With the groundbreaking development of "war" more than 7,000 years ago, mankind acquired a new tool that for the first time ever made it possible to definitively resolve conflicts of any kind.

"The concept of two groups charging at each other from opposite sides of a field until one group is too wounded or dead to continue fighting completely revolutionized the way in which humans settled disagreements," said Kip Levin, a military historian. "Without war, early nomadic tribes would not have been able to decide who got the last of dwindling resources, there would be no pope in Rome, and the United States would never have found a way to intervene in Vietnam and Iraq."

Added Levin, "It's hard to imagine what life was like before people had war to tell them who was right and who was wrong."

Many historians believe the breakthrough mediation strategy originated in the Fertile Crescent shortly after the dawn of civilization, spreading rapidly to become an immensely popular conflict-resolution method across the globe. Since that time, war has solved hundreds of problems, from waterway access to border disputes to the entirety of Polish history.

War has also been employed on occasion to resolve disagreements over peace and to ensure that the world remained a harmonious place untroubled by fear, hatred, or the threat of violence.

According to Levin, because of its near- perfect rate of success in the modern civilized world, war will likely remain in popular use for the foreseeable future.

"We've come a long way from hashing out our differences around a fire," Levin said. "With the long-range nuclear missile technology we possess today, I wouldn't be surprised if, in a few short years, war solves the problems of mankind once and for all."