International conflict is the result of behaviour designed to destroy, injure, thwart or otherwise control another country or group of countries or their policies. It derives from the incompatibility of goals of at least two nations or groups of nations. When two groups have important but common goals which can be attained by one group only at the expense of the other, activities directed towards the attainment of such goals are likely to become hostile and aggressive. International relations are determined, apart from the psychological factors, by economic, political, military, technological and other related developments. The range of relations possible between two nations varies from mutual cooperation and support determined by fear of a common enemy, to cold war where national interests are perceived to be antagonistic; from peaceful coexistence when national interests are not conflicting, to local military conflicts where national interests clash strongly enough to lead to use of conventional weapons, or to nuclear or total war where national survival is perceived to be in jeopardy.
International conflict is traditionally expressed in anti-foreign demonstrations, negative sanctions, diplomatic protests or severance of relations, threats or acts of military presence, hostile military actions and declared wars. Conflict can also progress in ideological, cultural, linguistic, economic and other rivalries.
Countries which refuse to settle their disputes by pacific means such as negotiation, arbitration, meditation, conciliation, or judicial settlement, often turn to the threat or the use of force, or other means of coercion for the settlement of their controversies.