soldier walking on wooden pathway surrounded with barbwire selective focus photographyPhoto Credit: Stijn Swinnen

War, what is it good for? Welcome to our collection of quotes about war; many of them are cautionary, and all of them thought-provoking. Peace to you.

quote by John Steinbeck: All war is a symptom of man's failure as a thinking animal. with background image: person in black and white polka dot coat holding black rifle
Background Photo: Dominik Sostmann

All war is a symptom of man's failure as a thinking animal.

--John Steinbeck
quote by Titus: A bad peace is even worse than war. with background image: grayscale photo of man in black jacket and hat
Background Photo: Daniel Stuben.

A bad peace is even worse than war.

--Tacitus
quote by Wayne Gerard Trotman: Those who declare war are seldom those who fight. with background image: three grenades
Background Photo: Sven Verweij

Those who declare war are seldom those who fight.

--Wayne Gerard Trotman

After every war someone has to tidy up.

--Wislawa Szymborska
quote by Alfred Hermann Fried: War is not, in itself, a condition so much as the symptom of a condition -- that of international anarchy. with background image: man walking on brown grass field
Background Photo: Specna Arms

War is not, in itself, a condition so much as the symptom of a condition -- that of international anarchy.

--Alfred Hermann Fried
quote by John Cory: War is the cemetery of futures promised. with background image: 3 men in black and white suit holding red smoke hose
Background Photo: Diana van Ormondt

War is the cemetery of futures promised.

--John Cory
quote by Hamilton Fish: If our country is worth dying for in time of war let us resolve that it is truly worth living for in time of peace. with background image: old war scene painted
Background Photo: Birmingham Museums Trust

If our country is worth dying for in time of war let us resolve that it is truly worth living for in time of peace.

--Hamilton Fish
quote by Arthur Ponsonby: When war is declared, truth is the first casualty. with background image: old war scene calvary
Background Photo: British Library

When war is declared, truth is the first casualty.

--Arthur Ponsonby
quote by Arthur Wimperis: The worst thing about this war is the chance it gives these dreadful little persons, the chance to make themselves important. with background image: old war scene painted
Background Photo: Birmingham Museums Trust

The worst thing about this war is the chance it gives these dreadful little persons, the chance to make themselves important.

--Arthur Wimperis
quote by Michelle J. Howard: The best ambassador is a warship. with background image: man holding rifle
Background Photo: Specna Arms

The best ambassador is a warship.

--Michelle J. Howard
quote by Stanisław Jerzy Lec: In a war of ideas it is people who get killed. with background image: black rifle with scope on brown soil
Background Photo: STNGR Industries

In a war of ideas it is people who get killed.

--Stanislaw Jerzy Lec
quote by Carlos Saavedra Lamas: War implies a lack of comprehension of mutual national interests; it means the undermining and even the end of culture. with background image: grayscale photography of soldier
Background Photo: Specna Arms

War implies a lack of comprehension of mutual national interests; it means the undermining and even the end of culture.

--Carlos Saavedra Lamas
quote by Carlos Saavedra Lamas: War of aggression, war which does not imply defense of one's country, is a collective crime. with background image: soldier walking on wooden pathway surrounded with barbwire selective focus photography
Background Photo: Stijn Swinnen

War of aggression, war which does not imply defense of one's country, is a collective crime.

--Carlos Saavedra Lamas
quote by Robert Taft: Criticism in a time of war is essential to the maintenance of any kind of democratic government. with background image: black and white aircraft
Background Photo: paul jespers

Criticism in a time of war is essential to the maintenance of any kind of democratic government.

--Robert Taft
quote by Sophie Kerr: If peace only had the music and pageantry of war, there'd be no wars. with background image: brown wooden handle bar on brown wooden table
Background Photo: Jonathan Kemper

If peace only had the music and pageantry of war, there'd be no wars.

--Sophie Kerr

Baneful indeed is the scourge of war.

--Stephen Grellet
quote by Rebecca Latimer Felton: The utter helplessness of a conquered people is perhaps the most tragic feature of a civil war or any other sort of war. with background image: man walking on brown grass field
Background Photo: Specna Arms

The utter helplessness of a conquered people is perhaps the most tragic feature of a civil war or any other sort of war.

--Rebecca Latimer Felton
quote by Frieda Lawrence: Of course in war all madnesses come out in a man, that is the fault of war not of a man or a nation. with background image: silver and gold UNK on brown wooden surface
Background Photo: Jay Rembert

Of course in war all madnesses come out in a man, that is the fault of war not of a man or a nation.

--Frieda Lawrence
quote by Frank Whittle: A nation's ability to fight a modern war is as good as its technological ability. with background image: silver and gold UNK on brown wooden surface
Background Photo: Jay Rembert

A nation's ability to fight a modern war is as good as its technological ability.

--Frank Whittle
quote by Harry Patch: War is organized murder, and nothing else. with background image: person raishing his hand
Background Photo: Valentin Salja

War is organized murder, and nothing else.

--Harry Patch
quote by David Bowles: Retreat is brave when you steal a great prize from your enemy's hands. with background image: soldiers on field at daytime
Background Photo: Bao Menglong

Retreat is brave when you steal a great prize from your enemy's hands.

--David Bowles
quote by Robert Oppenheimer: Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds. with background image: three grenades
Background Photo: Sven Verweij

Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.

--Robert Oppenheimer
quote by Robert Rodat: Wars are not fought only by childless men. with background image: soldiers on top of battle tanks
Background Photo: Chuanchai Pundej

Wars are not fought only by childless men.

--Robert Rodat
quote by A. A. Milne: War is something of man's own fostering, and if all mankind renounces it, then it is no longer there. with background image: man walking on brown grass field
Background Photo: Specna Arms

War is something of man's own fostering, and if all mankind renounces it, then it is no longer there.

--A. A. Milne
quote by A. J. P. Taylor: No matter what political reasons are given for war, the underlying reason is always economic. with background image: silver and gold UNK on brown wooden surface
Background Photo: Jay Rembert

No matter what political reasons are given for war, the underlying reason is always economic.

--A.J.P. Taylor

No war is inevitable until it breaks out.

--A.J.P. Taylor
quote by Adlai E. Stevenson: Making peace is harder than making war. with background image: battle tank on green grass field during daytime
Background Photo: Kevin Schmid

Making peace is harder than making war.

--Adlai E. Stevenson
quote by Al McGuire: Winning is overrated. The only time it is really important is in surgery and war. with background image: blue and white concrete wall
Background Photo: Levi Meir Clancy

Winning is overrated. The only time it is really important is in surgery and war.

--Al McGuire

A war for a great principle ennobles a nation.

--Albert Pike
quote by Alfred Adler: War is not the continuation of politics with different means, it is the greatest mass-crime perpetrated on the community of man. with background image: None
Background Photo: Cassiano K. Wehr

War is not the continuation of politics with different means, it is the greatest mass-crime perpetrated on the community of man.

--Alfred Adler
quote by Alfred Adler: To all those who walk the path of human cooperation war must appear loathsome and inhuman. with background image: people sitting and standing on battle tank
Background Photo: Suzy Brooks

To all those who walk the path of human cooperation war must appear loathsome and inhuman.

--Alfred Adler
quote by Alphonse de Lamartine: Civil wars leave nothing but tombs. with background image: black and silver knife on gray wooden table
Background Photo: Anis Rahman

Civil wars leave nothing but tombs.

--Alphonse de Lamartine
quote by Andre Malraux: There are not fifty ways of fighting, there's only one, and that's to win. Neither revolution nor war consists in doing what one pleases. with background image: None
Background Photo: Cassiano K. Wehr

There are not fifty ways of fighting, there's only one, and that's to win. Neither revolution nor war consists in doing what one pleases.

--Andre Malraux
quote by Andre Malraux: War puts its questions stupidly, peace mysteriously. with background image: black assault rifle on snow covered ground
Background Photo: Bexar Arms

War puts its questions stupidly, peace mysteriously.

--Andre Malraux

War is costly; peace is priceless.

--Anonymous
quote by Anonymous: Hell no, we won't go! with background image: soldier holding black rifle during daytime
Background Photo: 1AmFcS

Hell no, we won't go!

--Anonymous
quote by Aristophanes: Ah! the Generals! they are numerous, but not good for much! with background image: soldiers in truck
Background Photo: Diego González

Ah! the Generals! they are numerous, but not good for much!

--Aristophanes
quote by Arthur Koestler: The most persistent sound which reverberates through man's history is the beating of war drums. with background image: black handle knife on green grass field during daytime
Background Photo: Mirvuqar Abdulov

The most persistent sound which reverberates through man's history is the beating of war drums.

--Arthur Koestler
quote by Barbara W. Tuchman: War is the unfolding of miscalculations. with background image: photo of author Barbara W. Tuchman with quote

War is the unfolding of miscalculations.

--Barbara W. Tuchman
quote by Montesquieu: A rational army would run away. with background image: battle tank on green grass field during daytime
Background Photo: Kevin Schmid

A rational army would run away.

--Montesquieu
quote by Montesquieu: An empire founded by war has to maintain itself by war. with background image: gold and silver bullet on white surface
Background Photo: Danilo Alvesd

An empire founded by war has to maintain itself by war.

--Montesquieu
quote by Bennett Cerf: The Atomic Age is here to stay -- but are we? with background image: man with steel and chainmail armor holding sword
Background Photo: Henry Hustava

The Atomic Age is here to stay -- but are we?

--Bennett Cerf
quote by Bernie Sanders: I do not want to see perpetual warfare in the Middle East. with background image: black metal wheel on brown sand during daytime
Background Photo: Robert Harkness

I do not want to see perpetual warfare in the Middle East.

--Bernie Sanders
quote by Bill Maher: Bloodless revolutions are rare. with background image: five black and gray jets close-up photography
Background Photo: Lawrence Hookham

Bloodless revolutions are rare.

--Bill Maher
quote by C. Wright Mills: The principal cause of war is war itself. with background image: man holding rifle
Background Photo: Specna Arms

The principal cause of war is war itself.

--C. Wright Mills
quote by Caleb Carr: Warfare against civilians must never be answered in kind. Terror must never be answered with terror. with background image: black and white aircraft
Background Photo: paul jespers

Warfare against civilians must never be answered in kind. Terror must never be answered with terror.

--Caleb Carr
quote by Carl Sandburg: Sometime they'll give a war and nobody will come. with background image: black and white rope on white concrete wall
Background Photo: Anis Rahman

Sometime they'll give a war and nobody will come.

--Carl Sandburg
quote by Carl von Clausewitz: War is the province of danger. with background image: soldiers on top of battle tanks
Background Photo: Chuanchai Pundej

War is the province of danger.

--Carl von Clausewitz
quote by Carl von Clausewitz: War is the domain of physical exertion and suffering. with background image: person holding assault rifle
Background Photo: Kony

War is the domain of physical exertion and suffering.

--Carl von Clausewitz
quote by Carl von Clausewitz: War is not an independent phenomenon, but the continuation of politics by different means. with background image: blue and white concrete wall
Background Photo: Levi Meir Clancy

War is not an independent phenomenon, but the continuation of politics by different means.

--Carl von Clausewitz
quote by Carl von Clausewitz: Everything in war is very simple. But the simplest thing is difficult. with background image: black rifle leaning on white wall
Background Photo: Josh Miller

Everything in war is very simple. But the simplest thing is difficult.

--Carl von Clausewitz
quote by Carl von Clausewitz: The political object is the goal, war is the means of reaching it, and the means can never be considered in isolation from their purposes. with background image: six fighter jets
Background Photo: UX Gun

The political object is the goal, war is the means of reaching it, and the means can never be considered in isolation from their purposes.

--Carl von Clausewitz

To secure peace is to prepare for war.

--Carl von Clausewitz
quote by Carl von Clausewitz: War is the continuation of politics by other means. with background image: grey chain body armor
Background Photo: Martin Zaenkert

War is the continuation of politics by other means.

--Carl von Clausewitz
quote by Carl von Clausewitz: Many intelligence reports in war are contradictory; even more are false, and most are uncertain. with background image: soldier walking on wooden pathway surrounded with barbwire selective focus photography
Background Photo: Stijn Swinnen

Many intelligence reports in war are contradictory; even more are false, and most are uncertain.

--Carl von Clausewitz
quote by Charles Caleb Colton: War kills men, and men deplore the loss; but war also crushes bad principles and tyrants, and so saves societies. with background image: man walking on brown grass field
Background Photo: Specna Arms

War kills men, and men deplore the loss; but war also crushes bad principles and tyrants, and so saves societies.

--Charles Caleb Colton
quote by Che Guevara: When forces of oppression come to maintain themselves in power against established law, peace is considered already broken. with background image: man walking on brown grass field
Background Photo: Specna Arms

When forces of oppression come to maintain themselves in power against established law, peace is considered already broken.

--Che Guevara
quote by Chief Joseph: War can be avoided, and it ought to be avoided. I want no war. with background image: brown wooden handle bar on brown wooden table
Background Photo: Jonathan Kemper

War can be avoided, and it ought to be avoided. I want no war.

--Chief Joseph
quote by Chris Hedges: The failure to dissect the cause of war leaves us open for the next installment. with background image: people sitting and standing on battle tank
Background Photo: Suzy Brooks

The failure to dissect the cause of war leaves us open for the next installment.

--Chris Hedges
quote by Conor McGregor: A fight is mental, not just physical and psychological warfare is absolutely part of that. with background image: blue and white concrete wall
Background Photo: Levi Meir Clancy

A fight is mental, not just physical and psychological warfare is absolutely part of that.

--Conor McGregor
quote by Cormac McCarthy: War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner. with background image: man walking on brown grass field
Background Photo: Specna Arms

War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.

--Cormac McCarthy
quote by Demosthenes: Beware lest in your anxiety to avoid war you obtain a master. with background image: person in black and white polka dot coat holding black rifle
Background Photo: Dominik Sostmann

Beware lest in your anxiety to avoid war you obtain a master.

--Demosthenes
quote by Dick Cheney: Principle is OK up to a certain point, but principle doesn't do any good if you lose. with background image: brown wooden sticks on black surface
Background Photo: Mykola Makhlai

Principle is OK up to a certain point, but principle doesn't do any good if you lose.

--Dick Cheney
quote by E. A. Bucchianeri: The battlefields of any war changes a person forever. with background image: grey chain body armor
Background Photo: Martin Zaenkert

The battlefields of any war changes a person forever.

--E.A. Bucchianeri
quote by Edward Counsel: Wars of pen and ink often lead to wars of cannon and bayonets. with background image: brown wooden sticks on black surface
Background Photo: Mykola Makhlai

Wars of pen and ink often lead to wars of cannon and bayonets.

--Edward Counsel
quote by Edward Counsel: Even a successful war is a loss to most families. with background image: black rifle on brown dirt road during daytime
Background Photo: Maxim Potkin

Even a successful war is a loss to most families.

--Edward Counsel
quote by Edward Counsel: Want is both parent and child of war. with background image: silver-colored god tags hanging on hooks shallow focus photography
Background Photo: Holly Mindrup

Want is both parent and child of war.

--Edward Counsel
quote by Edward Counsel: War is a severe doctor; but it sometimes heals grievances. with background image: WWI war soldiers in trenches
Background Photo: British Library

War is a severe doctor; but it sometimes heals grievances.

--Edward Counsel
quote by Edward R. Murrow: We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. with background image: grayscale photography of two men standing outside a concrete building
Background Photo: Austrian National Library

We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty.

--Edward R. Murrow
quote by Eldridge Cleaver: All the gods are dead except the god of war. with background image: rusty soldier helmet with holes on white surface
Background Photo: David Clode

All the gods are dead except the god of war.

--Eldridge Cleaver
quote by Elias Canetti: Rulers who want to unleash war know very well that they must procure or invent a first victim. with background image: black and white aircraft
Background Photo: paul jespers

Rulers who want to unleash war know very well that they must procure or invent a first victim.

--Elias Canetti
quote by Elizabeth Berg: Is war a sin? with background image: man in black and white zip up jacket
Background Photo: Sammy Williams

Is war a sin?

--Elizabeth Berg
quote by Emmeline Pankhurst: When you have warfare, things happen; people suffer; the noncombatants suffer as well as the combatants. And so it happens in civil war. with background image: six fighter jets
Background Photo: UX Gun

When you have warfare, things happen; people suffer; the noncombatants suffer as well as the combatants. And so it happens in civil war.

--Emmeline Pankhurst
quote by Erich Maria Remarque: A hospital alone shows what war is. with background image: man holding rifle
Background Photo: RECEP TÄ°RYAKÄ°

A hospital alone shows what war is.

--Erich Maria Remarque
quote by Euripides: I'd never want my muse to be a singer of nothing but disaster. with background image: grayscale photo of soldiers on battle tank
Background Photo: Kevin Schmid

I'd never want my muse to be a singer of nothing but disaster.

--Euripides
quote by Euripides: Ares (The God of War) hates those who hesitate. with background image: man with steel and chainmail armor holding sword
Background Photo: Henry Hustava

Ares (The God of War) hates those who hesitate.

--Euripides
quote by Euripides: Ten soldiers wisely led will beat a hundred without a head. with background image: black semi automatic pistol on gray surface
Background Photo: Jacob Boavista

Ten soldiers wisely led will beat a hundred without a head.

--Euripides
quote by Felix Frankfurter: It simply is not true that war never settles anything. with background image: World War 1 charging a trench
Background Photo: British Library

It simply is not true that war never settles anything.

--Felix Frankfurter
quote by Frank Herbert: War is behavior with roots in the single cell of the primeval seas. Eat whatever you touch or it will eat you. with background image: black and white aircraft
Background Photo: paul jespers

War is behavior with roots in the single cell of the primeval seas. Eat whatever you touch or it will eat you.

--Frank Herbert
quote by Frank Herbert: All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. with background image: soldier walking on wooden pathway surrounded with barbwire selective focus photography
Background Photo: Stijn Swinnen

All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities.

--Frank Herbert

Longer Version:

All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible.


quote by George Herbert: War makes thieves and peace hangs them. with background image: black and brown hair brush
Background Photo: Jay Rembert

War makes thieves and peace hangs them.

--George Herbert
quote by George R. R. Martin: When you play a game of thrones you win or you die. with background image: people standing on green grass field under cloudy sky during daytime
Background Photo: Tapio Haaja

When you play a game of thrones you win or you die.

--George R.R. Martin
quote by George R. R. Martin: There is a savage beast in every man, and when you hand that man a sword or spear and send him forth to war, the beast stirs. with background image: old war scene painted
Background Photo: Birmingham Museums Trust

There is a savage beast in every man, and when you hand that man a sword or spear and send him forth to war, the beast stirs.

--George R.R. Martin
quote by George Steiner: To many men... the miasma of peace seems more suffocating than the bracing air of war. with background image: silver and gold UNK on brown wooden surface
Background Photo: Jay Rembert

To many men... the miasma of peace seems more suffocating than the bracing air of war.

--George Steiner
quote by Gertrude Stein: War is never fatal but always lost. Always lost. with background image: black semi automatic pistol on black textile
Background Photo: What Is Picture Perfect

War is never fatal but always lost. Always lost.

--Gertrude Stein
quote by Gore Vidal: To invent a war means that you've become a wartime president, and you can suspend much if not all of the Bill of Rights. with background image: grayscale photography of soldier
Background Photo: Specna Arms

To invent a war means that you've become a wartime president, and you can suspend much if not all of the Bill of Rights.

--Gore Vidal
quote by Hannah Arendt: War has become a luxury that only small nations can afford. with background image: green battle tank on green grass field during daytime
Background Photo: Gabriel Lenca

War has become a luxury that only small nations can afford.

--Hannah Arendt
quote by Harry Emerson Fosdick: War's tragedy is that it uses man's best to do man's worst. with background image: brown wooden handle bar on brown wooden table
Background Photo: Jonathan Kemper

War's tragedy is that it uses man's best to do man's worst.

--Harry Emerson Fosdick
quote by Harry Emerson Fosdick: I hate war... for the dictatorships it puts in the place of democracies, and for the starvation that stalks after it. with background image: black handle knife on green grass field during daytime
Background Photo: Mirvuqar Abdulov

I hate war... for the dictatorships it puts in the place of democracies, and for the starvation that stalks after it.

--Harry Emerson Fosdick
quote by Havelock Ellis: There is nothing that war has ever achieved that we could not better achieve without it. with background image: people sitting and standing on battle tank
Background Photo: Suzy Brooks

There is nothing that war has ever achieved that we could not better achieve without it.

--Havelock Ellis
quote by Herbert Hoover: Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die. with background image: brown and black galleon ship on ocean water under gray sky
Background Photo: Andreea Swank

Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die.

--Herbert Hoover
quote by Herman Melville: War being the greatest of evils, all its accessories necessarily partake of the same character. with background image: man in black and brown camouflage uniform holding red smoke
Background Photo: Jakob Owens

War being the greatest of evils, all its accessories necessarily partake of the same character.

--Herman Melville
quote by Herodotus: In peace, sons bury their fathers. In war, fathers bury their sons. with background image: brown metal machine on gray concrete wall near sea during daytime
Background Photo: Kvnga

In peace, sons bury their fathers. In war, fathers bury their sons.

--Herodotus
quote by Homer: Even the bravest cannot fight beyond his power. with background image: grayscale photography of two men standing outside a concrete building
Background Photo: Austrian National Library

Even the bravest cannot fight beyond his power.

--Homer
quote by Homer: It is not right to exult over slain men. with background image: five black and gray jets close-up photography
Background Photo: Lawrence Hookham

It is not right to exult over slain men.

--Homer

Let my country die for me.

--James Joyce
quote by James Thomson: Peace is the happy natural state of man; war is corruption and disgrace. with background image: low angle photography of brown and gray helicopter
Background Photo: Curioso Photography

Peace is the happy natural state of man; war is corruption and disgrace.

--James Thomson

quote by Jeannette Rankin: If you're against war, you're against war regardless of what happens. It's a wrong method of trying to settle a dispute. with background image: man walking on brown grass field
Background Photo: Specna Arms

If you're against war, you're against war regardless of what happens. It's a wrong method of trying to settle a dispute.

--Jeannette Rankin
quote by Jeannette Rankin: There can be no compromise with war; it cannot be reformed or controlled; cannot be disciplined into decency or codified into common sense. with background image: grayscale photography of soldier
Background Photo: Specna Arms

There can be no compromise with war; it cannot be reformed or controlled; cannot be disciplined into decency or codified into common sense.

--Jeannette Rankin
soldier walking on wooden pathway surrounded with barbwire selective focus photography

Thank you for checking out our selection of quotes on war. Please consider sharing and also connect with us on social media. Wishing you a peace-filled day!