A quick look at some of the major wars that have shaped 20th century.
Created by annamjohnson on Feb 9, 2011
Last updated: 02/10/11 at 08:53 AM
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Project for Dr. Laura Roselle's Media and War class at Elon University.
Beginning: March 20, 2003
Ending: August 31, 2010
Involved Countries: Iraq under Saddam against the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and several other Western countries. Now insurgent groups are continuing to fight on Iraq's behalf.
Cause of war: American people were still upset and angry over the attacks on September 11, 2001. They were told there weapons of mass destruction, and while Iraq had nothing to do with Sept. 11, this was an underlying factor. The United States said it wanted to get rid of an evil dictator while critics have gone as far to say it was for oil.
Outcome of War: American found Saddam and he was executed. America remained in Iraq while fighting terrorism and acted as a police force.
Number of Casualties: 60,000 - 80,000
Beginning: August 26, 1996
Ending: April 16, 2009 (some argue it still continues to this day)
Involved Countries: Chechnya/Ichkeria, Russia, militants,
Cause of war:Besides the aftermath of the first Chechnya War, Russia was concerned this independent state could cause a domino affect in other parts of the country that would want to separate. There were also divided parties within the Chechnyan government that helped lead to the invasion.
Outcome of War: Russia won but terrorist attacks against the population continue. It caused massive destruction to life and land in the area. The area is known as having the most mines in the world.
Number of Casualties: Not exactly known since terrorism against civilians was a major means of winning. Said to be anywhere from 150,000 to 200,000
Beginning: December 11, 1994
Ending: August 31, 1996
Involved Countries: Russia and Chechnya
Cause of war: The Chechnyan people were removed from their homes during the years of Stalin. After his death, they were allowed to return to their homes but not allowed to build mosques. And after the collapse of the Soviet Union Chechnya declared its independence.
Outcome of War: In what some people call surprising, the Chechnyan people were ready to fight and they beat Russia in a humiliating defeat.
Number of Casualties: numbers unknown anywhere from 40,000 to 100,000
Beginning: 1991 Ending: 1995 Involved Countries: Yugoslavia which broke into Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, Herzegovina, Serbia, NATO Cause of war: The area was given to different countries as a reward after WWII but the various ethnic groups could not come to terms with each other and how they wanted to be run. There were several wars within the country like the Croatian war of independence, bosnia war and the war of slovenia. The different groups declared their independence and wanted all of their people to be in the same nation, thus wars began. Outcome of War: After signing the Dayton Agreement the wars end and Croatia is defeated and Bosnia allows for different groups to go home. Many are still displaced. Number of Casualties: More than 100,000 and several million individuals are displaced. Sources: http://www.infoplease.com/spot/yugotimeline1.html http://staff.lib.msu.edu/sowards/balkan/lect25.htm http://www.country-data.com/cgi-bin/query/r-14923.html
Beginning: August 2, 1990 Ending: February 28, 1991 Involved Countries: Iraq against the United States, United Kingdom, Arab League and several other Western nations. It was the first time the UN worked together and voted to go to war. Cause of war: Iraq invaded Kuwait, seeking their oil and claiming the land belonged to them many years before, and they wanted it back. Kuwait is an ally of the United States. But Kuwait was slant drilling into Iraq and taking oil that more than likely belonged to Iraq. And an American diplomat said the United States had no preference on an Arab-Arab war. This led Saddam to believe he was able to invade. Outcome of War: American won the war but stopped short of pursuing Saddam back to Bagdad. This led to the second gulf war in 2003. Number of Casualties: 20,000 - 37,000 Sources: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_were_the_causes_of_the_Gulf_War http://www.historyguy.com/GulfWar.html
Beginning: December 20, 1989
Ending: January 3, 1990
Involved Countries: United States and Panama
Cause of war: Bush Sr. invaded Panama because he said he was getting rid of an evil dictator and wanted to protect the people of Panama. Thus the military name: Operation Just Cause. Meanwhile, it's been discovered Noreiega was on the CIA payroll and the United States wanted control of the panama canal.
Outcome of War: Many in Panama lost their homes and businesses and a group of individuals even sued the United States government for invading negligently.
Number of Casualties: 228
Beginning: October 25 1983
Ending: December 15, 1983
Involved Countries: United States, Cuba, Grenada (supported by United Kingdom)
Cause of war: This is rooted in the
United State's interest in the caribbean and its influence during the Cold War. There was a harsh conflict between Cuba and the United States and this was only one way in which they expressed it. A coup of the Grenadan leader and 1,000 medical students 'forced' the United States to take action.
Outcome of War: America won and stayed afterward to in the island. It was the first victory since before Vietnam and it was the first official war with Cuba.
Number of Casualties: 80-100
Beginning: April 2, 1982
Ending: June 14, 1982
Involved Countries: Argentina and United Kingdom
Cause of war: The debate over who was in control of the Falkland Islands started the war. Argentina, facing a mounting economic crisis, invaded the islands and prompted force from Britain's Navy.
Outcome of War: This war really bolstered Margaret Thatcher and gave her support for her domestic initiatives. The islanders had full British citizenship and Argentina had a new constitution in place in 1985.
Number of Casualties: 907
Beginning: December 27, 1979
Ending: February 1989
Involved Countries: Afghanistan and Soviet Union against Mujahideen, supported by the United States, Israel, China, Pakistan.
Cause of war: When the leaders within Afghanistan, backed by the USSR, wanted to become more Western the traditional religious leaders became upset. This led to the religious groups like Mujahideen and Al-Queda.
Outcome of War: Afghanistan won the war, and it has been known as USSR's Vietnam. Thanks to the backing by the United States, the insurgent groups were well funded and later led to their rise against the United States.
Number of Casualties: 110,000
Beginning: November 1, 1955
Ending: April 30, 1975
Involved Countries: South Vietnam and United States against North Vietnam, Viet Cong and China.
Cause of war: The first involvement from the United States was when Truman gave money to France then fighting in Vietnam. After France's defeat Vietnam was broken in two. One democratic and one communist. The United States was unsatified with this outcome and stepped in for 19 years.
Outcome of War: North Vietnam won the war and the United States was left with a humiliating defeat. It shook up the Western power and the military claimed the media took the public support from the war. Changed our the media was handled in regard to war.
Number of Casualties: More than 1,400,000 plus millions more civilians.
Beginning: June 25, 1950 Ending: Never, a ceasefire was signed July 27, 1953 Involved Countries:The United Nations, United States, Korea and several Western countries against, North Korea, USSR and China. Cause of war:After WWII Korea was split into two parts. The north controlled by USSR and the south by United States. Elections were held in Korea but the north boycotted the elections, and the U.S. backed leader of the south became president. Most Koreans wanted to unite but under their conditions and the south invaded the north looking to take it by force. Outcome of War: Besides three years of fighting and the toil on life and land, nothing changed. No borders were changed and it still is one of the most fortified borders in the world. Number of Casualties: 2,300,000 Sources: http://www.historycentral.com/korea/causes.html http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/events/kowar/kowar.htm http://www.lifeinkorea.com/information/historykw.cfm
Beginning: September 1, 1939
Ending: August 14, 1945
Involved Countries: The Allied
Powers—Soviet Union, United States, Britain, France, Poland, China, and several others. The Axis Powers—Germany, Japan, Italy, Hungary, Romania, Finland and others.
Cause of war: The Treaty of Versailles that ended WWI included several items that led to WWII like the War Guilt Clause that made Germany accept all blame for WWI. It also included disarmament and reparations form Germany. The causation of WWII can also be found in the appeasement process. When countries looked the other way when Hitler took over smaller countries, it furthered his power. And the newly created League of Nations had no power to stop anything.
Outcome of War: Left entire generations missing form Europe and several in the Jewish population after the Holocaust. Helped spur the United Nations and brought the United States out of the Great Depression. It also set the stage for the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States.
Number of Casualties: 61,000,000 (including military and civilians)
Beginning: June 28/July 28, 1914
Ending: June 28, 1919
Involved Countries: The Central Powers—Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey The Allied Powers—mainly France, Britain, Russia, Italy, Japan, and (from 1917) the United States
Cause of war: The spark of the war was the assignation of Austria-Hungary's heir to the throne Archduke Franz Ferinand on June 28, 1914 by the Black Hand, a Serbian nationalist group. What led to the official declaration of war that followed on July 28, 1914 was a mix of tangled alliances, Germany's quest to become a powerful nation, her blank check to Serbia, Britain's quest to remain the sole naval powerhouse and other European countries looking to stifle a rising German power.
Outcome of War: The Allied Powers won the war and forced Germany to sign the Treaty of Versailles. This war and treaty directly contributes to WWII.
Number of Casualties: 65,038,810