Wars are armed conflicts between the armed forces of political entities, which are typically nation-states, although this is not always the case. An armed force can be defined as a collective entity comprising combatants with task-defined roles and with a command-and-control structure. It is necessary to distinguish between legal or other institutional determinants of war and the substance of war. On the one hand, a nation-state might declare war on another nation-state, but if no actual armed conflict takes place, then the “war” is apparently war in name only. On the other hand, a sustained period of intense armed conflict between nation-states might technically be defined as a war even if neither side has actually declared war. This is not to say that declarations ...

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