“Old wars were fought within limits, modern wars are fought without limits.”
War is as old an activity as the world. It is said that fighting is as natural to man as maternity or motherhood to a woman. In olden times, say, four or five hundred years ago, people fought and waged (carried on) wars with their physical power. The bravest and strongest and expert fighters on horses defeated the less strong and the less expert. The main weapons used by them were swords, daggers, arrows and the like.
Towards the end of the nineteenth century, war became a game of weapons more and a contest of physical powerless. The fighting forces came to depend more and more. on the modernity and effectiveness of their weapons. All the new weapons were the result of scientific progress. With gunpowder and dynamite available in big quantities, the use of small and big guns became common.
The invention of the motorcar (internal combustion engine in the late 19th century made the use of the motorcar, and later of the aeroplane possible. With the use of trucks, armored vehicles and tanks, the ways of old warfare changed completely. Earlier, war used to be restricted (confined) to battlefields. Later, armies moved swiftly across vast areas and took control of towns, cities and even countries within a matter of days. The high seas also became battlegrounds, and now giant destroyers, frigates (small fast military ships) and submarines with heavy weaponry are in the active service of countries opposed to each other, ready to kill, destroy, devastate (ruin) everything.
The use of the aeroplane in the 20th century introduced the concept (general idea) of air warfare. With the start of bombing by planes during a war, no part of civilian areas could remain safe. A modern war, then, is a total war affecting all the civilians, all buildings, houses, factories, colleges, schools, railways, roads, rivers and whatever lies in the country.
Old wars usually were fought between the countries involved in them. Now many other reports (unconcerned) countries join in a war, and it gets escalated (it spreads far). That is how the two world wars become possible and continued for several years. But now the greatest danger the world faces, or what is on the cards, is from an atomic or nuclear war. The example of the two atom bombs dropped by the US. on Japan in 1945 and the large-scale destruction caused by them is fresh in our memory. The atomic weapons in possession of different countries including India and Pakistan are much more powerful than those bombs. So, people rightly say that a large-scale atomic war now may bring the world civilization to an end.