A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the same state or country. The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independence for a region or to change government policies. The term is a calque of the Latin bellum civile which was used to refer to the various civil wars of the Roman Republic in the 1st century BC.
A civil war is a high-intensity conflict, often involving regular armed forces, that is sustained, organized and large-scale. Civil wars may result in large numbers of casualties and the consumption of significant resources. Most modern civil wars involve intervention by outside powers. According to Patrick M. Regan in his book Civil Wars and Foreign Powers (2000) about two thirds of the 138 intrastate conflicts between the end of World War II and 2000 saw international intervention, with the United States intervening in 35 of these conflicts.
Civil wars since the end of World War II have lasted on average just over four years, a dramatic rise from the one-and-a-half-year average of the 1900–1944 period. While the rate of emergence of new civil wars has been relatively steady since the mid-19th century, the increasing length of those wars has resulted in increasing numbers of wars ongoing at any one time. For example, there were no more than five civil wars underway simultaneously in the first half of the 20th century while there were over 20 concurrent civil wars close to the end of the Cold War. Since 1945, civil wars have resulted in the deaths of over 25 million people, as well as the forced displacement of millions more. Civil wars have further resulted in economic collapse; Somalia, Burma (Myanmar), Uganda and Angola are examples of nations that were considered to have had promising futures before being engulfed in civil wars.
James Fearon, a scholar of civil wars at Stanford University, defines a civil war as "a violent conflict within a country fought by organized groups that aim to take power at the center or in a region, or to change government policies". Ann Hironaka further specifies that one side of a civil war is the state. The intensity at which a civil disturbance becomes a civil war is contested by academics. Some political scientists define a civil war as having more than 1,000 casualties, while others further specify that at least 100 must come from each side. The Correlates of War, a dataset widely used by scholars of conflict, classifies civil wars as having over 1000 war-related casualties per year of conflict. This rate is a small fraction of the millions killed in the Second Sudanese Civil War and Cambodian Civil War, for example, but excludes several highly publicized conflicts, such as The Troubles of Northern Ireland and the struggle of the African National Congress in Apartheid-era South Africa.
Based on the 1,000-casualties-per-year criterion, there were 213 civil wars from 1816 to 1997, 104 of which occurred from 1944 to 1997. If one uses the less-stringent 1,000 casualties total criterion, there were over 90 civil wars between 1945 and 2007, with 20 ongoing civil wars as of 2007.
The Geneva Conventions do not specifically define the term "civil war"; nevertheless, they do outline the responsibilities of parties in "armed conflict not of an international character". This includes civil wars; however, no specific definition of civil war is provided in the text of the Conventions.
Nevertheless, the International Committee of the Red Cross has sought to provide some clarification through its commentaries on the Geneva Conventions, noting that the Conventions are "so general, so vague, that many of the delegations feared that it might be taken to cover any act committed by force of arms". Accordingly, the commentaries provide for different 'conditions' on which the application of the Geneva Convention would depend; the commentary, however, points out that these should not be interpreted as rigid conditions. The conditions listed by the ICRC in its commentary are as follows:
(b) That it has claimed for itself the rights of a belligerent; or
(c) That it has accorded the insurgents recognition as belligerents for the purposes only of the present Convention; or
(d) That the dispute has been admitted to the agenda of the Security Council or the General Assembly of the United Nations as being a threat to international peace, a breach of the peace, or an act of aggression.
(b) That the insurgent civil authority exercises de facto authority over the population within a determinate portion of the national territory.
(c) That the armed forces act under the direction of an organized authority and are prepared to observe the ordinary laws of war.
(d) That the insurgent civil authority agrees to be bound by the provisions of the Convention.
According to a 2017 review study of civil war research, there are three prominent explanations for civil war: greed-based explanations which center on individuals’ desire to maximize their profits, grievance-based explanations which center on conflict as a response to socioeconomic or political injustice, and opportunity-based explanations which center on factors that make it easier to engage in violent mobilization. According to the study, the most influential explanation for civil war onset is the opportunity-based explanation by James Fearon and David Laitin in their 2003 American Political Science Review article.
Scholars investigating the cause of civil war are attracted by two opposing theories, greed versus grievance. Roughly stated: are conflicts caused by who people are, whether that be defined in terms of ethnicity, religion or other social affiliation, or do conflicts begin because it is in the economic best interests of individuals and groups to start them? Scholarly analysis supports the conclusion that economic and structural factors are more important than those of identity in predicting occurrences of civil war.
A comprehensive study of civil war was carried out by a team from the World Bank in the early 21st century. The study framework, which came to be called the Collier–Hoeffler Model, examined 78 five-year increments when civil war occurred from 1960 to 1999, as well as 1,167 five-year increments of "no civil war" for comparison, and subjected the data set to regression analysis to see the effect of various factors. The factors that were shown to have a statistically significant effect on the chance that a civil war would occur in any given five-year period were:
A high proportion of primary commodities in national exports significantly increases the risk of a conflict. A country at "peak danger", with commodities comprising 32% of gross domestic product, has a 22% risk of falling into civil war in a given five-year period, while a country with no primary commodity exports has a 1% risk. When disaggregated, only petroleum and non-petroleum groupings showed different results: a country with relatively low levels of dependence on petroleum exports is at slightly less risk, while a high level of dependence on oil as an export results in slightly more risk of a civil war than national dependence on another primary commodity. The authors of the study interpreted this as being the result of the ease by which primary commodities may be extorted or captured compared to other forms of wealth; for example, it is easy to capture and control the output of a gold mine or oil field compared to a sector of garment manufacturing or hospitality services.
A second source of finance is national diasporas, which can fund rebellions and insurgencies from abroad. The study found that statistically switching the size of a country's diaspora from the smallest found in the study to the largest resulted in a sixfold increase in the chance of a civil war.
Higher male secondary school enrollment, per capita income and economic growth rate all had significant effects on reducing the chance of civil war. Specifically, a male secondary school enrollment 10% above the average reduced the chance of a conflict by about 3%, while a growth rate 1% higher than the study average resulted in a decline in the chance of a civil war of about 1%. The study interpreted these three factors as proxies for earnings forgone by rebellion, and therefore that lower forgone earnings encourage rebellion. Phrased another way: young males (who make up the vast majority of combatants in civil wars) are less likely to join a rebellion if they are getting an education or have a comfortable salary, and can reasonably assume that they will prosper in the future.
Low per capita income has been proposed as a cause for grievance, prompting armed rebellion. However, for this to be true, one would expect economic inequality to also be a significant factor in rebellions, which it is not. The study therefore concluded that the economic model of opportunity cost better explained the findings.
Most proxies for "grievance"—the theory that civil wars begin because of issues of identity, rather than economics—were statistically insignificant, including economic equality, political rights, ethnic polarization and religious fractionalization. Only ethnic dominance, the case where the largest ethnic group comprises a majority of the population, increased the risk of civil war. A country characterized by ethnic dominance has nearly twice the chance of a civil war. However, the combined effects of ethnic and religious fractionalization, i.e. the greater chance that any two randomly chosen people will be from separate ethnic or religious groups, the less chance of a civil war, were also significant and positive, as long as the country avoided ethnic dominance. The study interpreted this as stating that minority groups are more likely to rebel if they feel that they are being dominated, but that rebellions are more likely to occur the more homogeneous the population and thus more cohesive the rebels. These two factors may thus be seen as mitigating each other in many cases.
David Keen, a professor at the Development Studies Institute at the London School of Economics is one of the major critics of greed vs. grievance theory, defined primarily by Paul Collier, and argues the point that a conflict, although he cannot define it, cannot be pinpointed to simply one motive. He believes that conflicts are much more complex and thus should not be analyzed through simplified methods. He disagrees with the quantitative research methods of Collier and believes a stronger emphasis should be put on personal data and human perspective of the people in conflict.
Beyond Keen, several other authors have introduced works that either disprove greed vs. grievance theory with empirical data, or dismiss its ultimate conclusion. Authors such as Cristina Bodea and Ibrahim Elbadawi, who co-wrote the entry, "Riots, coups and civil war: Revisiting the greed and grievance debate", argue that empirical data can disprove many of the proponents of greed theory and make the idea "irrelevant". They examine a myriad of factors and conclude that too many factors come into play with conflict, which cannot be confined to simply greed or grievance.
Anthony Vinci makes a strong argument that, "fungible concept of power and the primary motivation of survival provide superior explanations of armed group motivation and, more broadly, the conduct of internal conflicts".
James Fearon and David Laitin find that ethnic and religious diversity does not make civil war more likely. They instead find that factors that make it easier for rebels to recruit foot soldiers and sustain insurgencies, such as "poverty—which marks financially & bureaucratically weak states and also favors rebel recruitment—political instability, rough terrain, and large populations" make civil wars more likely.
In a state torn by civil war, the contesting powers often do not have the ability to commit or the trust to believe in the other side's commitment to put an end to war. When considering a peace agreement, the involved parties are aware of the high incentives to withdraw once one of them has taken an action that weakens their military, political or economical power. Commitment problems may deter a lasting peace agreement as the powers in question are aware that neither of them is able to commit to their end of the bargain in the future. States are often unable to escape conflict traps (recurring civil war conflicts) due to the lack of strong political and legal institutions that motivate bargaining, settle disputes, and enforce peace settlements.
Political scientist Barbara Walter suggests that most contemporary civil wars are actually repeats of earlier civil wars that often arise when leaders are not accountable to the public, when there is poor public participation in politics, and when there is a lack of transparency of information between the executives and the public. Walter argues that when these issues are properly reversed, they act as political and legal restraints on executive power forcing the established government to better serve the people. Additionally, these political and legal restraints create a standardized avenue to influence government and increase the commitment credibility of established peace treaties. It is the strength of a nation’s institutionalization and good governance—not the presence of democracy nor the poverty level—that is the number one indicator of the chance of a repeat civil war, according to Walter.
High levels of population dispersion and, to a lesser extent, the presence of mountainous terrain, increased the chance of conflict. Both of these factors favor rebels, as a population dispersed outward toward the borders is harder to control than one concentrated in a central region, while mountains offer terrain where rebels can seek sanctuary.
The various factors contributing to the risk of civil war rise increase with population size. The risk of a civil war rises approximately proportionately with the size of a country's population.
The more time that has elapsed since the last civil war, the less likely it is that a conflict will recur. The study had two possible explanations for this: one opportunity-based and the other grievance-based. The elapsed time may represent the depreciation of whatever capital the rebellion was fought over and thus increase the opportunity cost of restarting the conflict. Alternatively, elapsed time may represent the gradual process of healing of old hatreds. The study found that the presence of a diaspora substantially reduced the positive effect of time, as the funding from diasporas offsets the depreciation of rebellion-specific capital.
Evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa has argued that an important cause of intergroup conflict may be the relative availability of women of reproductive age. He found that polygyny greatly increased the frequency of civil wars but not interstate wars. Gleditsch et al. did not find a relationship between ethnic groups with polygyny and increased frequency of civil wars but nations having legal polygamy may have more civil wars. They argued that misogyny is a better explanation than polygyny. They found that increased women's rights were associated with fewer civil wars and that legal polygamy had no effect after women's rights were controlled for.
Political scholar Elisabeth Wood from Yale University offers yet another rationale for why civilians rebel and/or support civil war. Through her studies of the Salvadoran Civil War, Wood finds that traditional explanations of greed and grievance are not sufficient to explain the emergence of that insurgent movement. Instead, she argues that "emotional engagements" and "moral commitments" are the main reasons why thousand of civilians, most of them from poor and rural backgrounds, joined or supported the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, despite individually facing both high risks and virtually no foreseeable gains. Wood also attributes participation in the civil war to the value that insurgents assigned to changing social relations in El Salvador, an experience she defines as the "pleasure of agency".
Ann Hironaka, author of Neverending Wars, divides the modern history of civil wars into the pre-19th century, 19th century to early 20th century, and late 20th century. In 19th-century Europe, the length of civil wars fell significantly, largely due to the nature of the conflicts as battles for the power center of the state, the strength of centralized governments, and the normally quick and decisive intervention by other states to support the government. Following World War II the duration of civil wars grew past the norm of the pre-19th century, largely due to weakness of the many postcolonial states and the intervention by major powers on both sides of conflict. The most obvious commonality to civil wars are that they occur in fragile states.
Civil wars in the 19th century and in the early 20th century tended to be short; civil wars between 1900 and 1944 lasted on average one and half years. The state itself formed the obvious center of authority in the majority of cases, and the civil wars were thus fought for control of the state. This meant that whoever had control of the capital and the military could normally crush resistance. A rebellion which failed to quickly seize the capital and control of the military for itself normally found itself doomed to rapid destruction. For example, the fighting associated with the 1871 Paris Commune occurred almost entirely in Paris, and ended quickly once the military sided with the government at Versailles and conquered Paris.
The power of non-state actors resulted in a lower value placed on sovereignty in the 18th and 19th centuries, which further reduced the number of civil wars. For example, the pirates of the Barbary Coast were recognized as de facto states because of their military power. The Barbary pirates thus had no need to rebel against the Ottoman Empire – their nominal state government – to gain recognition of their sovereignty. Conversely, states such as Virginia and Massachusetts in the United States of America did not have sovereign status, but had significant political and economic independence coupled with weak federal control, reducing the incentive to secede.
The two major global ideologies, monarchism and democracy, led to several civil wars. However, a bi-polar world, divided between the two ideologies, did not develop, largely due to the dominance of monarchists through most of the period. The monarchists would thus normally intervene in other countries to stop democratic movements taking control and forming democratic governments, which were seen by monarchists as being both dangerous and unpredictable. The Great Powers (defined in the 1815 Congress of Vienna as the United Kingdom, Habsburg Austria, Prussia, France, and Russia) would frequently coordinate interventions in other nations' civil wars, nearly always on the side of the incumbent government. Given the military strength of the Great Powers, these interventions nearly always proved decisive and quickly ended the civil wars.
There were several exceptions from the general rule of quick civil wars during this period. The American Civil War (1861–1865) was unusual for at least two reasons: it was fought around regional identities as well as political ideologies, and it ended through a war of attrition, rather than with a decisive battle over control of the capital, as was the norm. The Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) proved exceptional because both sides in the struggle received support from intervening great powers: Germany, Italy, and Portugal supported opposition leader Francisco Franco, while France and the Soviet Union supported the government (see proxy war).
In the 1990s, about twenty civil wars were occurring concurrently during an average year, a rate about ten times the historical average since the 19th century. However, the rate of new civil wars had not increased appreciably; the drastic rise in the number of ongoing wars after World War II was a result of the tripling of the average duration of civil wars to over four years. This increase was a result of the increased number of states, the fragility of states formed after 1945, the decline in interstate war, and the Cold War rivalry.
Following II, the major European powers divested themselves of their colonies at an increasing rate: the number of ex-colonial states jumped from about 30 to almost 120 after the war. The rate of state formation leveled off in the 1980s, at which point few colonies remained. More states also meant more states in which to have long civil wars. Hironaka statistically measures the impact of the increased number of ex-colonial states as increasing the post-II incidence of civil wars by +165% over the pre-1945 number.
While the new ex-colonial states appeared to follow the blueprint of the idealized state—centralized government, territory enclosed by defined borders, and citizenry with defined rights—as well as accessories such as a national flag, an anthem, a seat at the United Nations and an official economic policy, they were in actuality far weaker than the Western states they were modeled after. In Western states, the structure of governments closely matched states' actual capabilities, which had been arduously developed over centuries. The development of strong administrative structures, in particular those related to extraction of taxes, is closely associated with the intense warfare between predatory European states in the 17th and 18th centuries, or in Charles Tilly's famous formulation: "War made the state and the state made war". For example, the formation of the modern states of Germany and Italy in the 19th century is closely associated with the wars of expansion and consolidation led by Prussia and Sardinia-Piedmont, respectively. The Western process of forming effective and impersonal bureaucracies, developing efficient tax systems, and integrating national territory continued into the 20th century. Nevertheless, Western states that survived into the latter half of the 20th century were considered "strong" by simple reason that they had managed to develop the institutional structures and military capability required to survive predation by their fellow states.
In sharp contrast, decolonization was an entirely different process of state formation. Most imperial powers had not foreseen a need to prepare their colonies for independence; for example, Britain had given limited self-rule to India and Sri Lanka, while treating British Somaliland as little more than a trading post, while all major decisions for French colonies were made in Paris and Belgium prohibited any self-government up until it suddenly granted independence to its colonies in 1960. Like Western states of previous centuries, the new ex-colonies lacked autonomous bureaucracies, which would make decisions based on the benefit to society as a whole, rather than respond to corruption and nepotism to favor a particular interest group. In such a situation, factions manipulate the state to benefit themselves or, alternatively, state leaders use the bureaucracy to further their own self-interest. The lack of credible governance was compounded by the fact that most colonies were economic loss-makers at independence, lacking both a productive economic base and a taxation system to effectively extract resources from economic activity. Among the rare states profitable at decolonization was India, to which scholars credibly argue that Uganda, Malaysia and Angola may be included. Neither did imperial powers make territorial integration a priority, and may have discouraged nascent nationalism as a danger to their rule. Many newly independent states thus found themselves impoverished, with minimal administrative capacity in a fragmented society, while faced with the expectation of immediately meeting the demands of a modern state. Such states are considered "weak" or "fragile". The "strong"-"weak" categorization is not the same as "Western"-"non-Western", as some Latin American states like Argentina and Brazil and Middle Eastern states like Egypt and Israel are considered to have "strong" administrative structures and economic infrastructure.
Historically, the international community would have targeted weak states for territorial absorption or colonial domination or, alternatively, such states would fragment into pieces small enough to be effectively administered and secured by a local power. However, international norms towards sovereignty changed in the wake of II in ways that support and maintain the existence of weak states. Weak states are given de jure sovereignty equal to that of other states, even when they do not have de facto sovereignty or control of their own territory, including the privileges of international diplomatic recognition and an equal vote in the United Nations. Further, the international community offers development aid to weak states, which helps maintain the facade of a functioning modern state by giving the appearance that the state is capable of fulfilling its implied responsibilities of control and order. The formation of a strong international law regime and norms against territorial aggression is strongly associated with the dramatic drop in the number of interstate wars, though it has also been attributed to the effect of the Cold War or to the changing nature of economic development. Consequently, military aggression that results in territorial annexation became increasingly likely to prompt international condemnation, diplomatic censure, a reduction in international aid or the introduction of economic sanction, or, as in the case of 1990 invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, international military intervention to reverse the territorial aggression. Similarly, the international community has largely refused to recognize secessionist regions, while keeping some secessionist self-declared states such as Somaliland in diplomatic recognition limbo. While there is not a large body of academic work examining the relationship, Hironaka's statistical study found a correlation that suggests that every major international anti-secessionist declaration increased the number of ongoing civil wars by +10%, or a total +114% from 1945 to 1997. The diplomatic and legal protection given by the international community, as well as economic support to weak governments and discouragement of secession, thus had the unintended effect of encouraging civil wars.
There has been an enormous amount of international intervention in civil wars since 1945 that some have argued served to extend wars. According to Patrick M. Regan in his book Civil Wars and Foreign Powers (2000) about 2/3rds of the 138 intrastate conflicts between the end of World War II and 2000 saw international intervention, with the United States intervening in 35 of these conflicts. While intervention has been practiced since the international system has existed, its nature changed substantially. It became common for both the state and opposition group to receive foreign support, allowing wars to continue well past the point when domestic resources had been exhausted. Superpowers, such as the European great powers, had always felt no compunction in intervening in civil wars that affected their interests, while distant regional powers such as the United States could declare the interventionist Monroe Doctrine of 1821 for events in its Central American "backyard". However, the large population of weak states after 1945 allowed intervention by former colonial powers, regional powers and neighboring states who themselves often had scarce resources.
The effectiveness of intervention is widely debated, in part because the data suffers from selection bias; as Fortna has argued, peacekeepers select themselves into difficult cases. When controlling for this effect, Forta holds that peacekeeping is resoundingly successful in shortening wars. However, other scholars disagree. Knaus and Stewart are extremely skeptical as to the effectiveness of interventions, holding that they can only work when they are performed with extreme caution and sensitivity to context, a strategy they label 'principled incrementalism'. Few interventions, for them, have demonstrated such an approach. Other scholars offer more specific criticisms; Dube and Naidu, for instance, show that US military aid, a less conventional form of intervention, seems to be siphoned off to paramilitaries thus exacerbating violence. Weinstein holds more generally that interventions might disrupt processes of 'autonomous recovery' whereby civil war contributes to state-building.
On average, a civil war with interstate intervention was 300% longer than those without. When disaggregated, a civil war with intervention on only one side is 156% longer, while when intervention occurs on both sides the average civil war is longer by an additional 92%. If one of the intervening states was a superpower, a civil war is a further 72% longer; a conflict such as the Angolan Civil War, in which there is two-sided foreign intervention, including by a superpower (actually, two superpowers in the case of Angola), would be 538% longer on average than a civil war without any international intervention.
The Cold War (1947–1991) provided a global network of material and ideological support that often helped perpetuate civil wars, which were mainly fought in weak ex-colonial states rather than the relatively strong states that were aligned with the Warsaw Pact and North Atlantic Treaty Organization. In some cases, superpowers would superimpose Cold War ideology onto local conflicts, while in others local actors using Cold War ideology would attract the attention of a superpower to obtain support. Using a separate statistical evaluation than used above for interventions, civil wars that included pro- or anti-communist forces lasted 141% longer than the average non-Cold War conflict, while a Cold War civil war that attracted superpower intervention resulted in wars typically lasting over three times as long as other civil wars. Conversely, the end of the Cold War marked by the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 resulted in a reduction in the duration of Cold War civil wars of 92% or, phrased another way, a roughly ten-fold increase in the rate of resolution of Cold War civil wars. Lengthy Cold War-associated civil conflicts that ground to a halt include the wars of Guatemala (1960–1996), El Salvador (1979–1991) and Nicaragua (1970–1990).
According to Barbara F. Walter, "post-2003 civil wars are different from previous civil wars in three striking ways. First, most of them are situated in Muslim-majority countries. Second, most of the rebel groups fighting these wars espouse radical Islamist ideas and goals. Third, most of these radical groups are pursuing transnational rather than national aims." She argues "that the transformation of information technology, especially the advent of the Web 2.0 in the early 2000s, is the big new innovation that is likely driving many of these changes."
The American Civil War (also known by other names) was a war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War is the most studied and written about episode in U.S. history. Primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people, war broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery.
Among the 34 U.S. states in February 1861, secessionist partisans in seven Southern slave states declared state secessions from the country and unveiled their defiant formation of a Confederate States of America in rebellion against the U.S. Constitutional government. The Confederacy grew to control over half the territory in eleven states, and it claimed the additional states of Kentucky and Missouri by assertions from exiled native secessionists without territory or population. These were then given full representation in the Confederate Congress throughout the Civil War. The two remaining slave holding states of Delaware and Maryland were invited to join the Confederacy, but nothing substantial developed.
The Confederate States was never diplomatically recognized by the government of the United States or by that of any foreign country. The states that remained loyal to the U.S. were known as the Union. The Union and the Confederacy quickly raised volunteer and conscription armies that fought mostly in the South over the course of four years. Intense combat left 620,000 to 750,000 people dead, more than the number of U.S. military deaths in all other wars combined.The war ended when General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at the Battle of Appomattox Court House. Confederate generals throughout the southern states followed suit. Much of the South's infrastructure was destroyed, especially the transportation systems. The Confederacy collapsed, slavery was abolished, and four million black slaves were freed. During the Reconstruction Era that followed the war, national unity was slowly restored, the national government expanded its power, and civil rights were granted to freed black slaves through amendments to the Constitution and federal legislation.Chinese Civil War
The Chinese Civil War was a war fought between the Kuomintang (KMT)-led government of the Republic of China and the Communist Party of China (CPC). Although particular attention is paid to the four years of Chinese Communist Revolution from 1945 to 1949, the war actually started in August 1927, with the White Terror at the end of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek's Northern Expedition, and essentially ended when major hostilities between the two sides ceased in 1950. The conflict took place in two stages: the first between 1927 and 1937, and the second from 1946 to 1950, with the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937–1945 separating them. The war marked a major turning point in modern Chinese history, with the Communists gaining control of mainland China and establishing the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, forcing the Republic of China (ROC) to retreat to Taiwan. It resulted in a lasting political and military standoff between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, with the ROC in Taiwan and the PRC in mainland China both officially claiming to be the legitimate government of all China.
The war represented an ideological split between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Nationalist Party of China (or Kuomintang). Conflict continued intermittently until late 1937, when the two parties came together to form the Second United Front to counter the Imperial Japanese Army threat and to prevent the country from crumbling. Full-scale civil war in China resumed in 1946, a year after the end of hostilities with the Empire of Japan in September 1945. Four years later came the cessation of major military activity, with the newly founded People's Republic of China controlling mainland China (including the island of Hainan), and the Republic of China's jurisdiction restricted to Taiwan, Penghu, Quemoy, Matsu and several outlying islands.
As of December 2018 no armistice or peace treaty has ever been signed, and the debate continues as to whether the civil war has legally ended. Relations between both sides, officially called the Cross-Strait relations, have been hindered by military threats and political and economic pressure, particularly over Taiwan's political status, with both governments officially adhering to the One-China policy. The PRC still actively claims Taiwan as part of its territory and continues to threaten the ROC with a military invasion if the ROC officially declares independence by changing its name to and gaining international recognition as the "Republic of Taiwan". The ROC, for its part, claims mainland China, and both parties continue the fight over diplomatic recognition. As of 2018 the war as such occurs on the political and economic fronts without actual military action. However, the two separate governments in China have close economic ties.Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America (CSA or C.S.), commonly referred to as the Confederacy and the South, was an unrecognized country in North America that existed from 1861 to 1865. The Confederacy was originally formed by seven secessionist slave-holding states—South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas—in the Lower South region of the United States, whose economy was heavily dependent upon agriculture, particularly cotton, and a plantation system that relied upon the labor of African-American slaves.Each state declared its secession from the United States, which became known as the Union during the ensuing civil war, following the November 1860 election of Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln to the U.S. presidency on a platform which opposed the expansion of slavery into the western territories. Before Lincoln took office in March, a new Confederate government was established in February 1861, which was considered illegal by the government of the United States. States volunteered militia units and the new government hastened to form its own Confederate States Army from scratch practically overnight. After the American Civil War began in April, four slave states of the Upper South—Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina—also declared their secession and joined the Confederacy. The Confederacy later accepted Missouri and Kentucky as members, although neither officially declared secession nor were they ever largely controlled by Confederate forces; Confederate shadow governments attempted to control the two states but were later exiled from them.
The government of the United States (the Union) rejected the claims of secession and considered the Confederacy illegally founded. The War began with the Confederate attack upon Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, a Union fort in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. No foreign government officially recognized the Confederacy as an independent country, although Great Britain and France granted it belligerent status, which allowed Confederate agents to contract with private concerns for arms and other supplies. In early 1865, after four years of heavy fighting which led to 620,000–850,000 military deaths, all the Confederate forces surrendered and the Confederacy vanished. The war lacked a formal end; nearly all Confederate forces had been forced into surrender or deliberately disbanded by the end of 1865, by which point the dwindling manpower and resources of the Confederacy were facing overwhelming odds. Jefferson Davis lamented that the Confederacy had "disappeared" by 1865.English Civil War
The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians ("Roundheads") and Royalists ("Cavaliers") over, principally, the manner of England's governance. The first (1642–1646) and second (1648–1649) wars pitted the supporters of King Charles I against the supporters of the Long Parliament, while the third (1649–1651) saw fighting between supporters of King Charles II and supporters of the Rump Parliament. The war ended with the Parliamentarian victory at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651.
The overall outcome of the war was threefold: the trial and execution of Charles I (1649); the exile of his son, Charles II (1651); and the replacement of English monarchy with, at first, the Commonwealth of England (1649–1653) and then the Protectorate under the personal rule of Oliver Cromwell (1653–1658) and subsequently his son Richard (1658–1659). In England, the monopoly of the Church of England on Christian worship was ended, while in Ireland the victors consolidated the established Protestant Ascendancy. Constitutionally, the wars established the precedent that an English monarch cannot govern without Parliament's consent, although the idea of Parliament as the ruling power of England was only legally established as part of the Glorious Revolution in 1688.Harriet Tubman
Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross, c. January 29, 1822 – March 10, 1913) was an American abolitionist and political activist. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some thirteen missions to rescue approximately seventy enslaved people, family and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. She later helped abolitionist John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry. During the American Civil War, she served as an armed scout and spy for the United States Army. In her later years, Tubman was an activist in the struggle for women's suffrage.
Born a slave in Dorchester County, Maryland, Tubman was beaten and whipped by her various masters as a child. Early in life, she suffered a traumatic head wound when an irate slave owner threw a heavy metal weight intending to hit another slave but hit her instead. The injury caused dizziness, pain, and spells of hypersomnia, which occurred throughout her life. She was a devout Christian and experienced strange visions and vivid dreams, which she ascribed to premonitions from God.
In 1849, Tubman escaped to Philadelphia, then immediately returned to Maryland to rescue her family. Slowly, one group at a time, she brought relatives with her out of the state, and eventually guided dozens of other slaves to freedom. Traveling by night and in extreme secrecy, Tubman (or "Moses", as she was called) "never lost a passenger". After the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was passed, she helped guide fugitives farther north into British North America, and helped newly freed slaves find work. Tubman met the abolitionist John Brown in 1858, and helped him plan and recruit supporters for the raid on Harpers Ferry.
When the Civil War began, Tubman worked for the Union Army, first as a cook and nurse, and then as an armed scout and spy. The first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war, she guided the raid at Combahee Ferry, which liberated more than 700 slaves. After the war, she retired to the family home on property she had purchased in 1859 in Auburn, New York, where she cared for her aging parents. She was active in the women's suffrage movement until illness overtook her and she had to be admitted to a home for elderly African Americans that she had helped to establish years earlier. After she died in 1913, she became an icon of courage and freedom.Iraqi Civil War (2014–2017)
The Iraqi Civil War was an armed conflict which began in January 2014 and ended in December 2017. In 2014, the Iraqi insurgency escalated into a civil war with the conquest of Fallujah, Mosul, Tikrit and in the major areas of northern Iraq by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS or IS). This resulted in the forced resignation of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, as well as airstrikes by the United States, Iran, Syria, and at least a dozen other countries, the participation of Iranian troops and military and logistical aid provided to Iraq by Russia. On 9 December 2017, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced victory over ISIL, though others warned that they expected ISIL to fight on via an insurgency, and by other means. ISIS switched to guerrilla 'hit and run' tactics in an effort to undermine the Iraqi government's effort to eradicate them.Irish Civil War
The Irish Civil War (Irish: Cogadh Cathartha na hÉireann; 28 June 1922 – 24 May 1923) was a conflict that followed the Irish War of Independence and accompanied the establishment of the Irish Free State, an entity independent from the United Kingdom but within the British Empire.
The civil war was waged between two opposing groups, Irish republicans and Irish nationalists, over the Anglo-Irish Treaty. The forces of the Provisional Government (which became the Free State in December 1922) supported the Treaty, while the Republican opposition saw it as a betrayal of the Irish Republic (which had been proclaimed during the Easter Rising). Many of those who fought on both sides in the conflict had been members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) during the War of Independence.
The Civil War was won by the Free State forces, who benefitted from substantial quantities of weapons provided by the British Government. The conflict may have claimed more lives than the War of Independence that preceded it, and left Irish society divided and embittered for generations. Today, two of the main political parties in the Republic of Ireland, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, are direct descendants of the opposing sides of the war.Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War (Arabic: الحرب الأهلية اللبنانية – Al-Ḥarb al-Ahliyyah al-Libnāniyyah) was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon, lasting from 1975 to 1990 and resulting in an estimated 120,000 fatalities. As of 2012, approximately 76,000 people remain displaced within Lebanon. There was also an exodus of almost one million people from Lebanon as a result of the war.Before the war, Lebanon was multisectarian, with Sunni Muslims and Christians being the majorities in the coastal cities, Shia Muslims being mainly based in the south and the Beqaa Valley to the east, and with the mountain populations being mostly Druze and Christian. The government of Lebanon had been run under a significant influence of the elites among the Maronite Christians. The link between politics and religion had been reinforced under the mandate of the French colonial powers from 1920 to 1943, and the parliamentary structure favored a leading position for the Christians. However, the country had a large Muslim population and many pan-Arabist and left-wing groups opposed the pro-western government. The establishment of the state of Israel and the displacement of a hundred thousand Palestinian refugees to Lebanon during the 1948 and 1967 exoduses contributed to shifting the demographic balance in favor of the Muslim population. The Cold War had a powerful disintegrative effect on Lebanon, which was closely linked to the polarization that preceded the 1958 political crisis, since Maronites sided with the West while leftist and pan-Arab groups sided with Soviet-aligned Arab countries.Fighting between Maronite and Palestinian forces (mainly from the Palestine Liberation Organization) began in 1975, then Leftist, pan-Arabist and Muslim Lebanese groups formed an alliance with the Palestinians. During the course of the fighting, alliances shifted rapidly and unpredictably. Furthermore, foreign powers, such as Israel and Syria, became involved in the war and fought alongside different factions. Peace keeping forces, such as the Multinational Force in Lebanon and UNIFIL, were also stationed in Lebanon.
The 1989 Taif Agreement marked the beginning of the end of the fighting. In January 1989, a committee appointed by the Arab League began to formulate solutions to the conflict. In March 1991, parliament passed an amnesty law that pardoned all political crimes prior to its enactment. In May 1991, the militias were dissolved, with the exception of Hezbollah, while the Lebanese Armed Forces began to slowly rebuild as Lebanon's only major non-sectarian institution. Religious tensions between Sunnis and Shias remained after the war.Libyan Civil War (2011)
The First Libyan Civil War, also referred to as the Libyan Revolution or 17 February Revolution, was an armed conflict in 2011 in the North African country of Libya fought between forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and those seeking to oust his government. The war was preceded by protests in Zawiya on 8 August 2009 and finally ignited by protests in Benghazi beginning on Tuesday, 15 February 2011, which led to clashes with security forces that fired on the crowd. The protests escalated into a rebellion that spread across the country, with the forces opposing Gaddafi establishing an interim governing body, the National Transitional Council.
The United Nations Security Council passed an initial resolution on 26 February, freezing the assets of Gaddafi and his inner circle and restricting their travel, and referred the matter to the International Criminal Court for investigation. In early March, Gaddafi's forces rallied, pushed eastwards and re-took several coastal cities before reaching Benghazi. A further UN resolution authorised member states to establish and enforce a no-fly zone over Libya, and to use "all necessary measures" to prevent attacks on civilians, which turned into a bombing campaign by the forces of NATO against military installements and civilian infrastructure of Libyia. The Gaddafi government then announced a ceasefire, but fighting and bombing continued. Throughout the conflict, rebels rejected government offers of a ceasefire and efforts by the African Union to end the fighting because the plans set forth did not include the removal of Gaddafi.In August, rebel forces launched an offensive on the government-held coast of Libya, backed by a wide-reaching NATO bombing campaign, taking back territory lost months before and ultimately capturing the capital city of Tripoli, while Gaddafi evaded capture and loyalists engaged in a rearguard campaign. On 16 September 2011, the National Transitional Council was recognised by the United Nations as the legal representative of Libya, replacing the Gaddafi government. Muammar Gaddafi evaded capture until 20 October 2011, when he was captured and killed in Sirte. The National Transitional Council "declared the liberation of Libya" and the official end of the war on 23 October 2011.In the aftermath of the civil war, a low-level insurgency by former Gaddafi loyalists continued. There have been various disagreements and strife between local militia and tribes, including fighting on 23 January 2012 in the former Gaddafi stronghold of Bani Walid, leading to an alternative town council being established and later recognized by the National Transitional Council (NTC). A much greater issue has been the role of militias which fought in the civil war and their role in the new Libya. Some have refused to disarm, and cooperation with the NTC has been strained, leading to demonstrations against militias and government action to disband such groups or integrate them into the Libyan military. These unresolved issues led directly to a second civil war in Libya.Mary Edwards Walker
Mary Edwards Walker (November 26, 1832 – February 21, 1919), commonly referred to as Dr. Mary Walker, was an American abolitionist, prohibitionist, prisoner of war and surgeon. She is the only woman to ever receive the Medal of Honor.In 1855, she earned her medical degree at Syracuse Medical College in New York, married and started a medical practice. She volunteered with the Union Army at the outbreak of the American Civil War and served as a surgeon at a temporary hospital in Washington, D.C., even though at the time women and sectarian physicians were considered unfit for the Union Army Examining Board. She was captured by Confederate forces after crossing enemy lines to treat wounded civilians and arrested as a spy. She was sent as a prisoner of war to Richmond, Virginia until released in a prisoner exchange.
After the war, she was approved for the Medal of Honor, for her efforts to treat the wounded during the Civil War. Notably, the award was not expressly given for gallantry in action at that time, and in fact was the only military decoration during the Civil War. Walker is the only woman to receive the medal and one of only eight civilians to receive it. Her name was deleted from the Army Medal of Honor Roll in 1917 (along with over 900 other male MOH recipients); however, it was restored in 1977. After the war, she was a writer and lecturer supporting the women's suffrage movement until her death in 1919.Nigerian Civil War
The Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Biafran War and the Nigerian-Biafran War (6 July 1967 – 15 January 1970), was a war fought between the government of Nigeria and the secessionist state of Biafra. Biafra represented nationalist aspirations of the Igbo people, whose leadership felt they could no longer coexist with the Northern-dominated federal government. The conflict resulted from political, economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions which preceded Britain's formal decolonization of Nigeria from 1960 to 1963. Immediate causes of the war in 1966 included a military coup, a counter-coup and persecution of Igbo living in Northern Nigeria. Control over the lucrative oil production in the Niger Delta played a vital strategic role.
Within a year, the Federal Government troops surrounded Biafra, capturing coastal oil facilities and the city of Port Harcourt. The blockade imposed during the ensuing stalemate led to severe famine. During the two and half years of the war, there were about 100,000 overall military casualties, while between 500,000 and 2 million Biafran civilians died of starvation.In mid-1968, images of malnourished and starving Biafran children saturated the mass media of Western countries. The plight of the starving Biafrans became a cause célèbre in foreign countries, enabling a significant rise in the funding and prominence of international non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The United Kingdom and the Soviet Union were the main supporters of the Nigerian government in Lagos, while France, Israel and some other countries supported Biafra. France and Israel provided weapons to both combatants.Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War (Russian: Гражда́нская война́ в Росси́и, tr. Grazhdanskaya voyna v Rossiy; 7 November 1917 – 25 October 1922) was a multi-party war in the former Russian Empire immediately after the two Russian Revolutions of 1917, as many factions vied to determine Russia's political future. The two largest combatant groups were the Red Army, fighting for the Bolshevik form of socialism led by Vladimir Lenin, and the loosely allied forces known as the White Army, which included diverse interests favoring political monarchism, economic capitalism and alternative forms of socialism, each with democratic and antidemocratic variants. In addition, rival militant socialists and nonideological Green armies fought against both the Bolsheviks and the Whites. Eight foreign nations intervened against the Red Army, notably the former Allied military forces from the World War and the pro-German armies. The Red Army eventually defeated the White Armed Forces of South Russia in Ukraine and the army led by Admiral Aleksandr Kolchak to the east in Siberia in 1919. The remains of the White forces commanded by Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel were beaten in Crimea and evacuated in late 1920. Lesser battles of the war continued on the periphery for two more years, and minor skirmishes with the remnants of the White forces in the Far East continued well into 1923. The war ended in 1923 in the sense that Bolshevik communist control of the newly formed Soviet Union was now assured, although armed national resistance in Central Asia was not completely crushed until 1934. There were an estimated 7,000,000–12,000,000 casualties during the war, mostly civilians. The Russian Civil War has been described by some as the greatest national catastrophe that Europe had yet seen.Many pro-independence movements emerged after the break-up of the Russian Empire and fought in the war. Several parts of the former Russian Empire—Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland—were established as sovereign states, with their own civil wars and wars of independence. The rest of the former Russian Empire was consolidated into the Soviet Union shortly afterwards.Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil War (Spanish: Guerra Civil Española) took place from 1936 to 1939. Republicans loyal to the left-leaning Second Spanish Republic, in alliance with the Anarchists and Communists, fought against the Nationalists, a Falangist, Carlist, Catholic, and largely aristocratic group led by General Francisco Franco. The war was known as a struggle between democracy and fascism, particularly due to the international political climate. The Nationalists won the war in early 1939 and ruled Spain until Franco's death in November 1975.
The war began after a pronunciamiento (a declaration of military opposition) against the Republican government by a group of generals of the Spanish Republican Armed Forces, originally under the leadership of José Sanjurjo. The government at the time was a moderate, liberal coalition of Republicans, supported in the Cortes by communist and socialist parties, under the leadership of centre-left President Manuel Azaña. The Nationalist group was supported by a number of conservative groups, including the Spanish Confederation of Autonomous Right-wing Groups (Confederación Española de Derechas Autónomas, or CEDA), monarchists such as the religious conservative (Roman Catholic) Carlists, and the Falange Española de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista (FE y de las JONS), a fascist political party. Sanjurjo was killed in an aircraft accident while attempting to return from exile in Portugal, whereupon Franco emerged as the leader of the Nationalists.
The coup was supported by military units in the Spanish protectorate in Morocco, Pamplona, Burgos, Zaragoza, Valladolid, Cádiz, Córdoba, and Seville. However, rebelling units in some important cities—such as Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao, and Málaga—did not gain control, and those cities remained under the control of the government. Spain was thus left militarily and politically divided. The Nationalists and the Republican government fought for control of the country. The Nationalist forces received munitions, soldiers, and air support from Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, while the Republican (Loyalist) side received support from the Soviet Union and Mexico. Other countries, such as the United Kingdom, France, and the United States, continued to recognize the Republican government, but followed an official policy of non-intervention. Notwithstanding this policy, tens of thousands of citizens from non-interventionist countries directly participated in the conflict. They fought mostly in the pro-Republican International Brigades, which also included several thousand exiles from pro-Nationalist regimes.
The Nationalists advanced from their strongholds in the south and west, capturing most of Spain's northern coastline in 1937. They also besieged Madrid and the area to its south and west for much of the war. After much of Catalonia was captured in 1938 and 1939, and Madrid cut off from Barcelona, the Republican military position became hopeless. Madrid and Barcelona were occupied without resistance, Franco declared victory and his regime received diplomatic recognition from all non-interventionist governments. Thousands of leftist Spaniards fled to refugee camps in southern France. Those associated with the losing Republicans were persecuted by the victorious Nationalists. With the establishment of a dictatorship led by General Franco in the aftermath of the war, all right-wing parties were fused into the structure of the Franco regime.The war became notable for the passion and political division it inspired and for the many atrocities that occurred, on both sides. Organized purges occurred in territory captured by Franco's forces so they could consolidate their future regime. A significant number of killings also took place in areas controlled by the Republicans. The extent to which Republican authorities took part in killings in Republican territory varied.Syrian Civil War
The Syrian Civil War (Arabic: الحرب الأهلية السورية, al-ḥarb al-ʾahlīyah as-sūrīyah) is an ongoing multi-sided armed conflict in Syria fought between the Ba'athist Syrian Arab Republic led by President Bashar al-Assad, along with domestic and foreign allies, and various domestic and foreign forces opposing both the Syrian government and each other in varying combinations.The unrest in Syria, part of a wider wave of the 2011 Arab Spring protests, grew out of discontent with the Syrian government and escalated to an armed conflict after protests calling for Assad's removal were violently suppressed. The war is being fought by several factions: The Syrian government and Syrian Armed Forces and its international allies, a loose alliance of majorly Sunni opposition rebel groups (including the Free Syrian Army), the majority-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Salafi jihadist groups (including al-Nusra Front), and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), with a number of countries in the region and beyond being either directly involved or providing support to one or another faction (Iran, Russia, Turkey, the United States, as well as others).
Iran, Russia, and Hezbollah support the Syrian Arab Republic and the Syrian Armed Forces militarily, with Russia conducting military operations since September 2015. The U.S.-led international coalition, established in 2014 with the declared purpose of countering ISIL, has conducted airstrikes primarily against ISIL as well as some against government and pro-government targets. Since 2015, the US has also supported the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria and its armed wing, the SDF. Turkey, on the other hand, has become deeply involved against the Syrian government since 2016, actively supporting the Syrian opposition and occupying large swaths of northwestern Syria. Between 2011 and 2017, fighting from the Syrian Civil War spilled over into Lebanon as opponents and supporters of the Syrian Arab Republic travelled to Lebanon to fight and attack each other on Lebanese soil. Furthermore, while officially neutral, Israel has conducted airstrikes against Hezbollah and Iranian forces, whose presence in southwestern Syria it views as a threat.International organizations have accused virtually all sides involved, including the Ba'athist Syrian government, ISIL, opposition rebel groups, and the U.S.-led coalition of severe human rights violations and of massacres. The conflict has caused a major refugee crisis. Over the course of the war, a number of peace initiatives have been launched, including the March 2017 Geneva peace talks on Syria led by the United Nations, but fighting continues.Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War (1861–1865), the Union, also known as the North, referred to the United States of America and specifically to the national government of President Abraham Lincoln and the 20 free states, as well as 4 border and slave states (some with split governments and troops sent both north and south) that supported it. The Union was opposed by 11 southern slave states (or 13, according to the Southern view and one western territory) that formed the Confederate States of America, also known as "the Confederacy" or "the South".
All of the Union's states provided soldiers for the United States Army (also known as the Union Army), though the border areas also sent tens of thousands of soldiers south into the Confederacy. The Border states were essential as a supply base for the Union invasion of the Confederacy, and Lincoln realized he could not win the war without control of them, especially Maryland, which lay north of the national capital of Washington, D.C.. The Northeast and upper Midwest provided the industrial resources for a mechanized war producing large quantities of munitions and supplies, as well as financing for the war. The Midwest provided soldiers, food, horses, financial support, and training camps. Army hospitals were set up across the Union. Most states had Republican Party governors who energetically supported the war effort and suppressed anti-war subversion in 1863–64. The Democratic Party strongly supported the war at the beginning in 1861 but by 1862, was split between the War Democrats and the anti-war element led by the "Copperheads". The Democrats made major electoral gains in 1862 in state elections, most notably in New York. They lost ground in 1863, especially in Ohio. In 1864, the Republicans campaigned under the National Union Party banner, which attracted many War Democrats and soldiers and scored a landslide victory for Lincoln and his entire ticket against opposition candidate George B. McClellan, former General-in-Chief of the Union Army and its eastern Army of the Potomac.
The war years were quite prosperous except where serious fighting and guerrilla warfare took place along the southern border. Prosperity was stimulated by heavy government spending and the creation of an entirely new national banking system. The Union states invested a great deal of money and effort in organizing psychological and social support for soldiers' wives, widows, and orphans, and for the soldiers themselves. Most soldiers were volunteers, although after 1862 many volunteered in order to escape the draft and to take advantage of generous cash bounties on offer from states and localities. Draft resistance was notable in some larger cities, especially New York City with its massive anti-draft riots of July 1863 and in some remote districts such as the coal mining areas of Pennsylvania.Union Army
During the American Civil War, the Union Army referred to the United States Army, the land force that fought to preserve the Union of the collective states. Also known as the Federal Army, it proved essential to the preservation of the United States of America as a working, viable republic.
The Union Army was made up of the permanent regular army of the United States, but further fortified, augmented, and strengthened by the many temporary units of dedicated volunteers as well as including those who were drafted in to service as conscripts. To this end, the Union Army fought and ultimately triumphed over the efforts of the Confederate States Army in the American Civil War.
Over the course of the war, 2,128,948 men enlisted in the Union Army, including 178,895 colored troops; 25% of the white men who served were foreign-born. Of these soldiers, 596,670 were killed, wounded or went missing. The initial call-up was for just three months, after which many of these men chose to reenlist for an additional three years.White movement
The White movement (Russian: Бѣлое движеніе/Белое движение, tr. Beloye dvizheniye, IPA: [ˈbʲɛləɪ dvʲɪˈʐenʲɪɪ]) and its military arm the White Army (Бѣлая Армія/Белая Армия, Belaya Armiya), also known as the White Guard (Бѣлая Гвардія/Белая Гвардия, Belaya Gvardiya), the White Guardsmen (Бѣлогвардейцы/Белогвардейцы, Belogvardeytsi) or simply the Whites (Бѣлые/Белые, Beliye), was a loose confederation of anti-communist forces that fought the Communist Bolsheviks, also known as the Reds, in the Russian Civil War (1917–1922/1923) and to a lesser extent continued operating as militarized associations insurrectionists both outside and within Russian borders in Siberia until roughly World War II (1939–1945).
During the Russian Civil War, the White movement was a big tent political movement representing an array of political opinions in Russia united in their opposition to the Communist Bolsheviks, from the republican-minded bourgeois liberals and Kerenskyite social democrats who had profited from the February Revolution of 1917 on the left to the champions of Tsarism and the Russian Orthodox Church of Eastern Orthodox Christianity on the right.
Following their defeat, there were remnants and continuations of the movement in several organizations, some of which only had narrow support, enduring within the wider White émigré overseas community until after the fall of Communism in the Eastern European Revolutions of 1989 and the subsequent Dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1990–1991. This community-in-exile of anti-communists was often divided between the liberals and the more conservative segments, with some still hoping for the restoration of the Romanov dynasty, including several claimants to the empty throne like Nicholas Romanov, Prince of Russia (1924–2014) living in Italy and Prince Andrew Romanov (b. 1923) in the United States and other exiles, still hopes for a true constitutional democratic republic in Russia.Yemeni Civil War (2015–present)
The Yemeni Civil War is an ongoing conflict that began in 2015 between two factions: the internationally recognized Yemeni government, led by Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, and the Houthi armed movement, along with their supporters and allies. Both claim to constitute the official government of Yemen. Houthi forces controlling the capital Sana'a, and allied with forces loyal to the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, have clashed with forces loyal to the government of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, based in Aden. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have also carried out attacks, with AQAP controlling swathes of territory in the hinterlands, and along stretches of the coast.On 21 March 2015, after taking over Sana'a and the Yemeni government, the Houthi-led Supreme Revolutionary Committee declared a general mobilization to overthrow Hadi and further their control by driving into southern provinces. The Houthi offensive, allied with military forces loyal to Saleh, began on the next day with fighting in Lahij Governorate. By 25 March, Lahij fell to the Houthis and they reached the outskirts of Aden, the seat of power for Hadi's government; Hadi fled the country the same day. Concurrently, a coalition led by Saudi Arabia launched military operations by using airstrikes to restore the former Yemeni government; the United States provided intelligence and logistical support for the campaign. According to the UN and other sources, from March 2015 to December 2017, 8,670–13,600 people were killed in Yemen, including more than 5,200 civilians, as well as estimates of more than 50,000 dead as a result of an ongoing famine due to the war. The conflict has widely been seen as an extension of the Iran-Saudi Arabia proxy conflict and as a means to combat Iranian influence in the region. In 2018, the United Nations warned that 13 million Yemeni civilians face starvation in what it says could become "the worst famine in the world in 100 years."The international community have sharply condemned the Saudi Arabian-led bombing campaign, which has included widespread bombing of civilian areas. Despite this, however, the crisis has not gained as much international media attention as compared to the Syrian civil war until recently.Yugoslav Wars
The Yugoslav Wars were a series of separate but related ethnic conflicts, wars of independence and insurgencies fought in the former Yugoslavia from 1991 to 2001, which led to the breakup of the Yugoslav state. Its constituent republics declared independence, despite unresolved tensions between ethnic minorities in the new countries, fueling the wars.
Most of the wars ended through peace accords, involving full international recognition of new states, but with a massive human cost and economic damage to the region. Initially the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) sought to preserve the unity of the whole of Yugoslavia by crushing the secessionist governments, but it increasingly came under the influence of the Serbian government of Slobodan Milošević, which evoked Serbian nationalist rhetoric and was willing to use the Yugoslav cause to preserve the unity of Serbs in one state. As a result, the JNA began to lose Slovenes, Croats, Kosovar Albanians, Bosniaks, and ethnic Macedonians, and effectively became a Serb army. According to a 1994 United Nations report, the Serb side did not aim to restore Yugoslavia, but to create a "Greater Serbia" from parts of Croatia and Bosnia. Other irredentist movements have also been brought into connection with the wars, such as "Greater Albania" (from Kosovo, though it was abandoned following international diplomacy) and "Greater Croatia" (from parts of Herzegovina, until 1994 when the Washington agreement ended it).Often described as Europe's deadliest conflicts since World War II, the wars were marked by many war crimes, including genocide, crimes against humanity and rape. The Bosnian genocide was the first European crime to be formally judged as genocidal in character since World War II, and many key individual participants were subsequently charged with war crimes. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was established by the UN to prosecute these crimes.According to the International Center for Transitional Justice, the Yugoslav Wars resulted in the death of 140,000 people. The Humanitarian Law Center estimates that in the conflicts in the former Yugoslav republics at least 130,000 people were killed.