War is an intense armed conflict between two or more parties. Typically, it involves a state, government, society, or paramilitary organization. The general characteristics of war are violence, aggression, destruction, and mortality. It may involve irregular or regular military forces. In some cases, it is a form of civil war. For more information, see the Wikipedia article on war. Despite its many different definitions, the term war generally refers to armed conflicts.
The word war is not synonymous with warfare, and should be defined more narrowly. This will help to avoid questions regarding author subjectivity and cultural specificity. However, the language of war is still necessary for clarity, as it is a general term that encompasses a variety of conflicts. The following definition should help to clarify the issue: A state of open-ended collective conflict in which parties seek to achieve their goals. But such a definition is only part of the solution.
Another definition of war is an unspecified conflict. The language of war, as defined in the OED, should be restricted to a single disciplinary or political domain. In some instances, it may refer to an ‘invisible’, non-declared conflict. But this definition carries with it a great deal of freedom and flexibility. In other cases, it may be an expression of an internal power struggle between a state and its citizens.
A working definition of war also permits more flexibility than the OED definition. It includes non-state people, cultural wars, and non-declared actions. It is more restrictive and does not invite questions of author subjectivity or cultural specificity. And it raises the issue of whether it is still a war, because the definition of war is inexhaustible. It can be used to describe all kinds of conflict. So, when considering the different types of warfare, it is important to choose the right one.
In the case of war, the language of war is not a synonym for ‘war’. Instead, it is a more generalized term that can include both political and cultural conflicts. In fact, the definition of war reflects both normative and descriptive problems. The OED definition of ‘war’ has become synonymous with ‘warfare’. So, in the OED, “warfare’ refers to an act of violence against an individual or group of people.
A working definition of war allows for more flexibility than the OED’s. It allows for more cultural conflicts and wars between non-state people. It also allows for a more comprehensive examination of ‘warfare’ and ‘nonviolence’. This working definition can be used to explain various kinds of conflicts in history. When people wage war, they usually do so for their own interests, rather than for political ones. Some of these conflicts may even be governed by the interests of their leaders.