Special Report

The Longest Wars in World History

Nearly two years after the U.S. fully withdrew from Afghanistan, ending America’s longest war at 20 years, some historical conflicts made that seem brief.

Before modern weapons enabled remote killing, wars often dragged on for decades or centuries as sides retreated to fortifications when losing, only to resume fighting later. (These are 35 billion-dollar weapons in the U.S. Military budget.)

Though recent U.S. wars have been lengthy compared to past ones, some historical wars spanned generations.

24/7 Tempo has compiled a list of the longest wars in history by reviewing data and articles from various sources. In order to appear on this list, a conflict had to meet the definition of war as an open and usually declared armed conflict between political entities such as sovereign states or competing factions within the same state, such as a civil war. The conflict had to be sustained over a period of time and intended to resolve political or territorial disputes.

Click here to read about the longest wars in history

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