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War is a time of conflict with intent to harm or kill, supported by the opposing countries or societies. History records that humanity has desired peace, namely the absence of war. So why do we not have peace? As H G Wells said “If we don’t end war, war will end us.

War can be for any reason, these are the most common:

  • One nation seeks to take advantage of another nation’s natural resources
  • Ownership and control, particularly of land/territory
  • Religious or belief, and the view that unbelievers should be disenfranchised or killed. This includes genocide or any form of violence that is based on the group is not entitled to basic rights of life or liberty. (See Genocide below)
  • Political or Social Power (e.g. Cold war, Civil War etc)
  • Terrorism or other antisocial behavior by identifiable groups such as pirates.

The most likely way to prevent the breakout of a war is by a discussion about the problem and looking for solutions, which is also known as a round table conference.

The deadliest war in history, in terms of the cumulative number of deaths since its start, is World War II, from 1939 to 1945, with 60–85 million deaths.

Genocide was defined as international crime under UN law in 1946. Between 1956 and 2016 a total of forty-three genocides took place, causing the death of about 50 million people.

See also: Peace, Violence, Domination

warfare, armed conflict
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