War is an organized, armed, and, often, a prolonged conflict that is carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political communities, and therefore is defined as a form of political violence. The set of techniques used by a group to carry out war is known as warfare. An absence of war (and other violence) is usually called peace.
In 2003, Nobel Laureate Richard E. Smalley identified war as the sixth (of ten) biggest problem facing the society of mankind for the next fifty years. In the 1832 treatise On War, Prussian military general and theoretician Carl von Clausewitz defined war as follows: "War is thus an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will."
While some scholars see warfare as an inescapable and integral aspect of human culture, others argue that it is only inevitable under certain socio-cultural or ecological circumstances. Some scholars argue that the practice of war is not linked to any single type of political organization or society. Rather, as discussed by John Keegan in his History of Warfare, war is a universal phenomenon whose form and scope is defined by the society that wages it. Another argument suggests that since there are human societies in which warfare does not exist, humans may not be naturally disposed for warfare, which emerges under particular circumstances. The ever changing technologies and potentials of war extend along a historical continuum. At the one end lies the endemic warfare of the Paleolithic with its stones and clubs, and the naturally limited loss of life associated with the use of such weapons. Found at the other end of this continuum is nuclear warfare, along with the recently developed possible outcome of its use, namely the potential risk of the complete extinction of the human species.
Read more about War: Etymology, History of Warfare, Nine Largest Wars (by Death Toll), Types of Warfare, Effects of War, Factors Ending A War, List of Ongoing Wars, Efforts To Stop Wars, Theories For Motivation, War Ethics
Other articles related to "wars, war":
... 1513 – Italian Wars Battle of Novara. 1813 – War of 1812 Battle of Stoney Creek – A British force of 700 under John Vincent defeats an American force two times its size under William Winder and John Chandler. 1862 – American Civil War Battle of Memphis – Union forces capture Memphis, Tennessee, from the Confederates ...
... The continent became a battlefield of the Cold War in the late 20th century ... Cold War doctrine of "National Security" against internal subversion ... Argentina and Britain fought the Falklands War in 1982 ...
1777 – American Revolutionary War New Connecticut (present day Vermont) declares its independence. 1815 – War of 1812 American frigate USS President, commanded by Commodore Stephen Decatur, is captured by a squadron of four British frigates. 1822 – Greek War of Independence Demetrios Ypsilantis is elected president of the legislative assembly ...
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1846 – After the Milwaukee Bridge War, Juneautown and Kilbourntown unify as the City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 1865 – American Civil War The United States Congress passes the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, abolishing slavery, submitting. 1865 – American Civil War Confederate General Robert E ...
Famous quotes containing the word war:
“War and culture, those are the two poles of Europe, her heaven and hell, her glory and shame, and they cannot be separated from one another. When one comes to an end, the other will end also and one cannot end without the other. The fact that no war has broken out in Europe for fifty years is connected in some mysterious way with the fact that for fifty years no new Picasso has appeared either.”
—Milan Kundera (b. 1929)
“O I know they make war because they want peace; they hate so that they may live; and they destroy the present to make the world safe for the future. When have they not done and said they did it for that?”
—Elizabeth Smart (19131986)
“... in any war a victory means another war, and yet another, until some day inevitably the tides turn, and the victor is the vanquished, and the circle reverses itself, but remains nevertheless a circle.”
—Pearl S. Buck (18921973)