<blockquote><p><strong>Ryan McAvoy</strong> said:</p><blockquote>
<p>Star Wars = war</p>
<p>Star Trek = peace</p>
<p>The difference is night and day!</p>
<p> Yes, which is also the reason why Nicholas Meyer's two 'Sod all this peace, let's just have submarine warfare in space' Star Trek films are the best.</p></blockquote><p> </p>
As originally conceived and executed, Star Trek envisioned a sort of constant low-intensity warfare, as great powers tested each other and fought via proxy, and various aliens attacked the Federation's "wagon train to the stars." It was the Indian Wars and the Cold Wars combined. The films were a departure from this. They did away with the colonial aspect, except as a (totally justified) symptom of Klingon paranoia, and presented a more sanitized version of the Cold War. There was never any open warfare in Nicholas Meyer's films; the closest we got was some rogue officers firing at the other side during a peace conference. Combat was presented as something exceptional, not as the fairly routine occurrence it was in The Original Series.
The later TV series and movies are a mixed bag. The episodic series typically take place during peacetime, but DS9 is mostly set during or around a major war. Half the TNG movies take place during this war, but ignore it, and the last movie features a Romulan attack on the Federation, albeit during a short-lived coup that represents a major departure from Romulan policy.
Of course, the difference between peace and war is not night and day, it's shades of gray existing on a few different dimensions (legal authorities, international relations, scale and duration of combat, etc.). You can conduct a lot of lethal operations without being at war, and you can be at war and have no combat at all. It depends on your point of view.