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
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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:
“Nietzsche, to the end of his days, remained a Russian pastors son, and hence two-thirds of a Puritan; he erected his war upon holiness, toward the end, into a sort of holy war.”
—H.L. (Henry Lewis)
“[W]e must remember that so long as war exists on earth there will be some danger that even the Nation that most ardently desires peace may be drawn into war.”
—Franklin D. Roosevelt (18821945)
“Now, were I once at home, and in good satire,
Id try conclusions with those Janizaries,
And show them what an intellectual war is.”
—George Gordon Noel Byron (17881824)