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Millennium: 3rd millennium

The 2020s (pronounced "twenty-twenties"; shortened to the '20s[1][2]) is the current decade in the Gregorian calendar that began on 1 January 2020 and will end on 31 December 2029.

Politics and conflicts[edit]

Conflicts and peace[edit]

The prominent wars of the decade include:

International wars[edit]

Name Start date End date Description
Israeli–Palestinian conflict 14 May 1948 Ongoing The conflict between Jewish and Arab communities in Israel and the West Bank has been ongoing since 1948.[3] After Israel occupied the West Bank, it began making settlements there, which has been an obstacle to the peace process.[4] Tensions also remained high as Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, has been launching rockets and cross-border raids into Israeli territory, which Israel has responded with force.[5]
War on Terror 11 September 2001
  • 7 October 2001
  • 20 March 2003
Ongoing Motivated by the September 11 attacks, the United States and other governments started a large scale effort to eliminate terrorism.[6] With support from NATO, the United States invaded Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and overthrew the government.[7] Two years later, on the pretext that the government of Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,[8] the United States and a coalition of partners invaded Iraq and overthrew Hussein,[9] after which the U.S. occupied the country.[10] However, insurgencies remained active in both countries, long after the invasions.[11]
Russian military intervention in Ukraine 20 February 2014 Ongoing After the fall of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, Russian soldiers took control of strategic positions in the Ukrainian territory of Crimea and subsequently annexed the region after a controversial referendum.[12] In the months that followed, demonstrations in Donbass escalated into an armed conflict between the government of Ukraine and Russia-backed separatist forces.
Military intervention against ISIL 13 June 2014 Ongoing In late 2013, a terrorist organization called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant began making rapid advances and territorial gains in Iraq and Syria. It captured Mosul in June[13] and made Raqqa its capital.[14] Various international coalitions were formed to help fight the militants.[15][16] By December 2017, ISIL had lost much of its former territory.
Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen 26 March 2015 Ongoing During the Yemeni Civil War, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and other countries invaded parts of Yemen in order to depose the Houthi-controlled government.
Turkish occupation of northern Syria 24 August 2016 Ongoing During the Syrian Civil War, Turkey invaded parts of northern Syria in order to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and the Syrian Democratic Forces.

Civil wars[edit]

Name Start date End date Description
Colombian Armed Conflict 27 May 1964 Ongoing Fighting between the Colombian government, left-wing guerrillas, and various paramilitary factions had been ongoing since 1964. However, at the start of the decade, only two major groups remained, FARC and ELN.[17] Since 2012, both groups have been in peace talks with the government, with FARC and the government signing a ceasefire in 2016.[18]
War in North-West Pakistan 16 March 2004 Ongoing Since 2004, Pakistan has been fighting an insurgency by various armed militant groups in the country.[19] The violence has killed almost 57,000 people since,[20] with over 3 million more affected.[21] By 2014, however, casualties from terrorist and militant attacks had dropped by around 40%.[22]
Mexican Drug War 11 December 2006 Ongoing Following a rise in criminal violence as a result of drug trafficking in the country, Mexican President Felipe Calderón declared a war on drugs in December 2006.[23] Since the start of the war, the death toll from drug violence had sharply increased.[24] Arrests of key cartel leaders led to increasing violence as cartels fought for control of trafficking routes into the United States.[25][26][27]
War in Somalia 31 January 2009 Ongoing In 2009, Al-Shabaab, an Islamist militant group, began waging an insurgency against the newly formed Transitional Federal Government. In 2011, the federal government captured Mogadishu[28] and subsequently retook several towns across the country.[29] Since then, the government has attempted to clean out the remaining Al-Shabaab strongholds with help from AMISOM soldiers.[30]
Boko Haram insurgency 26 July 2009 Ongoing The Boko Haram insurgency began when the jihadist rebel group started an armed rebellion against the government of Nigeria.[31] In 2015, the group pledged alliance to ISIL.[32] It has since been called the world's deadliest terrorist group.[33][34]
Syrian Civil War 15 March 2011 Ongoing Protests erupted in Syria against President Bashar al-Assad's rule, with police and the army sent in to crack down on protesters.[35][36] They later morphed into war after army officers defected to the opposition, forming the Free Syrian Army (FSA).[37] The war allowed for Islamic extremist groups like Al-Nusra Front and ISIL to temporarily take control of vast amounts of territory.
Northern Mali conflict 16 January 2012 Ongoing In January 2012, a rebellion by Tuaregs in Northern Mali began. After Malian president Amadou Toumani Touré was ousted in a coup d'état, Tuaregs captured Northern Mali,[38] and declared it to be the independent state of Azawad.[39] However, shortly afterward, various Islamists groups took over Northern Mali from the Tuaregs and imposed sharia law on the region.[40]
Second Libyan Civil War 16 May 2014 Ongoing Following the factional violence that engulfed Libya after the fall of Muammari Gaddafi, a second civil war broke out among rival factions seeking control of the territory and oil of Libya. The conflict at the beginning was mostly between the House of Representatives (HoR) government that was controversially elected in 2014, also known as the "Tobruk government"; and the rival General National Congress (GNC) government, also called the "National Salvation Government", based in the capital Tripoli, established after Operation Odyssey Dawn and the failed military coup.
Yemeni Civil War 19 March 2015 Ongoing Preceded by a decade-long Houthi insurgency,[41] the Yemeni Civil War began between two factions: the then-incumbent Yemeni government, led by Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, and the Houthi militia, along with their supporters and allies. Both claim to constitute the Yemeni government.[42]
Philippine Drug War 30 June 2016 Ongoing Following a rise in criminal violence as a result of drug trafficking in the country, the Philippines has been engaged in a drug war since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was inaugurated on 30 June 2016. It has caused 3,000 deaths.[43]
Anglophone Crisis 9 September 2017 Ongoing As a result of the ongoing sociopolitical issue in Cameroon known as the Anglophone problem, separatists in the Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon declared the independence of Ambazonia and initiated a conflict against the Cameroonian government.[44] 3,000 people have been killed and 500,000 people have been displaced.[45]
Islamist insurgency in Mozambique 5 October 2017 Ongoing Since early October 2017, Islamist militant groups, namely the group Ansar al-Sunna and the Islamic State[46] have been attempting to create an Islamic state in northern Mozambique. Over 200 have been killed as of May 2019.[47]
Iraqi insurgency 9 December 2017 Ongoing A part of the larger Iraqi conflict that has been waged since 2003, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has been engaged in an insurgency against the Iraqi government and CJTF-OIR since the loss of territorial control in the Iraqi Civil War in 2017.
War in Catatumbo January 2018 Ongoing Despite the Colombian peace process, a military conflict between various militia groups has existed in Colombia's Catatumbo region since January 2018. The war is being fought between the Popular Liberation Army, the National Liberation Army, Frente 33, and the Colombian military. Roughly 145,000 people have been affected by the war.[48]

Revolutions and major protests[edit]

Large-scale political revolutions and otherwise major protests of the decade include, but are not limited to:

Name Start date End date Description
Rojava conflict 19 July 2012 Ongoing Since the beginning of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, ethnic Kurds, Assyrians, and Arabs in Northern Syria have been protesting against the Syrian government. The main cause of the protests was state-sponsored discrimination against ethnic minorities. Although originally starting as protests against the government, the protests quickly turned into an armed conflict after the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) captured the cities of Kobanî, Amuda, and Efrîn between 19 July and 20 July 2012, facing relatively little resistance from the Syrian government.[49] Much of Northern Syria was occupied by the YPG between July and August of 2012, with little resistance encountered due to Syria's involvement in the Battle of Aleppo. Led politically by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the territories declared autonomy in January 2014 and Rojava was formed, officially known as the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria.
2018-2020 Arab protests 1 January 2018 Ongoing Popularly known as the New Arab Spring, a series of anti-government protests began in 2018 and quickly spread throughout the Arab League countries. The protests were launched in response to authoritarianism, political corruption, human rights violations, high unemployment and inflation, and other causes.[50][51]
Yellow vests movement 17 November 2018 Ongoing Massive protests began in mid November in response to a number of changes instituted by the French government, namely the institution of a fuel tax, and other factors such as the high cost of living in France. Their stated goals are an increase in the minimum wage and the resignation of French President Emmanuel Macron, among others.[52][53] The yellow vest became a symbol of the movement due to its ubiquity, visibility, and accessibility.[54]
2019–2020 Hong Kong protests 9 June 2019 Ongoing Protests began in June of 2019 in response to the government of Hong Kong's vote on a bill that would allow criminals to be extradited to mainland China; the bill was retracted on 23 October 2019, but demonstrations continued due to misconduct by the Hong Kong Police Force. Multiple goals have been repeated by the protesters, namely the creation of an inquiry into police misconduct, a retraction of the characterization of the protests as "riots," the release of arrested protesters, and universal suffrage in Hong Kong.[55][56]
2019–2020 Chilean protests 14 October 2019 Ongoing A series of protests and demonstrations began in Chile in October 2019 in response to an increase in public transport fares, a rise in the cost of living, income equality, and privatization, with end goals of healthcare, educational, and pension reforms, an increase in the minimum wage, and the resignation of Chilean President Sebastián Piñera.
Kurds, Assyrians, and Arabs in a demonstration directed at the Syrian government occurring on 6 January 2012 within the city of Qamishli, as part of the currently ongoing Rojava conflict.

Terrorist attacks[edit]

Prominent political events[edit]

This table of events is listed by the region and by chronological order. The prominent political events include, but are not limited to:



Event Country Date Description
Impeachment of Donald Trump United States 24 September 2019 - 18 December 2019
  • Upcoming
Under Article I, Section 3, Clause 6 of the U.S. Constitution and following the impeachment of Donald Trump on 18 December 2019, the United State Senate is due to try Donald Trump's case, and may or may not convict him of certain crimes and remove him from presidential office.


Event Country Date Description Reference
2019–20 Persian Gulf crisis Iran United States 5 May 2019 The Persian Gulf region saw tensions between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran escalate in mid-2019. The crisis saw oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz sabotaged and seized, drone shootdowns, and efforts by the U.S. and United Kingdom to pursue military patrols to protect shipping in the gulf. On December 31, 2019 tensions reached to breaking point as Iranian-backed militia stormed into the US Embassy in Iraq leading to the target killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani by the US on January 3, 2020. [57]

[58] [59]


Notable world leaders[edit]

Note: Names of world leaders shown below in bold have remained in power continuously throughout the decade (as of January 2020).

Assassinations and attempts[edit]

Prominent assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts include:

Date Description
2 January 2020 Qasem Soleimani, a high-ranking Iranian official, was killed in a United States airstrike near Baghdad International Airport.


Natural disasters[edit]

Volcanic eruptions[edit]

Event Date Country Description
2020 Taal Volcano eruption January 12, 2020 - Present The Philippines On January 12, the Taal volcano in the Philippines erupted at VEI 4 intensity, bringing intense ashfall to the surrounding areas and killing over 3 people.

Droughts, heat waves, and wildfires[edit]

Event Date Country Description
2019–2020 Australian bushfire season August 2019 – present Australia Bushfires in Australia continue into 2020, having started in September 2019.[60]


Cybersecurity and hacking[edit]

Science and technology[edit]



  • Many browsers will entirely remove Adobe Flash on December 31, 2020.



  • By the mid-2020s, the world population is projected to surpass 8 billion people,[67] and by the end of the decade it is estimated to be at around 8.6 billion.[68]
  • India is projected to surpass China as the most populated country on Earth around 2027.[67]






In fiction[edit]


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  58. ^ "Trump accuses Iran over storming of US embassy compound in Baghdad". The Guardian. 31 December 2019.
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External links[edit]

Media related to 2020s at Wikimedia Commons