I’m no great fan of Winston Churchill, mostly because the warmongers among our (America’s) policy elites and idiotic voting public tend to like him too much and cite him as their inspiration for warmongering. They remember the Churchill warning of Hitler and making “finest hour” speeches, not the Churchill organizing the Gallipoli disaster or praising Mussolini.
At any rate, Sir Winston did at least say something smart, in regards to how much more brutal wars fought by democratic states (either republics or those with reigning monarchs) would be than wars fought by those countries with ruling monarchs:
The wars of peoples will be more terrible than the wars of kings.
Yes, they certainly have been.
UPDATE: Churchill said this in 1901, during debates over funding for the British Army following the Boer War. The full quote from the biography Winston Churchill in the Mirror: His Life in Picture and Story:
Now when mighty populations are impelled on each other, when the resources of science sweep away anything that might mitigate the nations’ fury, a European war can only end in the ruin of the vanquished and the scarcely less fatal exhaustion of the conquerors. The wars of people will be more terrible than the wars of kings.
And what’s amazing is this quote, from the same period, that earned him condemnation from Conservatives in Parliament:
The honor and security of the British Empire do not depend, and can never depend, on the British Army!