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The Highprince of War is a title bestowed by the Alethi king to one of the highprinces. The Highprince of War has authority over all war-related activities.
Dalinar Kholin requested the title be given to him so he could unite the Alethi Highprinces. King Elhokar replied that he would do this if Dalinar could provide him with proof that he was able to create a union between the highprinces. After Dalinar's attempts at this failed the topic wasn't mentioned any more.
Only after Dalinar survived the betrayal of Torol Sadeas at the Battle of the Tower did he force Elhokar to name him the Highprince of War. 
Dalinar attempted to used this position to change the distribution of gemhearts on the Shattered Plains so that the war would no longer consist of the Highprinces competing for the gemhearts.
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