The termination of war must, at the outset, be distinguished Ifrom the termination of hostilities or actual warfare. As has been said, war is "not the mere employment of force, but the existence of the legal condition of things in which rights are or may be prosecuted by force. Thus, if two nations declare war one against the other, war exists, though no force whatever may as yet have been employed."' Similarly, it follows that, although actual hostilities have ceased, the status of war may continue until terminated in some regular way recognized by international law as sufficient for that purpose. Actual hostilities are frequently terminated as the result of the signing of an armistice or a capitulation which may take the form of a protocol or preliminary agreement which regulates the relations between the belligerents until the definitive treaty of peace is signed and ratified.
John M. Mathews,
Termination of War,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol19/iss8/3