War: Thematic Text

War is a conflict. War can be an armed or an unarmed conflict. An unarmed conflict is called a cold war. War can be waged between states, governments, societies or groups of people. War is typically characterised by aggression, violence, destruction and mortality. Regular or irregular military forces can be used. A mercenary is a soldier who is paid to fight by a country or group that they do not belong to. A captive is a person who has been taken prisoner. A hostage is someone who has been captured by a person or organization and who may be killed or injured if people do not do what that person or organization demands. A person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war is called a refugee.

There can be heavy weapons, small arms and light weapons. Weapons of mass destruction are nuclear, biological, chemical and radiological (‘dirty bomb’) weapons. If countries or groups involved in a war or violent conflict are discussing peace, they are talking to each other in order to try to end the conflict.