The World at War
|China||Senkaku Islands||1968 -->|
|China||Spratly Islands||1988 -->|
|Congo (Zaire)||Congo War||1998-->|
|India||Naxalite Uprising||1967 -->|
|Indonesia||Papua / West Irian||1963 -->|
|Israel||Al-Aqsa Intifada||2000 -->|
|Ivory Coast||Civil War||2002 -->|
|Korea||Korean War||1953 -->|
|Laos||Hmong Insurgency||2000 -->|
|Nigeria||Civil Disturbances||1997 -|
|Russia||Chechen Uprising||1992 -->|
|Sri Lanka||Tamil Separatists||1983 -->|
|Thailand||Islamic Rebels||2001 -->|
|Uganda||Civil Conflict||1980 -->|
|United States||Afghanistan||1980 -->|
|United States||Djibouti||2001 -->|
|United States||Iraq||1990 -->|
|United States||Philippines||1898 -->|
|Uzbekistan||Civil Disturbances||2005 -->|
|Yemen||Sheik al-Houti||2004 -->||
"Perpetual peace is no empty idea, but a practical thing which, through its gradual solution, is coming always nearer its final realization..."
The United Nations defines "major wars" as military conflicts inflicting 1,000 battlefield deaths per year. In 1965, there were 10 major wars under way. The new millennium began with much of the world consumed in armed conflict or cultivating an uncertain peace. As of mid-2005, there were eight Major Wars under way [down from 15 at the end of 2003], with as many as two dozen "lesser" conflicts ongoing with varrying degrees of intensity.
Most of these are civil or "intrastate" wars, fueled as much by racial, ethnic, or religious animosities as by ideological fervor. Most victims are civilians, a feature that distinguishes modern conflicts. During World War I, civilians made up fewer than 5 percent of all casualties. Today, 75 percent or more of those killed or wounded in wars are non-combatants.
Africa, to a greater extent than any other continent, is afflicted by war. Africa has been marred by more than 20 major civil wars since 1960. Rwanda, Somalia, Angola, Sudan, Liberia, and Burundi are among those countries that have recently suffered serious armed conflict.
War has caused untold economic and social damage to the countries of Africa. Food production is impossible in conflict areas, and famine often results. Widespread conflict has condemned many of Africa's children to lives of misery and, in certain cases, has threatened the existence of traditional African cultures.
Conflict prevention, mediation, humanitarian intervention and demobilization are among the tools needed to underwrite the success of development assistance programs. Nutrition and education programs, for example, cannot succeed in a nation at war. Billions of dollars of development assistance have been virtually wasted in war-ravaged countries such as Liberia, Somalia, and Sudan.