research that could try to answer this question.

Refer to the “Modeling the outbreak of wars” section.

Materialization of the “War Cycle”

The mere demonstration of the “War Cycle” by the events that trigger wars is insufficient for a complete demonstration. It was possible to materialize a part of the “Cycle of Wars” by thousands of points, which is an important lead for a complementary demonstration..

Refer to the section “Materialization of the War Cycle“.

This section will require significant additional research. It is the most promising part for a shared demonstration between all the actors concerned by this topic. It may seem destabilizing but for statisticians and scientists it is this part that could call into question everything we think we know about wars and help confirm this “Cycle of wars” which becomes a “Cycle of amplification of violence demonstrated by the dead and wounded of the Iraqi wars … from 2003 to 2017”. A little less than 2 complete cycles of the basic cycle. This is no longer chance but a certainty based on tens of thousands of data. Thanks to Wikileaks and US Army data, this could be highlighted. Fortunately, another data source was able to confirm and complete this initial data.

What did the father of polemology, Gaston Bouthoul, say about the periodicity of wars?

It happens, from time to time, that people quote, abruptly, an author (often Anglo-Saxon) who would have demonstrated that a periodic phenomenon of wars is not possible. In response, it is necessary to recall what the father of Polemology said and which has as much value as a few abrupt quotes used to try to bury the “Cycle of Wars” without even examining the data.

In other words: there are authors who say that it can exist and others who say that it cannot exist. Get an idea for yourself but don’t stop at those who judge it without even looking at the data presented. This reflects the fact that the subject is controversial, but there are many eminent authors who have dared to defend such hypotheses.

With the disappearance of Gaston Bouthoul, Polémologie had a hard time surviving. This essentially French dimension does not exist at the international level. Other currents such as Irenology have asserted themselves at the international level.

Although marginal within the French perimeter, I consider that the “Cycle of Wars” is a confirmation of certain hypotheses of the sociologist Gaston Bouthoul.

See the section “What the father of polemology said about the periodicity of wars“.