Thethird image of Waltz best explains the war. This is because the thirdimage argues about the qualities that an anarchic system should have.He stresses that this image is the major cause of war through the wayin which he classifies the arguments about the war. He explains thatthe anarchic realm because there is no higher authority than otherswhen it comes to matters of international politics. The major causeof war therefore, is found in the international anarchy because thereis power competition between some states that results to war. Whenthese states are competing towards one another, each one of them willwant to appear superior to the other. Because none of the stateswants to appear inferior, they have to engage in a war so that thesuperior state will stand out. He concludes that wars occur due tothe absence of something that can prevent such an occurrence, and thethird image gives the underlying causes of war.
Hedistinguished between immediate and permissive causes of war becausehe had to prove that wars arise due to the lack something that canprevent them. There is no anti-war device in the internationalenvironment, and if it were present, then there would not be anypossibility of war. The way the international system is structuredcannot constitute a factor that causes war by itself however, it canbe one of the conditions that directly contribute to the occurrenceof war. The international environment is a catalyst that facilitateswar. Waltz had to differentiate the efficient causes of war that wasexplained by his first two images and the underlying causes thatexplain the possibilities why wars occur in the internationalenvironment.