War and fighting have been common from time immemorial (going beyond the reach of memory) Tribes started warlike activities thousands of years ago. As human beings lived in better societies, they improved their methods of fighting.
Countries or nations fight wars for a number of reasons. Firstly, two or more countries or nations may begin a war for the sake of “expansion” of territory. This is called an expansionist war. One country makes some claims on the territory of another. After increasing its military power it attacks the other country. Germany started the war against Poland in 1939 just to expand its territory which developed into the Second World War.
Secondly, wars are fought by nations to get back (recover) their countries from foreign rulers or invaders (attackers). Such wars are fought for the sake of national independence. These national wars of liberation are the result of national liberation movements. Thus, the Indian Muslims fought the War of Independence against the English in 1857.
Thirdly, wars may be fought for religious reasons. Such wars were very common in olden times. For example, many religious wars were fought between Christians and Muslims hundreds of years ago in Asia and Europe. In our time, wars between the Arabs and Jews in the Middle East have religious causes.
Wars may also be the result of border disputes between countries. Countries may fail to adjust their borders through discussions and may go to war. Thus, China and India fought a war in 1962 and Iraq and. Iran started fighting in 1980. There may be other causes of wars such as competition between two or more. countries to win control of important parts of the seas or to capture foreign markets for the export of goods.
When we consider the causes of war, we begin thinking that it is a necessary evil. Countries will continue to have disputes and differences. They will have to fight wars to settle them if they cannot do so through discussions and conferences. Stronger countries have often imposed their decision on weaker countries.
Yet, war may not be the only way of settling disputes. If all countries agree to accept the decisions of the UN in their disputes war can be avoided. However, for this, all countries should be given equal. importance in the UN. The big powers should not have the right of rejecting its decisions. They should not be in possession of the highly destructive atomic weapons.
Peace is generally better than war. Wars fought by some powerful countries to dominate (establish control over) weaker nations should be condemned. Only those wars can be justified which are defensive or which are fought against foreign armies occupying a country.
The big powers like America, Russia and China have started settling their disputes through discussions and conferences. Smaller countries should also decide to resolve their differences in peaceful ways. To avoid war in a complete way all countries or nations should begin acting upon the principles of justice and equality.