Unending Struggles: The Longest Wars in the World


A terrible and destructive human endeavor, war has often lasted for years or even decades in the past. These protracted conflicts have had a profound impact on the countries and areas involved, causing considerable death tolls, devastation, and social unrest. This article will examine some of the world’s longest wars, their historical context, and the long-lasting effects they have had on the areas they have ravaged.

The Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453)

The Hundred Years’ War, as it was named, was a 116-year conflict between England and France. There were many battles, truces, and changing alliances during this protracted conflict. One of the most important wars in European history, it began with territorial disputes and power struggles and was further exacerbated by the introduction of gunpowder weapons and Joan of Arc.

The Reconquista (711-1492)

The Christian kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula fought the Muslim Moors who had taken control of Spain for centuries during the Reconquista. The Reconquista, which started in the early eighth century and ended in 1492 with the conquest of Granada, led to the Iberian Peninsula’s eventual Christianization and unification.

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The Eighty Years’ War (1568-1648)

The Dutch War of Independence, sometimes referred to as the Eighty Years’ War, was a protracted conflict that lasted between the Spanish Empire and the Dutch provinces. The war, which was fueled by political, economic, and religious reasons, ended with the Dutch Republic’s independence from Spanish rule.

The Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648)

One of the bloodiest wars in European history, the Thirty Years’ War was a string of battles and conflicts that lasted for three decades. The conflict between Catholics and Protestants started out as a religious conflict but eventually spread to become a larger European power struggle involving multiple states and empires.

The Afghan Civil War (1978-present)

One of the longest-running wars in modern history is the Afghan Civil War. It all started in 1978 with the Soviet Union intervening after a communist coup in Afghanistan. The Afghan resistance, known as the Mujahideen, fought the Soviet Union throughout the 1980s, prolonging the conflict. The civil war continued after the Soviet Union left in 1989 as different groups fought for dominance, which eventually resulted in the formation of the Taliban. The war is still going on even after it was led by the United States in 2001.

The Colombian Conflict (1964-present)

Since 1964, there has been a protracted and complex civil war in Colombia known as the Colombian Conflict. It involves numerous ceasefire attempts and peace talks over the years involving different rebel groups, paramilitary groups, and government forces. The conflict has had an impact on Colombian society due to its extreme violence and displacement.

The Kurdish-Turkish Conflict (1984-present)

Since 1984, there has been a Kurdish insurgency, also known as the Kurdish-Turkish Conflict. It concerns the Turkish government as well as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Despite multiple attempts at peace talks over the years, the conflict has resulted in a significant loss of life and destruction.

The Darfur Conflict (2003-present)

In the Sudanese Darfur region, there has been a protracted and complex conflict since 2003. Allegations of war crimes, displacement, and violence characterize it. In this ongoing conflict, there are several rebel groups, government forces, and militias involved.

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The Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990)

For fifteen years, Lebanon was devastated by the bloody Lebanese Civil War. It was characterized by alliance changes, foreign interventions, and sectarian violence. With the signing of the Taif Agreement in 1989 and the final end of hostilities in 1990, the war came to an end.

The Chadian Civil War (1965-2010)

A protracted conflict that lasted for decades, the Chadian Civil War was marked by rebel movements, government changes, and foreign interventions. When the government declared victory over the various rebel groups in 2010, it officially came to an end.

The world’s longest wars have had a profound impact on the histories and societies of the areas in which they erupted. These conflicts, which have their roots in political, religious, or ethnic issues, have shown how enduring human struggles are and how difficult it is to bring about a lasting peace.

Certain wars have ended in diplomatic agreements and resolutions, but others continue to cause instability and ongoing suffering. Addressing the underlying causes of these conflicts and pursuing peaceful resolutions require an understanding of their historical and geopolitical context. It serves as a reminder of the devastating effects that protracted conflicts can have on people and countries alike, highlighting the significance of diplomacy, negotiation, and conflict resolution in the annals of world history.

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