All the talk about war in the media as been me wonder is there more Civil Wars or International Wars going on in the world today?

  • Is North/South Korea war counted as Civil or International?
    – user4012
    Apr 23, 2013 at 0:50
  • Also, do you count "national liberation" type fighting as civil wars? E.g. Balochistan, Kurds, Casamanche/Senegal
    – user4012
    Apr 23, 2013 at 0:54
  • North/South Korea I would count as international since its two separate countries. National liberation I would clarify as civil since its people who live in the same country fighting one another, even though the oppressors might have arrived from another country. Apr 23, 2013 at 3:59
  • Well, you can do that, but North Koreans have a lot more "same-countriedness" with South Koreans than Kurds do with Iranians or Iraqui Arabs.
    – user4012
    Apr 23, 2013 at 4:46
  • The edited title doesn't make any sense. Nearly all wars are fought inside of a particular country.
    – user1530
    Apr 24, 2013 at 16:34

1 Answer 1


Wikipedia lists this for ongoing 2013 conflicts:

Major ones (>1000 fatalities total):

Civil   4 (Burma, Columbia, Mexican cartel wars, Sudan)
Civil+  3 (Syria, Iraq, Yemen)
Civil++ 4 (Somali, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mali)

Civil+ means that the conflict is civil war in essence BUT there are foreign forces involved on one or both of the sides in the form of random fighters (e.g. transnational Jihadi fighters).

Civil++ means that the conflict is civil war in essence BUT there are organized foreign forces of another nation involved on one of the sides, e.g. African Union, French or American.

  • Interestingly enough, none are pure 100% international wars (As in, one nation state against another), though some of Civil++ can be borderline that way (hard to draw an objective line between "puppet government propped up by hostile foreign invaders" and "legitimate civil war side asking foreign power for help", as in Soviet invasion of Afghanistan vs 2013 presence of USA there).

  • Also, an interesting pattern is that, contrary to typical expectations, USA is only involved in 2 of those conflicts as of 2013, unless you count very unofficial pinpoint efforts in Yemen that aren't germane to the main conflict).

Then we have a list of "minor" conflicts (with <1000 casualties, though I seriously doubt they seem minor to the victims).

I'll try to count them later after OP provides clarifications to the comments.

  • Thx for the answer, great classification Apr 23, 2013 at 4:15
  • I would say that Afghanistan counts as an international war still. It was stable until the US stepped in after 9-11. You do not have Egypt and Lybia there despite ongoing fighting that is almost exclusively civil war. Apr 23, 2013 at 16:00
  • @Chad - Lybia didn't have >1000 casualties in 2012 or 2013 so is in the "minor" conflicts list. Egypt was always "minor" casualty wise.
    – user4012
    Apr 24, 2013 at 22:37
  • @DVK - I think that depends on how you define casualties. For some reason we in the west do not seem to define non american civilian or foriegn illegal combatants(by our definition) as casuaties Apr 25, 2013 at 13:14
  • @Chad - that article was going by amount of people killed.
    – user4012
    Apr 25, 2013 at 13:15

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