Obfuscation is one thing at which government is very good. If there is a subject that might be of interest to people, its spokespersons hasten to provide information - but in such a form as is extremely hard to grasp. It provides a huge number of trees, so as to obscure the overall shape of the forest; a trick widely and skilfully used by governments at Town and State levels when publishing their almost impenetrable statements of account. This technique is used brilliantly to conceal the essentially violent nature of government, and unfortunately Wikipedia has been coralled as a key player in the misinformation program.
Ixquick "List of US Wars" and many links will be displayed. The most detailed come from Wiki, and the one headed "Timeline of United States at War" is the least misleading; it reveals that the FedGov has been at war almost continuously since being founded, often fighting several at the same time. The eye can travel down the graphic timeline and notice that the intervals of peace are few, and short. That fact on its own tells us a good deal; especially after reflecting that (aside, arguably, from the Revolutionary War) there has never yet been a war in which the US suffered an unprovoked attack.
The others, though, are poor. Most are far from complete, showing just the "major" conflicts, and the most comprehensive, "List of wars involving the United States", is a classic example of how a reader can be confused by massive quantities of detail. It does show them all (I think) but there is a shocking absence of any kind of summary. There is not even a count!
It's a fundamental rule of communication, whether of a spoken presentation or of a written document, that in order to convey a message the author or speaker must (1) Tell 'em what he's going to tell 'em, then (2) Tell 'em, and finally (3) Tell 'em what he told 'em. All audiences have limited memories, so the summaries (#1 and 3) are vital attempts to secure the key points in that memory, and the detail offered in #2 is to flesh out the story and justify the summaries. Yet here, in the primary online account of the primary and most deadly activity of the US Government during its 2-century life, there is no summary at all! Clearly, the authors' intent is to conceal the big picture, not to reveal it.
So I did my own count, skipping the pretty but distracting pictures beside the text, and found that since 1776 the USA has fought in 115 wars. Your count may differ, by a war or three.
The table also omits any account of casualties. It does not say how many American lives were spent in these military adventures, nor how many "enemies" were killed, nor what was the total resulting body count, including "collateral" deaths. For example no reader could tell, from this page, that one of the shorter conflicts (WW2) killed half a million US forces and 60 to 80 million people altogether - a large fraction of whom died because it was prolonged by the needless US intervention. For such figures, one must hunt elsewhere.
Another obvious flaw: the table lists the Korean War as lasting from 1950 to 53; then later adds an extra entry for "Korean DMZ Conflict". This upsets both the count and the reality; there has been an armistice for 64 years and counting, but never peace. Today, the war may be poised to heat up again, and the presence of tens of thousands of US troops at the hot spot will ensure American participation if it does.
It's hard to imagine any activity more evil than waging war, other than in self-defense. To set out to kill people one has never met, and who have done one no harm at all, must be close to the pinnacle of evil, however defined. And yet war-waging is, as the foregoing showed, a primary activity of the State. A good definition of "evil" is to commit any initial act that deprives a person of his or her absolute right of self-ownership, and to terminate his life is obviously the extreme example of such an act, and the self-defense exception is valid only because everyone's first ethical duty is to protect his own life.
War is sometimes blamed on big businesses, particularly in the arms industry and particularly by spokespersons on the "left." Let's check this, for at first sight there is a case for it. If you were in the business of making missiles, you would want to sustain or raise profits by contributing to the election expenses of politicians who favor an aggressive US military presence worldwide - who promote war. The weapons get used up much faster that way, so re-orders flow more quickly than they would just as a result of moth and rust in a missile warehouse.
Bankers, too, see a profit opportunity in war; recently the ZGBlog The Empire's Rise and Fall noted the key part played by J P Morgan in bringing the US into WW-1. So ought the blame for wars to be placed on such big firms?
I suggest not. In business one searches for opportunity, within the marketplace that exists, however distorted it may have become by government intervention. If there is a demand for missiles, it's to be expected that firms will marshal engineers and make some, and profit accordingly; and if WW-1 combatants are begging for guns and loans to pay for them, little wonder that bankers leap to help. Notice, though: the first actor in the process is always government; if they did not exist, there would be no demand. The principle "if you build it, they will come" does not apply in this industry; no shipbuilder will design and construct a nuclear submarine in the hope that somehow, a government will spontaneously spring into existence and buy it. First the government chicken, then the arms-making egg. Hence, to abolish war, first abolish government. Here's how.
The idea that government is needed for national defense dies hard, but it simply isn't true. To have a centralized defense system is complete folly, for all an invading government has to do is to persuade that one party to surrender, by winning a series of battles. France in 1940 was a classic case. A far more effective system is fully to decentralize defense, for then an invader will never know when his war of aggression is finished; his costs may continue into the indefinite future. This is the essence of "guerrilla" warfare, which is also well suited to the principle of individual defense, of self and family; it is the natural consequence of terminating government and in any case there won't be a "nation", as such, to be defended.
Beyond individual defense using violence against an occupying force such as a foreign invader or a domestic tyrant such as we now have, a better strategy is just to refuse to work for him. Without "grunts" and other employees, any government is helpless. So if, today, you have a government job, leave it! Far more ethical than taking human lives, even those being gravely mis-spent.