War is a prolonged state of violent conflict between two or more states. War has been conducted for many purposes, such as the acquisition of goods, seizing enemy territory, to satisfy the honor of the sovereign, eliminating a threat to the homeland, stamping out rival religious sects (see Religious war), or exporting political ideologies. Warfare between factions within a single state is called civil war.
Wars have often been periods of great technological innovation as each side finds itself faced with the necessity of creating new methods of offense and defense to ensure national survival.
The American Civil War, coming shortly after the Industrial revolution in the United States, introduced mechanized warfare to the world with accurate rifles, metal warships, railroad transportation of forces and material, and instant communication via the telegraph.
World War II (1939-1945) refined tank tactics in the form of the Blitzkrieg, and introduced large-scale strategic bombing of enemy cities. The aircraft carrier took mastery of the seas. It ended with the first (and only) use of nuclear weapons.
A religious perspective on war
The Reverend Sun Myung Moon has said in his peace messages:
In this age, war is the most primitive and destructive means of resolving conflict and will never lead to lasting peace. Now is the time, as the prophet Isaiah taught, to beat our swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks. Humankind should end the perverse cycle of war, which only sacrifices the lives of our children and squanders enormous sums of money. The time has come for countries of the world to pool their resources and advance toward the kingdom of the peaceful, ideal world desired by God, the Master of this great universe. First Peace Message – September. 12, 2005, on the founding of the Universal Peace Federation
See also: Irreligion/religion and war
Louise Ridley (assistant news editor at the Huffington Post UK) and others point out that academic studies and other research consistently challenge the link between religion and war.
World War I, World War II and Darwinism
Dupuy, R. Ernest, and Trevor N. Dupuy. The Harper Encyclopedia of Military History: From 3500 B.C. to the Present (1993)
Bombing a civilian population
Nuclear target structures
List of American Wars
Does Religion Really Cause War - And Do Atheists Have Something To Answer for? by Louise Ridley, assistant news editor at the Huffington Post UK