Part of the Stele of the Vultures depicting heavy infantry marching in formation
Part of the Bayeux Tapestry depicting Norman heavy cavalry charging Saxon shield wall
Intense nuclear mushroom cloud
Painting of Napolean and his troops in winter retreating from Moscow
Soldiers wading ashore from landing craft on D-Day
British rhomboid tank and soldiers preparing to advance
Clockwise from top-left:
Ancient warfare: Stele of the Vultures, c. 2500 BC
Medieval warfare: Battle of Hastings, 1066
Early modern warfare: Retreat from Moscow, 1812
Industrial age warfare: Battle of the Somme, 1916
Modern warfare: Normandy landings, 1944
Nuclear warfare: Nuclear weapon test, 1954

War is an intense armed conflict[a] between states, governments, societies, or paramilitary groups such as mercenaries, insurgents, and militias. It is generally characterized by extreme violence, aggression, destruction, and mortality, using regular or irregular military forces. Warfare refers to the common activities and characteristics of types of war, or of wars in general.[2] Total war is warfare that is not restricted to purely legitimate military targets, and can result in massive civilian or other non-combatant suffering and casualties.

While some war studies scholars consider war a universal and ancestral aspect of human nature,[3] others argue it is a result of specific socio-cultural, economic or ecological circumstances.[4]

  1. ^ "How is the Term "Armed Conflict" Defined in International Humanitarian Law?" (PDF). International Committee of the Red Cross. March 2008.
  2. ^ "Warfare". Cambridge Dictionary. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  3. ^ Šmihula, Daniel (2013): The Use of Force in International Relations, p. 67, ISBN 978-80-224-1341-1.
  4. ^ James, Paul; Friedman, Jonathan (2006). Globalization and Violence, Vol. 3: Globalizing War and Intervention. London: Sage Publications.

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