List of the lengths of American participation in wars

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Lengths of U.S. combat forces' participation in wars[edit]

War in the context of this list broadly construed to be armed conflict between organized U.S. military forces and organized forces of (a) belligerent(s).

War Dates Duration Duration (graphical representation)
1. Vietnam War 1955/11– 1975/04[1][2] 19.4 years
(19 years, 5 months)
2. War in Afghanistan 2001/10 – present[3] 14.8 years
(14 years, 9 months)
3. Moro Rebellion 1899 – 1913 14 years
4. Northwest Indian War 1785 – 1795 10 years
5. Iraq War 2003/03 – 2011/12[4][5][6][7][8][9][10] 8.8 years
(8 years, 9 months)
6. American Revolutionary War 1775/04 – 1783/09 8.4 years
(8 years, 5 months)
7. Second Seminole War 1835-12 – 1842/08 6.7 years (6 years, 7 months)
8. American Civil War 1861/04 – 1865/04 4 years
9. World War II 1941/12 – 1945/08 3.7 years
(3 years, 8 months)
10. Korean War 1950/06 – 1953/07 3.1 years
(3 years, 1 month)
11. War of 1812 1812/06 – 1814/12 2.5 years
(2 years, 6 months)
12. War on ISIL 2014/06 – present 2.2 years
(2 years, 1 month)
13. Mexican-American War 1846/05 – 1848/02 1.8 years
(1 year, 10 months)
14. World War I 1917/04 – 1918/11 1.6 years
(1 year, 7 months)
15. Great Sioux War of 1876 1876/02 – 1877/05 1.2 years (1 year, 3 months)
16. Spanish–American War 1898/05 – 1898/12 0.6 years
(8 months)
17. Persian Gulf War 1990/08 – 1991/02[11][12] 0.5 years
(7 months)
18. Kosovo War 1999/03 – 1999/06 0.3 years
(118 days)

(Ongoing wars indicated in bold and with orange bars.) Sources: Associated Press,[13] PBS[14]

Notes[edit]

  • Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution gives the United States Congress the power to declare War. Historically wars have been either declared as "Formal" wars or authorized as "Authorized military engagements".[15] In 1973 Congress further clarified their role in authorized armed conflict with the passing of the War Powers Resolution.[16]
  • The dates used by the Associated Press for official U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War are August 1964 (the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution) to January 1973 (the Paris Peace Accords), although U.S. military activities and intervention in Vietnam spanned from 1955 to 1975.[17][18][19]
  • For the Philippine–American War, not included by the Associated Press in their tally above, official start and end dates used by some sources are June 2, 1899 – July 4, 1902, (three years and one month,) although resistance groups continued fighting until June 15, 1913.[20][21][22][23]
  • The start date used by the Associated Press for U.S. engagement in the Persian Gulf War is January 17, 1991 (the start of its extensive aerial bombing campaign under the offensive known as Operation Desert Storm.)[24] While the first US Combat Troops arrived in South Vietnam in 1965, by the end of 1964 over 23,000 American military personal were already present.[25]
  • U.S. President Barack Obama pledged in 2009 and 2010 that the U.S. war in Iraq would end by the end of 2011 when all remaining U.S. troops would be withdrawn from Iraq. Then, in the Spring of 2011, Secretary of Defense Gates, went to Iraq, pleading with the government of Iraq, to let U.S. Forces remain past the 2011 deadline.[26][27][28][29][30][31]
  • The start date of March 24, 1999 is the date used by PBS Frontline as the beginning of the Kosovo air war. The ending date of June 20, 1999 is the date NATO's bombing campaign formally ended.[14] Although the war itself ended in 1999, some US forces took part in peacekeeping and associated duties thereafter.[32]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ DoD 1998
  2. ^ Lawrence 2009, p. 20
  3. ^ Knefel, John (7 January 2015). "Drone Rules in Afghanistan Go Unchanged, And Other Reasons the War Isn't Really Over". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
    Sennott, Charles M. (5 May 2015). "The First Battle of the 21st Century". The Atlantic. Retrieved 15 May 2015. Even after 14 years of war in Afghanistan, the U.S. military has not fully succeeded in restoring security to the country or defeating the Taliban. Now, at the request of the new Afghan government, the United States has delayed the completion of its troop withdrawal from the country until 2016 at the earliest. 
  4. ^ US military deaths in Iraq war at 4,452 Wednesday, according to Associated Press count
  5. ^ US military deaths in Iraq war at 4,452
  6. ^ Dan Simpson Why can't we stop our wars?
  7. ^ Robert Gates' Pentagon Legacy: Unfinished Wars, Unfinished Budget Reform
  8. ^ Obama May Face Tough Decision as Iraqi Leader Signals U.S. Troops Could Stay
  9. ^ Pentagon rethinks Iraq pull-out plans
  10. ^ Iraq Withdrawal Date For U.S. Troops May Be Pushed Back Beyond 2011
  11. ^ http://www.swords-to-plowshares.org/2012/08/03/our-longest-u-s-war-medical-treatments-for-gulf-war-illness-remain-elusive/
  12. ^ (33)The term "Persian Gulf War" means the period beginning on August 2, 1990, and ending on the date thereafter prescribed by Presidential proclamation or by law. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/38/101
  13. ^ U.S. Participation in Major Wars
  14. ^ a b PBS Frontline, A Kosovo Chronology
  15. ^ Declaration of war by the United States
  16. ^ War Powers Resolution
  17. ^ Herring, George C.: America's Longest War, p. 18.
  18. ^ Zinn, A People's History of the United States, p. 471.
  19. ^ Kolko, Gabriel Anatomy of War, pages 457, 461 ff., ISBN 1-898876-67-3
  20. ^ Delmendo 2004, p. 47.
  21. ^ Constantino 1975
  22. ^ Agoncillo 1990, p. 247
  23. ^ Iraq war is ending, with last troops out in 2011: Obama
  24. ^ 1991: 'Mother of all Battles' begins
  25. ^ [1]
  26. ^ Obama: Iraq war to end in 2011
  27. ^ Obama tells veterans that end of Iraq war is about to begin
  28. ^ Obama: 'The war is ending,' fulfilling campaign pledge
  29. ^ Obama Declares an End to Combat Mission in Iraq
  30. ^ US in Final Phase of Iraq War
  31. ^ Obama envoy secretly offered troops in Iraq after 2011
  32. ^ Kosovo Campaign Medal

Bibliography[edit]

U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) (6 November 1998). "Name of Technical Sergeant Richard B. Fitzgibbon to be added to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial". DoD. 
Lawrence, A. T. (2009). Crucible Vietnam: Memoir of an Infantry Lieutenant. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. ISBN 978-0-786-44517-2. 

External links[edit]