1 The Greek Civil War (Greek: ο Eμφύλιος [Πόλεμος], "the Civil War") was fought from 1946 to 1949 between the Greek governmental army, backed by the United Kingdom and United States, and the Democratic Army of Greece (ΔΣΕ), the military branch of the Greek Communist Party (KKE), backed by Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Albania.
It was the result of a highly polarized struggle between leftists and rightists which started in 1943 and targeted the power vacuum that the German-Italian occupation during World War II had created. One of the first conflicts of the Cold War, according to some analysts it represents the first example of a postwar Western interference in the internal politics of a foreign country, and for others, marked the first serious test of the theory of the so-called Churchill-Stalinpercentages agreement.
2 The Malayan Emergency was a guerrilla war fought between Commonwealth armed forces and the Malayan National Liberation Army (MNLA), the military arm of the Malayan Communist Party, from 1948 to 1960.
The Malayan Emergency was the colonial government's term for the conflict. The MNLA termed it the Anti-British National Liberation War. The rubber plantations and tin mining industries had pushed for the use of the term "emergency" since their losses would not have been covered by Lloyd's insurers if it had been termed a "war."
Despite the communists' defeat in 1960, communist leader Chin Pang renewed the insurgency in 1967; it would last until 1989, and became known as the Communist Insurgency War. But although Australian and British armed forces had fully withdrawn from Malaysia years earlier, the insurgency still failed.
3 The Arab–Israeli conflict (Arabic: الصراع العربي الإسرائيليAṣ-Ṣirāʿ al-ʿArabī al-'Isrā'īlī, Hebrew: הסכסוך הישראלי-ערבי HaSikhsukh HaYisre'eli-Aravi) refers to the political tensions and open hostilities between the Arab people of the Middle East and the Jewish community of present-day Israel, that has lasted for over a century.
Some trace the beginning of the conflict to large-scale Jewish immigration to Palestine, especially after the establishment of the Zionist movement and which intensified with the creation of the modern State of Israel in 1948 in territory regarded by the Jewish people as their historical homeland, and by the Pan-Arab movement as belonging to the Palestinians, be they Muslim, Christian, Druze or other (and in the Pan-Islamic context, in territory regarded as Muslim lands).
The conflict, which started as a political and nationalist conflict over competing territorial ambitions following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, has shifted over the years from the large scale regional Arab–Israeli conflict to a more local Israeli-Palestinian conflict, though the Arab World and Israel generally remain at odds with each other over specific territory.
4 The Korean War was a military conflict between the Republic of Korea, supported by the United Nations, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union. The war began on 25 June 1950 and an armistice was signed on 27 July 1953.
The war was a result of the political division of Korea by agreement of the victorious Allies at the conclusion of the Pacific War. The Korean peninsula had been ruled by Japan prior to the end of the war. In 1945 following the surrender of Japan, American administrators divided the peninsula along the 38th parallel, with United States troops occupying the southern part and Soviet troops occupying the northern part. The failure to hold free elections throughout the Korean Peninsula in 1948 deepened the division between the two sides, and the North established a Communist government. The 38th Parallel increasingly became a political border between the two Koreas. Although reunification negotiations continued in the months preceding the war, tension intensified. Cross-border skirmishes and raids at the 38th Parallel persisted. The situation escalated into open warfare when North Korean forces invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950. It was the first significant armed conflict of the Cold War.
The United Nations, particularly the United States, came to the aid of the South Koreans in repelling the invasion. After early defeats by the North Korean military, when a rapid UN counter-offensive repelled the North Koreans past the 38th Parallel and almost to the Yalu River, the People's Republic of China (PRC) came to the aid of Communist North. With Communist China's entry into the conflict, the fighting took on a more dangerous tone. The Soviet Union materially aided North Korea and China. The threat of a nuclear world war eventually ceased with an armistice that restored the border between the Koreas at the 38th Parallel and created the Korean Demilitarized Zone, a 2.5-mile (4.0 km) wide buffer zone between the two Koreas. North Korea unilaterally withdrew from the armistice on May 27, 2009, thus returning to a de jure (constant) state of war.
During the war, both North and South Korea were sponsored by external powers, thus facilitating the war's metamorphosis from a civil war to a proxy war between powers involved in the larger Cold War. From a military science perspective, the Korean War combined strategies and tactics of World War I and World War II — swift infantry attacks followed by air bombing raids. The initial mobile campaign transitioned to trench warfare, lasting from January 1951 until the 1953 border stalemate and armistice.
5 The Suez Crisis (Arabic: أزمة السويس - العدوان الثلاثيʾAzmat al-Sūwais/Al-ʿIdwān al-Thalāthī; French: Crise du canal de Suez; Hebrew: מבצע קדש Mivtza' Kadesh "Operation Kadesh," or מלחמת סיניMilhemet Sini, "Sinai War") was a military attack on Egypt by Britain, France, and Israel beginning on 29 October 1956. The Suez Crisis was an important event for marking the end of imperialism in the Middle East.
The attack followed Egypt's decision of 26 July 1956 to nationalize the Suez Canal, after the withdrawal of an offer by Britain and the United States to fund the building of the Aswan Dam, which was in response to Egypt recognizing the People's Republic of China during the height of tensions between China and Taiwan.
7 The 1959 Tibetan uprising, or 1959 Tibetan Rebellion began on 10 March 1959, when an anti-Chinese and anti-communist revolt erupted in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, which had been under the reign of the Communist Party of China since the Invasion of Tibet in 1950. Although the 14th Dalai Lama's flight occurred in 1959, armed conflict between Tibetan rebellion forces and the Chinese army started in 1956 in the Kham and Amdo regions, which were subjected to socialist reform. The guerrilla warfare later spread to other areas of Tibet and lasted through 1962.
8 The Laotian Civil War (1953–1979) was an internal fight between the CommunistPathet Lao and the Royal Lao Government in which both the political rightists and leftists received heavy external support for a proxy war from the global Cold War superpowers.
The Kingdom of Laos was a coverttheater of battle for the other belligerents during the Vietnam War. The Franco-Lao Treaty of 1953 gave Laos full independence but the following years were marked by a rivalry between the neutralists. A number of attempts were made to establish coalition governments, and a "tri-coalition" government was finally seated in Vientiane.
The fighting in Laos involved the North Vietnamese Army, American, Thai, and South Vietnamese forces directly and through irregular proxies in a battle for control over the Laotian Panhandle. The North Vietnamese Army occupied the area for use as the Ho Chi Minh Trail supply corridor and staging area for offensives into South Vietnam. There was a second major theater of action on and near the northern Plaine des Jarres.
The North Vietnamese and Pathet Lao emerged victorious in 1975, as part of the general communist victory in Indochina that year.
9 The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, the Vietnam Conflict was a Cold Warmilitary conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from November 1, 1955 to April 30, 1975 when Saigon fell. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between the communistNorth Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of South Vietnam, supported by the United States and other anti-communist nations.
The Viet Cong, a lightly-armed South Vietnamese communist-controlled common front, largely fought a guerrilla war against anti-communist forces in the region. The North Vietnamese Army engaged in a more conventional war, at times committing large units into battle. U.S. and South Vietnamese forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search and destroy operations, involving ground forces, artillery and airstrikes.
The United States entered the war to prevent a communist takeover of South Vietnam as part of their wider strategy of containment. Military advisors arrived beginning in 1950. U.S. involvement escalated in the early 1960s, with U.S. troop levels tripling in 1961 and tripling again in 1962. U.S. combat units were deployed beginning in 1965. Operations spanned borders, with Laos and Cambodia heavily bombed. Involvement peaked in 1968 at the time of the Tet Offensive. After this, U.S. ground forces were withdrawn as part of a policy called "Vietnamization". Despite the Paris Peace Accords, signed by all parties in January 1973, fighting continued.
The Case-Church Amendment passed by the U.S. Congress prohibited use of American military after August 15, 1973 unless the president secured congressional approval in advance. The capture of Saigon by North Vietnamese army in April 1975 marked the end of Vietnam War. North and South Vietnam were reunified the following year.
The war exacted a huge human cost in terms of fatalities including 3 to 4 million Vietnamese from both sides, 1.5 to 2 million Laotians and Cambodians, and 58,159 U.S. soldiers. By this war's end, the Vietnamese had been fighting foreign involvement or occupation in various wars for over a hundred years.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________10 The Guatemalan Civil War, the longest civil war in Latin American history, ran from 1960 to 1996. It had a profound impact on Guatemala. 40,000 to 50,000 disappeared during the war and approximately 200,000 were killed. Felipe Cusanero became the first person to be sentenced for these crimes when in 2009 when he received a 150-year jail-term, 25 years for each of his six missing victims. This was hailed a landmark prison sentence in Guatemala.
11 The Congo Crisis (1960–1966) was a period of turmoil in the First Republic of the Congo that began with national independence from Belgium and ended with the seizing of power by Joseph Mobutu. At various points it had the characteristics of anti-colonial struggle, a secessionist war with the province of Katanga, a United Nations peacekeeping operation, and a Cold Warproxy battle between the United States and the Soviet Union. The Crisis caused the death of some 100,000 people. It led to the assassination of Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, as well as a traumatic setback to the United Nations following the death of UN Secretary GeneralDag Hammarskjöld in a plane crash as he sought to mediate.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________12 The Bay of Pigs Invasion was an unsuccessful attempt by a CIA -trained force of Cuban exiles to invade southern Cuba, with support from US government armed forces, to overthrow the Cuban government of Fidel Castro.
The plan was launched in April 1961, less than three months after John F. Kennedyassumed the presidency in the United States. The Cuban armed forces, trained and equipped by Eastern Bloc nations, defeated the exile combatants in three days.
The invasion is named after the Bay of Pigs, which is just one possible translation of the Spanish Bahía de Cochinos. The main invasion landing specifically took place at a beach named Playa Girón, located at the mouth of the bay.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________13 The Cuban Missile Crisis was a confrontation between the United States, the Soviet Union, and Cuba in October 1962, during the Cold War. In September 1962, the Cuban and Soviet governments surreptitiously built bases in Cuba for a number of medium- and intermediate-range ballistic nuclear missiles with the ability to strike most of the continental United States. On October 14, a United States U-2 photo reconnaissance plane piloted by Major Heyser observed Soviet missile bases under construction in Cuba.
The ensuing crisis ranks with the Berlin Blockade as one of the major confrontations of the Cold War, and is generally regarded as the moment in which the Cold War came closest to turning into a nuclear conflict. The United States enforced a military "quarantine" of Cuba, announcing that it would not permit offensive weapons to be delivered to Cuba, and insisting that the Soviets dismantle the missile bases already under construction or completed in Cuba. The Kennedy administration held a slim hope that the Kremlin would agree to their demands, and expected a military confrontation by Tuesday, October 28. On the Soviet end, Khrushchev wrote Kennedy that his quarantine of "navigation in international waters and air space to constitute an act of aggression propelling humankind into the abyss of a world nuclear-missile war."
The Soviets publicly balked at the U.S. demands, but in secret back-channel communications initiated a proposal to resolve the crisis. Two weeks later the confrontation ended when on October 28, 1962 President John F. Kennedy and the United Nations Secretary-GeneralU Thant reached an agreement with the Soviets to dismantle the missiles in exchange for an agreement to never invade Cuba. In his negotiations with the Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin, U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy informally proposed that the Jupiter missiles in Turkey would be removed "within a short time after this crisis was over." The last missiles were taken down by 24 April 1963, and were flown out of Turkey soon after.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________14 The Angolan Civil War began in Angola after the end of the war for independence from Portugal in 1975. The war featured conflict between two primary Angolan factions - the communistMPLA and the anti-communistUNITA.
By the time the 27-year war was formally brought to an end in 2002, an estimated 500,000 people had been killed. The Angolan Civil War was one of the largest, longest, and most prominent armed conflicts of the Cold War. Both the Soviet Union and the U.S. considered it critical to the global balance of power and to the outcome of the Cold War.
In addition to the war's two primary factions (the MPLA and UNITA), several other factions also were engaged in the conflict. The MPLA, supported by Cuba, the Soviet Union and countries of the Eastern bloc, fought against the National Liberation Front of Angola (FNLA), an organization based in the Bakongo region of the north and allied with the United States, the People's Republic of China and the Mobutu government in Zaïre. The United States, apartheidSouth Africa, and several other African governments also supported the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), whose ethnic and regional base lies in the heartland of central Angola.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________15 The Somali Civil War (Ogaden War) of 1991 was a time of great change for Somalia. President Barre was ousted by combined northern and southern clan-based forces, all of whom were backed and armed by Ethiopia. And following a meeting of the Somali National Movement and northern clans' elders, the northern former British portion of the country declared its independence as Somaliland in May 1991; although de facto independent and relatively stable compared to the tumultuous south, it has not been recognized by any foreign government.
In January 1991, President Mahdi Muhammad was selected as an interim state president until a conference between all stakeholders to be held in Djibouti the following month to select a national leader. However, United Somali Congress military leader General Mohamed Farrah Aidid, the Somali National Movement leader Ahmed Ali Tuur and the Somali Patriotic Movement leader Col Jess refused to recognize Mahdi as president.
This caused a split between the SNM, USC and SPM and the armed groups Manifesto, Somali Democratic Movement (SDM) and Somali National Alliance (SNA) on the one hand and within the USC forces. This led efforts to remove Barre who still claimed to be the legitimate president of Somalia. He and his armed supporters remained in the south of the country until mid 1992, causing further escalation in violence. The armed conflict within the USC devastated the Mogadishu area.
The civil war disrupted agriculture and food distribution in southern Somalia. The basis of most of the conflicts was clan allegiances and competition for resources between the warring clans. James Bishop, the United States last ambassador to Somalia, explained that there is "competition for water, pasturage, and... cattle. It is a competition that used to be fought out with arrows and sabers... Now it is fought out with AK-47s." The resulting famine (about 300,000 dead) caused the United Nations Security Council in 1992 to authorize the limited peacekeeping operation United Nations Operation in Somalia I (UNOSOM I). UNOSOM's use of force was limited to self-defense and it was soon disregarded by the warring factions.
In reaction to the continued violence and the humanitarian disaster, the United States organized a military coalition with the purpose of creating a secure environment in southern Somalia for the conduct of humanitarian operations. This coalition, (Unified Task Force or UNITAF) entered Somalia in December 1992 on Operation Restore Hope and was successful in restoring order and alleviating the famine. In May 1993, most of the United States troops withdrew and UNITAF was replaced by the United Nations Operation in Somalia II (UNOSOM II).
However, Mohamed Farrah Aidid saw UNOSOM II as a threat to his power and in June 1993 his militia attacked Pakistan Army troops, attached to UNOSOM II, in Mogadishu inflicting over 80 casualties. Fighting escalated until 19 American troops and more than 1,000 Somalis were killed in a raid in Mogadishu during October 1993. The UN withdrew Operation United Shield in 3 March 1995, having suffered significant casualties, and with the rule of government still not restored. In August 1996, Aidid was killed in Mogadishu.
A consequence of the collapse of governmental authority that accompanied the civil war has been the creation of a significant problem with piracy off the coast of Somalia originating in coastal ports. Piracy arose as a response by local Somali fishermen from coastal towns to predatory fishing by foreign fishing trawlers that followed the collapse of Somali governmental authority. An upsurge in piracy off the coast has also been attributed to the effects of the December 26, 2004 tsunami that devastated coastal villages fishing fleets. Piracy has been described as Somalia's "only booming economy" and as a "mainstay" of the economy.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________16 The Soviet War in Afghanistan was a ten-year conflict involving the Soviet Union, supporting the Marxist government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan against the IslamistMujahedeen Resistance. The Mujahedeen found other support from a variety of sources including the United States, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt and other Muslimnations throughout the Cold War.
The initial Soviet deployment of the 40th Army in Afghanistan began on December 24, 1979 under Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. The final troop withdrawal started on May 15, 1988, and ended on February 15, 1989 under the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Due to the constantly changing nature of the war, the conflict in Afghanistan has often been referred to as the Soviet Vietnam; the analogy compares the conflict to America's role in the Vietnam War.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________17 The Iran hostage crisis was a diplomatic crisis between Iran and the United States when 53 Americans were held hostage for 444 days from November 4, 1979 to January 20, 1981, after a group of Islamist students and militants took over the American Embassy in support of the Iranian Revolution.
Sixty-six Americans were taken captive when Iranian militants seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran on Nov. 4, 1979, including three who were at the Iranian Foreign Ministry. Six more Americans escaped and of the 66, who were taken hostage, 13 were released on Nov. 19 and 20, 1979; one was released on July 11, 1980, and the remaining 52 were released on Jan. 20, 1981.
The episode reached a climax when, after failed attempts to negotiate a release, the United States military attempted a rescue operation, Operation Eagle Claw, on April 24, 1980, which resulted in a failed mission, the destruction of two aircraft and the deaths of eight American servicemen and one Iranian civilian. It ended on January 20, 1981, when hostages were formally released into United States custody just minutes after the new American president, Ronald Reagan, was sworn in.
The crisis has been described as an entanglement of "vengeance and mutual incomprehension". In Iran, despite freezing of all Iranian assets held in the United States (Executive Order 12170), the hostage taking was widely seen as a blow against the U.S, and its influence in Iran, its perceived attempts to undermine the Iranian Revolution, and its long-standing support of the recently overthrown government of the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The Shah had been restored to power in a 1953 coup against a democratically-elected nationalist Iranian government organized by the CIA at the American Embassy and had recently been allowed into the United States for medical treatment. In the United States, the hostage-taking was seen as an outrage violating a centuries-old principle of international law granting diplomat's immunity from arrest and diplomatic compounds sovereignty in their embassies.
The crisis has also been described as the "pivotal episode" in the history of Iran – United States relations. In the U.S., some political analysts believe the crisis was a major reason for U.S. PresidentJimmy Carter's defeat in the November 1980 presidential election. In Iran, the crisis strengthened the prestige of the Ayatollah Khomeini and the political power of those who supported theocracy and opposed any normalization of relations with the West. The crisis also marked the beginning of U.S. legal action, or economic sanctions against Iran, that further weakened economic ties between Iran and the United States which continues today.
18 The Iran–Iraq War, also known as the Imposed War (جنگتحمیلی, Jang-e-tahmīlī) and Holy Defense(دفاع مقدس, Defā'-e-moghaddas) in Iran, and Saddām'sQādisiyyah(قادسيّة صدّام, Qādisiyyat Ṣaddām) in Iraq, was a war between the armed forces of Iraq and Iran lasting from September 1980 to August 1988.
The war began when Iraq invaded Iran, launching a simultaneous invasion by air and land into Iranian territory on 22 September 1980 following a long history of border disputes, and fears of Shia insurgency among Iraq's long-suppressed Shia majority influenced by the Iranian Revolution. Iraq was also aiming to replace Iran as the dominant Persian Gulf state. Although Iraq hoped to take advantage of revolutionary chaos in Iran and attacked without formal warning, they made only limited progress into Iran and within several months were repelled by the Iranians, who regained virtually all lost territory by June, 1982. For the next six years, Iran was on the offensive. Despite calls for a ceasefire by the United Nations Security Council, hostilities continued until 20 August 1988. The last prisoners of war were exchanged in 2003.
The war came at a great cost in lives and economic damage - a half a million Iraqi and Iranian soldiers as well as civilians are believed to have died in the war with many more injured and wounded - but brought neither reparations nor change in borders. The conflict is often compared to World War I, in that the tactics used closely mirrored those of World War I, including large scale trench warfare, manned machine-gun posts, bayonet charges, use of barbed wire across trenches, human wave attacks across no-mans land, and extensive use of chemical weapons such as mustard gas against Iranian troops and civilians as well as Iraqi Kurds. At the time, the UN Security Council issued statements that "chemical weapons had been used in the war." However, in these UN statements Iraq was not mentioned by name, so it has been said that "the international community remained silent as Iraq used weapons of mass destruction against Iranian as well as Iraqi Kurds" and it is believed that "United States prevented the UN from condemning Iraq".
19 The Invasion of Grenada, codenamed Operation Urgent Fury, was a 1983 U.S.-led invasion of Grenada, a Caribbeanisland nation with a population of just over 100,000 located 100 miles (160 km) north of Venezuela, triggered by a military coup which ousted a brief revolutionary government. The successful invasion led to a change of government but was controversial due to charges of American imperialism, Cold War politics, the involvement of Cuba, the unstable state of the Grenadian government, and Grenada's status as a Commonwealth realm.
The American invasion of Grenada was the sole case in the history of the Cold War of a Communist state successfully rolled back into a Democratic Capitalist nation before the Revolutions of 1989.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________20 The Salvadoran Civil War (1980–1992) was a conflict in El Salvador. It was between the military-led government of El Salvador and the National Liberation Front (FMLN), a coalition or umbrella organization of five left-wing militias. Significant tensions and violence had already existed, before the civil war's full outbreak, over the course of the 1970s. The United States supported the Salvadoran military government. The conflict ended in the early 1990s. Some 75,000 people were killed.