Copyright © 2007 Dorling Kindersley
When nations fail to settle their arguments by peaceful means, they often turn to war, or the use of armed conflict. For strong nations, war can be an easy way of winning land or resources. Civil war is war between people within a nation. This can happen when political or ethnic differences become too great.
Henri Dunant founded the Red Cross as a medical service to care for the war wounded. In 1864, the first Geneva Convention was signed, guaranteeing their protection. Later treaties attempted to minimize the suffering of war and ensure that prisoners and civilians are treated with respect. Groups using TERRORISM to reach their goal do not obey rules.
Wars between nations end when the leaders of one side agree to surrender to prevent further destruction. Civil wars are far more complex. Unless one side is a clear winner, both sides have to reenter the political process, which can easily break down again into war.
If a group or individual feel they cannot achieve their goals under the normal rules of a nation, they may resort to terrorism. Terrorists use or threaten violence to make their demands. Some groups target only political enemies; others target anybody.
Terrorism has been around since the time of the ancient Greeks. Today, it can be difficult to separate terrorism from other forms of warfare. Guerrilla fighters, small bands who attack larger armies, often use terrorist tactics. Governments may also use illegal violence as part of their secret service operations.