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Before assessing the impact of race and ethnicity on war, it is important to discuss the concepts themselves. Races are alleged discrete subspecies within humanity, which some people believe can be ranked from inferior to superior. Many wars have broken out when one group of people claiming to be of a higher race have tried to dominate another group that they considered to be of a lower race. However, race is a social construct, not a scientifically factual distinction among people. Various theorists or pseudotheorists differ widely on how they divide humanity into races, with some classifying all people into no more than five races and others treating virtually every ethnic group (e.g., Jews, Aryans, Celts, Chinese, Japanese) as a distinct race. Nevertheless, race, while ...

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