War – Wars can be conducted through a variety of means, including but not limited to military confrontation, political influence, economic sanctions, and via electronic communications. Wars also vary in their level of intensity and form. The following is a categorization of its most prominent forms:

Hot War – The actual use of force with the intention of imposing costs on one’s opponent(s).

Cold War – Also known as a situation of negative peace. There is an absence of hot war but the potential for the outbreak of violence is ever-present. Cold wars are beleaguered by recurrent political and military crises that could inadvertently lead to escalation. Parties to a cold war situation thus focus on conflict management but do little to address the underlying conditions which led to conflict in the first place.

Civil War – Armed conflict which takes place within a single state usually over control of the apparatus of government or as a means to secede from that state.

Proxy War – Wars fought by outside powers (usually great powers) through proxies armies in territory not controlled by the outside power. The idea behind proxy wars is that direct confrontation between the outside powers could result in dangerous escalations – particularly in the nuclear age – and thus the outsiders attempt to achieve their objectives through proxies. Examples include Soviet support for North Vietnam during the Vietnam War and US support for Afgan mujahadeen in the late 1980s. More recent proxy wars can be witnessed in Yemen with Iran and Saudi Arabia taking sides and Iran’s use of its Revolutionary Guards and groups like Hezbollah to carry out attacks on its foes without taking direct responsibility.