From ArticleWorld

War may be thought of as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political communities. A state of incompatibility or disagreement may exist between two oppositions, the consequence of which is a war. War is a phenomenon that occurs only between political communities, which may be countries or which either are or propose to become states. Thus, neither fisticuffs between individuals nor gang fights become wars.


The history of war -a brutal and ugly enterprise - may be termed as old as humankind itself. It remains central to human history and social change. Certainly, the well recorded wars of the Roman Empire became some of the earliest documented wars. Thinkers have held diametrically opposite views on the morality of wars. The Father of modern India, Mahatma Gandhi, a believer and advocate of non-violence was categorically against wars while Thomas Mann, a writer in the early 19th century, was an avid campaigner for war, calling it liberation, a source of hope.

Types of Wars

Classical war is international war - a war between different states or groups of states, like the World Wars. The two World wars involved almost all the major nations of the world and continued for more than five years each.

Some other wars that are fought quite frequently are wars that fought within a country between rival groups or communities, like the American Civil War. Sometimes terrorist organizations within a country might also be considered a community in that they hold sway over the emotions of the people.

War waged by major powers that do not themselves participate in the war may be termed as proxy wars; an example is provided by the United States and the erstwhile USSR that indulged in such a war in Afghanistan in the 1980’s. These two major powers were, each trying to gain control of Afghanistan and striving to avoid a full blown nuclear war. They were also fighting what is termed as a cold war.