a memorial for all wars: the Polynational War Memorial

How many wars has each nation fought?

By: Jon Brunberg | posted: 3/15/2014 12:09:14 PM


When the debate in the US about a possible intervention in Syria was at its peak in 2013 some people asked me if I could provide statistics of how may wars that were fought by each nation in the world since 1900. I must say that I was always a bit hesitant to create such a ”ranking list” for several reasons. Such a list would always give a too simplistic picture of the state of the world. It would fuel a debate about numbers that is not always to my liking. I also felt that my database was not really meant to be used that way, that the data in it was not adequate, and that I did not have appropriate definitions and methods in place.

After tidying up the data and creating a definition I decided to make such a list anyway, and here it is.

Before jumping the link please read this disclaimer. Take the list with a bushel of salt. See it as an indication rather than the truth. It’s not free from errors. Information may be missing. Also remember that this information is not as consistent as you may expect. Some of these wars are part of a longer historical conflicts that should, perhaps, be clustered together, while other wars with a long timespan could instead be seen a as series of wars. It says nothing about the belligerents and little about the willingness of a nation to go to war. Some nations that do not exist any longer should also be included.

My criteria for including a nation is if that nation had "troops on the ground" in a particular conflict (sending observers, instructors, sponsoring or financing the conflict don’t count). And again: data may be erroneous or missing.


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