Many have posed the question "What is war?" with very few ever reaching a conclusion. If a conclusion is made, it is naturally met with criticism.Virtually every aspect of the term "war" has had its meaning disputed. A few of the main discrepencies include; questions on whether war has to be formally declared in order to be recognized, whether actual fighting has to occur, or whether war has to take place between formally declared States or nations in order to be universally recognized as war.

There have been numerous events in history where the validity of the event has been questioned because of a lack of formal declaration. For instance, in the Vietnam War, and in the Korean War. The Korean War was actually referred to not as a war but as a "United Nations 'Peace Action'" even though more than two million people were killed as a direct result of the conflict, and no resolution was ever made between the United States and North Korea.

An example illustrating whether a war has to include actual physical violence (a battle), is the "War of Bavarian Succession", nicknamed the "Kartoffelnkrieg" or "Potato War". A declaration for war was made and fully armed militants from wither side met face to face, but no shots were ever fired, and no deaths resulted before a peaceful resolution was found.

The question on whether war must be between two (or more) formally declared nations or States has been the subject of disagreement. Some have brought up the question on whether National Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have the right to wage war. While NGOs are not identified by the international community as States, in the sense that they do not occupy a territory, they do display many other characteristics of a State.
The main point is that war has an ever evolving face. New variables are constantly tied in, and old ones are constantly disagreed upon, as one man wrote, "...most people might agree that war can be described in much the same way as a jurists observation about pornography: 'I may not be able to define it, but I know it when I see it.'"

War is a term that can be ever so slightly redefined for the particular circumstance, but that everyone will still be able to apply and connect the same understanding and meaning to.

For more on the concept of War:
What is War?


(Some major forces changing the way war was waged)

War has gone through quite an evolution since ancient times. The waging of war has been dramatically transformed time and time again due to the development of war waging tactics. On the international scale, one of the first developments which changed the face of war waging forvever was the formation of States.

The formation of States brought about increased organization within military forces. Before the formation of States, whatever disputes did occur had little power and were very inefficient due to the lack of organization. The Romans were a prime example of a powerful army due in the most part to an increased organization of the militia. The increased organization was made possible because with the formation of a State came major developments in agriculture along with animal domestication, which allowed people to contribute more time and effort towards military training and service instead of farmwork.

The development of the chariot, led by either horses or oxen, was a major advancement in the efficiency of warfare. The chariot was a comparable equivalent to the modern day tank. The design of the chariot was continually improved upon, along with the breeding of larger more powerful horses better suited for pulling a chariot on the battlefield. The chariot was not only advantageous on the battlefield due to size, but it also allowed for one or more people to partake on the actual fighting while somone else took care of the job of steering.

The introduction of mounted calvary transformed the battlefield yet again. The first evidence of mounted warfare came around the year 750 B.C. and continued to be an essential component until times as recent as W.W.II. The mounted soldier became much more efficient on the battlefield with the development of the stirrup, adding control and stability to the rider. The invention of the stirrup was often compared with the invention of the wheel with the respect to its importance and contribution to the advancement of society, for the amount of power and mobility it added to an army was momentous.


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The discovery of gun powder was yet another revolutionary advancement in warfare allowing for precision fighting from a distance. The gun is in fact still the number one choice for ground combat weaponry.
Finally, the invention of the plane for use as a tool in combat was a major advancement in war waging, adding speed, the ability to transport loads over all terrain reliably, and the ability to carry out air attacks.

When the Nuclear Bomb was created, a whole new dimension to warfare was created.

Weapons of Mass Destruction