Speaking of wars:
Could you name for me five wars that occurred before the American revolution? How about five Wars that occurred in the 19th century? I’m sure, if you’re American, for the second question you could come up with the American Civil War, Napoleonic Wars, and the War of 1812- and I would be pleased to hear someone mention the Opium Wars, but I would not expect you to come up with the Mexican American War, the Russo- Japanese war, the Spanish- American War, the Finnish Wars, the Rum Rebellion, or the Lamu Expansion. Here’s a fun exercise, look up the list of wars during the 19th century and try to memorize them. Let me know how you did below.
Interestingly, in the modern arena, warfare has become increasingly cyber, precise, and isolated. Major powers like the US, Russia, and China have seen a decrease in value for large scale wars and have switched to economic and trade based warfare, computerized weaponry, and proxy warfare.
In the US today the average modern soldier can expect to screw on bolts for $40k a year for five years and then go home free, so long as he or she is not sent overseas to a proxy war- which for our purposes is a civil war somewhere else that we have a vested interest in. The Wars in Afghanistan and Syria are examples of this. In those regions there is a potential for a democratic government to rise and democratic governments trade with democratic governments, so we want “our side” to win (obviously I’m spit balling here).
Pinker goes into good detail about this, but I can offer for you a video that covers the topic of the increase in civil wars and decrease in large scale border invasions over time: