I am curious if are there any wars still going on because of anomalies of diplomacy like the following examples:

  • Rome vs. Carthage, 264BC - 1985AD,
    Since Carthage was destroyed, there were no official peace until Tunisia and Italy signed one.

  • Montenegro vs. Japan, 1904-2006,
    Montenegro joined up into the conflict between Russia and Japan, but in the meantime lost it's independence and no peace was signed until Montenegro gained it's independence back.

It is fun to read the others, here is the link to the page.

I can see Costa Rica is legally still at war in the first world war with Germany because of legal issues of Costa Rica's government back in time. Second example is Italy vs Japan. In the last days of second world war, the allies' occupied Italy declared war on Japan, but never signed peace between them. Are there more?

To be precise after two answers: I am looking for examples where the peace was signed, but for some reason somebody didn't participated or it isn't valid.

  • 3
    neither example would qualify as in both cases one of the countries ceased to exist. The "peace treaties" were therefore not needed.
    – jwenting
    Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 14:45
  • @jwenting that's why I call them anomalies of diplomacy. In case of Andorra, they just forgot to invite them since they didn't really fight, just declared war. Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 14:49
  • I would appreciate to read the offtopic marker's reason, I can imagine it is pretty much politics too, but it has strong bindings to History. Please explain! Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 8:23
  • nah, I ran into the trap voting myself to close, but at least I can see now who can give answer. Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 8:24

3 Answers 3


As a matter of technicality, it's misleading to say the wars "are still going on" if there is no expectation of hostile action and no current violence. One current popular term is "frozen conflict." There are a number of frozen conflicts right now, where two or more parties have yet to declare peace or to otherwise accede to the outcome of a conflict or demilitarize. See, e.g., this list from wikipedia for a few alleged examples:

  • Arab–Israeli conflict
  • Cross-Strait relations
  • Division of Korea
  • Georgian–Abkhazian conflict
  • Georgian–Ossetian conflict
  • India–Pakistan relations
  • Insurgency in the North Caucasus, including the War in Ingushetia
  • Western Sahara conflict
  • Cyprus dispute

Most of these situations are matters of former border wars or civil wars, or both, where the final outcome is not diplomatically accepted. The recent Crimea incursion might also arguably be included on this list.

The parties in most cases do not want war and have usually managed to minimize violent conflict, but a formal end to the war would signal acceptance of a new situation that one or both sides do not accept.

  • the "arab-Israeli conflict" is no war. I'm not sure if peace treaties were ever signed (except between Israel and Egypt) at the end of any of the several wars that are part of it, but that's a different matters. The current state is not a war, as there's no fighting between the combatants in those wars (I don't see Israeli tanks rolling on Damascus, Or Jordanian and Iraqi bombers laying waste to Haifa for example). Many of the others are similar
    – jwenting
    Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 14:48
  • Korea? There never was a declaration of peace, only an armistice (which the north has repeatedly violated).
    – jwenting
    Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 14:49
  • 1
    Cyprus is another good one I'm tempted to steal in my answer. I think the issue there is that the two main parties (Greece and Turkey) have no interest in resolving it, as they aren't the poor saps who have to live there.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 14:49
  • @jwenting - A common arbitrary definition for "war" versus something smaller, like a skirmish or conflict, is 1,000 casualties. A number of the discrete conflicts involving Israel reach this threshold alone. The entire conflict might be viewed together as a single fight over the existence and scope of the state of Israel, or it might be viewed as discrete wars and smaller conflicts. Israel signed a treaty with Egypt in 1979 (following Camp David Accords) and with Jordan in 1994, with complicated recognition toward the PA (& PLO), but not other Arab states. The situation is unresolved.
    – NL7
    Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 15:05
  • @NL7 you're extending the war between the arab states and Israel to include every single PLO bombing and Hamas rocket launch in the 30 years since the interstate fighting stopped? That's stretching things way too far.
    – jwenting
    Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 6:55

Despite the fact that World War 2 ended on the 15th August 1945 with the surrender of Japan, two belligerents are yet to sign a peace treaty to end the war.

As of today neither Russia or Japan have officially signed a Peace Treaty to end the conflict between them.

This stems from a territorial dispute over the Kuril Islands situated to the north of Japan, Etorofu/Iturup(in Russian), Kunashiri, and Shikotan which are currently part of Russia. The islands were invaded by Russia in 1945 in the closing stages of WW2.

There have been a number of attempts to conclude the signing of a peace treaty, most notably from President Boris Yeltsin in 1990 and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Medvedev in 2009. These were met by a number of setbacks, firstly in the form of Prime Minister Taro Aso saying the islands were illegally invaded, and then by Russian military exercises near the Islands in 2011.

Sources: ForeignAffairs.com, Wikipedia, TheDiplomat.com

  • 2
    the way the Russians try to "conclude" is by bullying the Japanese into agreeing that the islands are Russian, not Japanese. Same way they're trying to "resolve" the "situation" in the Caucasus by annexing entire provinces.
    – jwenting
    Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 6:56

Tons. The most obvious example is the Korean War, which is technically still in effect, although there's been a cease-fire for the last 60 years.

Another rather famous example is the Arab-Israeli wars. Egypt signed a formal peace with Israel in the late 1970's. Jordan didn't officially bow out until 1994 - 20 years later. Most of the rest of the Arab states still refuse to, in part on the grounds that doing so would necessitate admitting that Israel exists as a state.

  • I think he's looking at the reverse...
    – jwenting
    Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 14:49
  • I wanted to exclude it, since it is not a result of diplomatic anomaly, it is a real ongoing war without peace. I would like to see more with official end, but with a special case why is that war still going on. In Korea there is a truce signed, not peace. Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 14:50
  • @CsBalazsHungary - Not sure which you mean by "it". But in both cases there was actual up-and-up conflict with opposing military units that happened and had a definite end date one can point to, even though there's no official peace.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 14:53
  • They both wars are still going on without peace. So there are no official end of the conflicts, they have only truce, which means they might start fighting all over again if some serious issue happens. Unlike for example the war between Japan and Montenegro or Germany and Andorra. Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 14:56

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