There are no battles or warriors in this poem, but the atmosphere and some of the symbols suggest that war is in the air. The Bible passage from the Book of Isaiah that inspired this song talks about the destruction of the enemy city of Babylon, which worshipped false gods called "idols." From reading the Bible, it often seems that everyone is at war with everyone else, and you get a bit of that feeling in this song. After all, the city wouldn't have set up watchtowers if its citizens didn't think that someone might attack them. Also, "All Along the Watchtower" was written during the height of the Vietnam War, and watchtowers are part of the iconic scenery of that war, so it's natural to connect one to the other. Overall, the mood is one of danger and suspense rather than outright violence.
Because this is a rock and roll song, we have decided not to write possible academic arguments, as it seems to detract from the heart and soul of the song. Please let us know if you disagree!