Just basic literacy will help a lot. Most conflicts in the world involve illiterate soldiers on one or both sides. Modern war is very expensive, and very destructive. War almost never makes economic sense. Most countries have market economies, so if your neighbor has resources that you want, you don't need to take it by force, you can just buy it.
Bad for you, worse for the other guy. Don't underestimate how much the stronger player can abuse their position until they go one step too far.