21st Century Wars and Conflicts


Wars and conflicts of the 21st Century are featured on this page in alphabetical order. This is an outgrowth of the popular New and Recent Conflicts page. This shows wars and conflicts waged in the 21st Century from 2001 to the present. Each entry shows the name(s) of the conflict, the year it began, the participants in the war, and any pertinent details. Included are links to relevant History Guy pages and external links.

Afghanistan War (also known as: "Operation Enduring Freedom,") (2001-Present) --United States, Afghan government vs. Taliban and al-Qaida. The guerilla war in Afghanistan continues on, due in part to the distraction of American military power in the wars in Iraq. Following initial defeat in the American-led invasion of 2001 and 2002, the Taliban regrouped itself after being ousted from power and once again controls large areas of Afghanistan.

Algerian Civil War (1991-2002)-Civil war between the Algerian government and Islamist rebels. The war ended with a government victory. Some of the rebels joined in the Islamic Insurgency in the Maghreb to continue their fight.

al-Qaida War (also known as: "Operation Enduring Freedom," "Global War on Terror ") (at least 1998-Present) --United States vs. al-Qaida network of Osama bin Laden. The American public first became aware of al-Qaida in August of 1998, when the terrorist group blew up two U.S. Embassies in Africa. The U.S. soon responded with Tomahawk Cruise Missile attacks on an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan and a suspected chemical weapons factory in Sudan. The factory turned out to not be related to any terrorist group.

Below are details from the 21st Century:

Terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon (September 11, 2001)--Terrorists, belonging to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida organization, hijacked four United States commercial passenger planes and flew them into the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Virginia. The fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania.

U.S. Operations Against al-Qaida in Somalia (2006-Present)

Baluchistan War (2003-Present) --Pakistan Government vs. Baluch rebels. This is the latest in a series of rebellions by the Baluch ethnic group in the region of Pakistan known as Baluchistan. The Pakistanin governement is fighting this war concurrently with the War in Waziristan (See below).

Bangladesh Army Mutiny of 2009

Burundi Civil War (1994-Present) --Burundi Government vs. Hutu rebels

Central African Republic Army Mutiny (May 28, 2001-Present)--Central African Republic government, Libya and rebels from Congo (Front for the Liberation of Congo) vs. C.A.R. Army rebels. Following a failed army coup on Monday the 28th, fighting between loyal and rebel troops escalated. Forces from Libya, Congo and possibly Chad entered the C.A.R. to help the government. The rebel forces continue to operate in the border areas, provoking clashes between the C.A.R. and Chad.

Chad Rebellion (2005-Present) --Chadian rebels and Sudanese-backed mercenaries attacked the Chadian capital in an attempt to overthrow President Derby. With the aid of French military intelligence, the rebels were beaten back. The battle cost at least 350 lives. Most of the Chad countryside is in rebel hands. This is related to the ongoing Darfur War (see below)

Chechen War (also known as: the Second Chechen War) (1999-Present) --Russian Government vs. Chechen irregulars/insurgents. After the initial Russian invasion of semi-independent Chechnya in 1999, the conflict settled down to a classic guerilla war pitting the Russian military and security forces against both urban and rural-based guerilla fighters. Over the past several years, the Chechens have taken the war to Russia's heartland with several deadly terrorist attacks against Russian civilian targets, the most famous such attack being the seizure of a Moscow movie theater, which resulted in hundreds of casualties.

Colombian Civil War (1964-Present) --Colombian Government (with increasing aid from the United States vs. Marxist rebels and various narcotics cartels. A peace agreement reached in 2016 was put to a vote of the people, and was voted down. Negotiations between the government and the main rebel group continue.

1st Ivorian Civil War (2002-2007) --Ivory Coast Government vs. (mostly) Muslim rebels. France sent several thousand "peacekeeping" troops in the nation, but France clearly favors the government.

2nd Ivorian Civil War (2011) --Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbango vs. President-Elect Alassane Ouattara. The war ended with the arrest of Gbango. France aided the Ouattara faction.

Darfur War (Feb. 2003-Present) --The Sudanese region of Darfur is in rebellion against the Sudanese government. In response to the rebellion, the government is sponsoring the Arab "Janjaweed" militias, who are conducting a campaign of genocide on the civilian population of Darfur, as well as launching attacks on refugees in neighboring Chad. This is related to the recent Chad Rebellion (see above)

The Ethiopia-Somalia War—(2006- Present): In the latest phase of the long Somali Civil War, Ethiopia intervened in late 2006 to aid the internationally-recognized Somali government based in the city of Baidoa. The Transitional Government of Somalia (TGS) is oppossed by the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), an Islamist group which seized control of the national capital of Mogadushu earlier in 2006 from a coalition of warlords.

Gaza War 2008-2009

Gaza War 2012: Operation Pillar of Defense--Israel's latest Gaza War against Hamas

Georgia-Russia War (2008)--The 2008 war between Georgia and Russia which began as a war between Georgia and the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia.

Honduras Coup of June, 2009

India-Bangladesh Border Conflict (April 18-April 20, 2001) India vs. Bangladesh. --Bangladesh border troops seized a village near the border which Bangladesh has claimed in the past. At least 18 troops were killed from both sides.

India's Maoist Insurgency/Naxalite Guerrilla War (May 25, 1967-Present): Beginning with a peasant uprising in the town of Naxalbari, this Marxist/Maoist rebellion sputters on in the Indian countryside. The guerrillas operate among the impoverished peasants and fight both the government security forces and the private paramilitary groups funded by wealthy landowners. Most fighting takes place in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Mahrashtra, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh.

Intervention in The Gambia (2017)-Forces from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), entered The Gambia in order to install the popularly elected, and internationally recognized new President Adama Barrow in power. The former president, Yahya Jammeh, lost the election, but is attempting to retain power. The ECOWAS nations supplying troops to this mission include Senegal, Nigeria, and Ghana. On Saturday, January 21, Jammah announced that he would step down from the presidency of The Gambia as the foreign troops were ready to resume marching on the capital of Banjul.

Iranian-American Crisis (2019-2020)-Long-standing hostility and proxy warfare broke out into open hostilities with the U.S. assassination of a top Iranian military official in Iraq, and the Iranian military response (ballistic missile attack) on U.S. forces in Iraq.

Iraq War (also known as: "Operation Iraqi Freedom," "Operation Telic", Gulf War II, The Third Persian Gulf War) (2003-2011) --"The Coalition of the Willing" (United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Poland, Thailand, Bulgaria) vs. Iraqi irregular forces/insurgents, Al-Qaida in Iraq (Zarqawi's group), and various Shiite and Sunni militias--By far the most visible, most controversial, and most significant conflict on earth at the moment. President Bush considers this a vital part of the overall Global War on Terror, while many, including significant numbers of Americans, do not agree that this is a legitimate part of the the anti-terror campaign. Regardless of its inclusion or not in the Global War on Terror, the war in Iraq continues, despite the Dec. 2003 capture of Saddam Hussein.

Gulf War II

Wars of Iraq--History Guy page

Iraq Coalition Casualties

2003 Iraq war timeline - Wikipedia

CNN.com Specials

Operation Telic Details of British Casualties

DefendAmerica News - Facing the Iraqi Threat


Israel-Palestinian War (also known as: al-Aqsa Intifada, 2nd Intifada) (2001-2005) --Israel vs. Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian militias and guerilla groups. While overall violence has subsided, Palestinian suicide attacks still occur. as do Israeli strikes at Palestinian targets. Both types of actions often initiates a new cycle of attacks. Since the death of Yasser Arafat and the successful Palestinian elections, the prospect of a lasting peace are somewhat improved.

Israel-Syrian Conflict (1948-Present) --Israel vs. Syria. Israel and Syria first clashed in 1948-1949, as Syria joined other Arab nations in the First Arab-Israeli War. Subsequent full-scale wars between them erupted in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, and the 1982 Israeli Invasion of Lebanon. In-between these major wars, the two enemies often clash along their mutual border and also in neighboring Lebanon, which Israel has invaded several times, and where the Syrian military kept an occupation/peacekeeping force from the mid 1970s to the Spring of 2005. As the Syrian Civil War intesified, and Iranian and Hezbollah intervention inside Syria grew, Israel's covert and secret bombings of Syrian-government, Iranian, and Hezbollah targets in Syria increased. By 2019 and 2020, Israel began openly attacking such targets, claiming self-defense as Iran and Hezbollah are active foes of Israel.

Israeli Air Strike on Syrian Nuclear Plant (Sept. 6, 2007)—Israeli warplanes overflew northern Syria, dropping ordnance on a (publicly) unknown target. It was later revealed that the target was a nuclear facility being built with North Korean aid and assistance. This attack had precedent: In 1981, Israel bombed an under-construction nuclear plant in Iraq, to prevent Saddam Hussein from gaining a nuclear weapon.


ISIS War (2014-Present) -The Islamic State's attempt to carve out a new Caliphate out of Syria and Iraq grew out of the civil wars in those two Arab states. Beginning in August, 2014, the United States and other nations began an intervention in this conflict. This war has morphed into a regional conflict, with ISIS involved in warfare in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. By 2017, most of Iraqi territory was liberated from ISIS, and by mid-2019, the last ISIS-held town in Syria was liberated. Also in 2019, the U.S. managed to kill the ISIS leader, al-Baghdadi. Combat and airstrikes continued in both countries as the Coalition battled ISIS guerrilla fighters.

Korean Conflict (1950-Present) --North Korea vs. South Korea and the United States. Following the well-known Korean War of 1950-1953, cross-border incursions continued, as did naval battles, and North Korean acts of terrorism directed at South Korea and United States forces stationed in the South.

Border clashes continued between North and South Korea in 2001, 2002, 2009, and 2010. Tensions remain high also due to North Korea's continual missile tests, and the development of a North Korean nuclear weapon in 2006.

First Libyan Civil War (2011)-One of the military conflicts that arose out of the Arab Spring of 2011, rebels in Libya overthrew the longtime dictatorship of Colonel Muammar Khadaffy. The rebels were aided by the United States, NATO, and several Sunni Arab states.

Second Libyan Civil War (2014-Present)-Following the ouster and death of Khadaffy in 2011, various factions and militias jockeyed for power and influence in Libya. Foreign intervention has played a part in this war, as Egypt, Qatar, the UAE, as well as the United States, Britain, and France, have all participated aiding one side or another. Beginning August 1, 2016, the U.S. military has officially participated as the Libyan government (the one recognized by most of the world), battles the Islamic State (ISIS) for control of the city of Sirte.

In 2019 and 2020, the army of General Hifter attacked the GNA-held capital of Tripoli, sparking Turkish military intervention in support of the GNA government.

Macedonian Albanian Uprising (2001) --Macedonian Government vs. ethnic Albanian rebels. The Albanian rebels sought recognition and autonomy from the government. NATO and U.S.-backed peace talks resolved the conflict.

Mali War (2012-Present)-Following the fall of Libya's Muammar Khadaffy, a large force of Tuareg mercenaries that had formed part of his army fled Libya with extensive weaponry, and made their way home to northern Mali. There, they launched a major rebellion against the Mali government. The war morphed into an Islamic insurgency, as Islamist groups including al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, joined the Tuareg rebels. On January 11, 2013, the French military launched Opération Serval, intervening in the war in order to halt a successful rebel offensive that threatened the Mali government and forces. French, Malian, and allied African forces drove the rebels back into the northern deserts. The United States also was involved, supplying logistics, arms, training, and transportation to allied forces. This conflict is only the latest in a long history of Tuareg rebellions in northwest Africa.

Islamist forces, including ISIS-allied groups, continued military activities against Malian and French forces into 2020.

Mount Elgon Insurgency --(2005-2008) The Sabaot Land Defence Force militia revolted in the Mount Elgon area, Western Kenya. The Kenyan military defeated the militia in 2008

Nepal Civil War (1996-2006) --Nepal Government vs. Marxist rebels. The rebels sought to destroy the Royal Monarchy and replace it with a Marxist/Maoist system. A comprehensive peace agreement was reached in 2006, ending the state of rebellion, and legitimizing the Nepalese Communist Party as a legal political faction. The monarchy was abolished in 2008.


Solomon Islands Unrest (2006) Solomon Islands Government, Australia, New Zealand vs. rioters --Following the election of a new Prime Minister, severe rioting broke out which drove many islanders of Chinese descent out of the Solomons. Australia and New Zealand sent troops to restore order. The riots began on April 18.

Sri Lankan Civil War (1983–2009)

Syrian Civil War and Foreign Intervention (2011-Present)--What began as more or less peaceful protests in 2011 as a part of the region-wide "Arab Spring," escalated into one of the most violent wars of the 21st Century. As of 2017, Syria is torn apart in a multi-sided conflict that pits the Assad regime (Syrian government) and its allies Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah against various rebel groups including the Free Syrian Army, ISIS, al-Qaida, the Nusra Front, and multiple Kurdish militias. The United States and other NATO nationss (including Britain, France, and Turkey) are supporting anti-regime rebels while also fighting against ISIS. The U.S. supports the Kurds, but the Turks oppose the Kurds. The Assad government has used chemical weapons on rebels and civilians, prompting the April, 2017 American missile strike on a Syrian air base in retaliation. See also American-Syrian Wars and Conflicts page.

A sub-conflict of the Syrian War is the military intervention of Turkey in Syria, which has led to Turkish-Syrian Conflict in northern Syria in 2020.

Thailand Political Unrest (2006 –Present) Thai government vs. Protesters --Thailand's current political crisis began in 2006 with

Thai Muslim Rebellion (2003 – Present) Thailand vs. Muslim Separatists --Thailand's Muslim population, located in the south near the border with Malaysia, rebelled in 2003. A similar campaign of violence hit the south in the 1970s and 1980s.

Thai-Myanmar (Burma) Border Conflict (Feb., 2001 and May, 2001) Thailand vs. Myanmar (Burma)--Myanmar's very long civil war spilled over into Thailand on at least two occasions in 2001.

Tuareg Rebellion in Mali (2007-2009)-Conflict between Tuareg Berbers in the north and the Black dominated government of Mali.

Ukraine Civil War/Donbass War (2014-Present)-Pro-Russian rebels, with military aid from Russia, have seized Crimea and large swaths of eastern Ukraine.

Waziristan War (2003 – Present) Pakistan vs. Taliban/al-Qaida Insurgents--Muslim extremists allied with the Afghan Taliban and the al-Qaida terrorist network battle Pakistani troops in the mountainous Waziri region of northwest Pakistan.

Yemen War (orginally listed as Sa'dah al-Houthi Rebellion in Yemen) (2004-Present)-While this war remained localized in northern Yemen for years, and sparked a short Saudi intervention against the Shiite Houthis, recent political upheavals in Yemen aided the Houthi cause, enabling the rebels to occupy the capital city in 2014. The war grew in intensity as multiple foreign nations intervned, and Yemen became a proxy battleground between Iran and a U.S. and Saudi-led Coalition.


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