is a state of conflict
between relatively large groups of people (such as nations
, social groups
), which is characterized by the use of armed lethal violence
or upon civilians
. Other terms for war, which often serve as euphemisms
, include armed conflict, hostilities, and police action
A common perception of war is a series of military campaigns between at least two or more opposing sides involving a dispute over sovereignty, territory, resources, ideology or a host of other issues. A war to liberate an occupied country is sometimes characterised as a "war of liberation", while a war between internal elements of the same state may constitute a civil war.
Aside from humans and their primate brethren, ants are the only other species known to exhibit such behavior on a large scale.
A battle is a single engagement fought between two or more parties, wherein each party or aligned group will seek to defeat their opponent. Battles are most often fought during military campaigns and can usually be well defined in time, space and action. Wars are generally the continuum of a related series of battles and are guided by strategy, whereas individual battles are the stage on which tactics are employed.
Military history is the recording of those events in the history of humanity that fall within the category of organised armed conflict.
The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States. It is awarded "for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty, in actual combat against an armed enemy force." Three different medals currently exist for each of the major branches of the U.S. armed forces: one each for the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Since the beginning of World War II, only 851 have been awarded, 525 of them posthumously. The rare soldier who wears the Medal of Honor is accorded special privileges that include higher pay, preference for their children at the U.S. military academies, and the respect and admiration of all other service-people. It is an informal rule that Medal of Honor recipients, regardless of rank, are saluted by all other service members, including the Commander-in-Chief. The Army Medal of Honor was first awarded during the American Civil War and was last officially awarded to Paul Ray Smith for action that occurred during the Iraq War in 2003.