I have watched an interview where one participant argued that the world is experiencing less and less war compared to what it used to. To emphasize this idea, he said that declaring war is something really rare nowadays and perhaps the last time it happened was between N. Korea and U.S.


I thought of digging a little bit. Not sure, but I think that so-called declaration of war that might have involved N. Korea and the U.S. did not actually happen:

A top North Korean diplomat said on Thursday that the U.S. has “crossed the red line” and declared war against the country by placing the country’s leader Kim Jong Un on a list of sanctioned individuals in connection with alleged human rights abuses in the authoritarian state.

Searching more I could find this article about Chad declaring war ("state of belligerence") on Sudan:

Chad said on Friday a "state of belligerence" existed between itself and Sudan following attacks on an eastern border town by rebels it said were armed and directed by the Sudanese government. While President Idriss Deby's government stopped short of declaring war or breaking ties with Sudan, the statement was the toughest so far against its eastern neighbour over the Dec. 18 attacks against the border town of Adre.

If I understand correctly, there was no actual war declaration here.

A more recent war is the Russo-Ukrainian one, but there does not seem to be any declaration of war here.

When did the last (formal) declaration of war actually occur?

  • 4
    Does this answer your question? Declared wars since 1945? If not, please to clarify. Thanks. Commented May 20, 2021 at 7:19
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    That list is useful, but it also includes state of wars without being declared. I will check them to find the latest state of war that actually includes a declaration.
    – Alexei
    Commented May 20, 2021 at 9:25
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    @LarsBosteen - That table in there comes close, but I think the dates and sorting in there are for the start of the conflict in question, and not nessecarily the date of any formal declaration. I tried double-checking with the last one on there, can couldn't easily find a reference to any formal declaration, let alone a date. So it seems like this isn't in fact easily answerable through that one reference link.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented May 20, 2021 at 14:37
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    What would constitute a "declaration of war"? At least according to the NYT a separatist group in Western Sahara "declared war (...) on Morocco" just in November 2020. There seems to be a decree in play from that separatist group that one could consider a "declaration of war", but I can't read arabic. So I'd agree with T.E.D., declarations of war don't seem to be a thing of the past. Also, in history, not every armed conflict has been formally "declared", either. Commented May 20, 2021 at 19:55
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    Actual declaration of war is somewhat illegal after 1945, when most countries joined UN. UN charter prohibits wars as a means for resolving disputes and allows only defensive wars and actions to restore peace. Of course, what is defense is debatable and great powers (especially US) did invade other countries under various pretenses in modern time .
    – rs.29
    Commented May 20, 2021 at 21:51


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