Dumbest Wars of the Millenium

My votes for the dumbest wars of the Millenium:

The War of the Pacific (1879-1884): Chile and Peru fight a long and bloody war over…Birdshit! It took them until 1929 to agree on what country owned what birdshit!

The Soccer War (1969): Fought between El Salvador and Honduras over a disputed World Cup playoff game. 3,000 killed in four days of heavy combat!

War of Jenkin’s Ear (1739-1743): England started a four-year war with Spain in reaction to a Spanish bureaucrat’s mistreatment of a slave smuggler. (Okay, maybe not so much a dumb war, as much as a dumb name for a war.)

Any other candidates?

The War of the Roses (1455-1485). C’mon! A war over flowers? :slight_smile:

Actually, my choice would be The Vietnam War.
[list][li]The US didn’t want nor need the territory[/li][li]The US conscripted young men in their prime to fight in an undeclared war.[/li][li]The US didn’t understand the guerilla tactics of the enemy.[/li][li]It lasted 16 years (1959-1975), four times longer than WWII.[/li]And all because we didn’t like North Vietnam’s form of government.

And let’s not forget the Falklands War.

Now there’s a real reason to go to war.

Oh, that Argentine Navy, the terror of the seas.

BTW, that is the only war in history (so far) in which a ship has been sunk by a nuclear sub.

I’ll have to disagree with you about the Falklands War, mjollnir. It is simply wrong to reward aggression by surrendering to it.

In my opinion the Argentine Navy and Air Force were very powerful, nearly a match for the Task Force. They used a lot of the same equipment the British did and were much closer to their bases.

Well, ya have to differentiate between wars fought for dumb reasons and wars that went wrong.

The French and Russian revolutions may have begun with only the best of causes and intents, but BOY did they get bolluxed up and turn into hellish, self-defeating bloodbaths!

Mjollinar, you might try telling the then occupants of ships such as the Sir Galahad, Atlantic Conveyer, HMS Sheffield and HMS Glamorgan, among others that the Exocet missiles spearing towards them at mach 0.8 may or may not harm them, depending on whether or not the Super Entendard which launched it was ship or shore launched. :wink:

In the spirit of the original posT, in my opinion, IS the current border dispute between India and Pakistan in the Kashmir region.

One of the points of dispute is on where to draw the border in a mountainous region about 6000 meters in altitude. IIRC, the territory in dispute is covered by a glacier called the Siachen glacier!

One article I read mentioned how this verbal conflict has become physical with the development of military high-altitude technology. I guess you can’t stop progress. :frowning:


Quand les talons claquent, l’esprit se vide.
Maréchal Lyautey

Of course, the real answer should be:

Dumbest wars of the millenium? All of them.

OK, then, how about the (US) Civil War?

If those lazy, White Southerners had just been willing to get off their collective cans and pick their own damn cotton–none of that would have happened.

uh-oh!!!

Let’s differentiate between dumb in conception and dumb in execution.

I always thought the Spanish-American War was pretty dumb on the part of the Spanish (who didn’t really want to fight it). For instance, the Spanish chose their defensive positions so that when the ships were sunk, they sailors had a better chance of swimming to shore. Not very confident.

Then there’s the capture of Guam. A U.S. warship steamed into the harbor and fired a warning shot. No reply, until a boat was sent out. The Spanish soldiers aboard apologized for not returning the salute, but they didn’t have any ammunition. The U.S. Captain informed them that the two countries were at war. After a moment’s consideration, the Spanish forces surrendered.


“East is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does.” – Marx

Read “Sundials” in the new issue of Aboriginal Science Fiction. www.sff.net/people/rothman

Greece & Turkey have been squabbling off and on for centuries over a few God-forsaken rocks, populated mainly by goats, in the middle of the Mediterranean.

Also, Japan & Korea have exchanged words over some rocks out there in the Pacific. They have no natural resources, they’re of no strategic/military signifigance, and they’re populated by a few dozen fishermen who speak Korean.

I guess it all comes down to bragging rights.

How about the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in World War II?

Was that the first time in history that Italy actually took prisoners.

(Rome doesn’t count)

I’d forgoten about the Siachen glacier! I should have put that one on my list. The absurdity of that battlefield would have made Joseph Heller cringe(rest his soul).

If anybody wants to read a great article on what Arnold is talking about, just go to www.latimes.com and register for access to their archives and look up:

. The Highest Battlefield on Earth
Tuesday, March 9, 1999 Home Edition
ID: 0990021464 PART A Section
Byline: DEXTER FILKINS
TIMES STAFF WRITER 1375 words

I vote World War I. After a while (say, ten minuites), there wasn’t any point to it, just a lot of people saying “Well, I’m your ally, I’ll fight with you.” It’s very sad that the Archduke was killed and all, but I think people went a little overboard.


~Kyla

“You couldn’t fool your mother on the foolingest day of your life if you had an electrified fooling machine.”

Here’s one I came across recently:

“King Louis VII of France had a beard when he married Eleanor of Aquitaine in 1137, but when he shaved it off, Eleanor thought he looked ugly without it and insisted he grow it back. Louis refused - so she left him and married King Henry II of England. However, Louis refused to give back Aquitaine, Eleanor’s ancestral lands, which had become part of France when the couple got married. King Henry declared war. ‘The War of the Whiskers’ lasted 301 years, until peace was finally signed in 1453.”

Ranking up there has to be:
The Six Day War - Isreal v. Egypt
The Iraq-Iran border war

The War on Drugs

Appreciate the thought, but totally botched in execution. Unless you’ve invested in the highly lucrative private prison industry.

If we really want to get rid of cocaine/crack, let’s do it- Boom Boom Boom- does Columbia have some massive nuclear arsenal? Que Pasa?

The Chaco War of 1932-1935 between Paraguay and Bolivia is regarded by many historians as one of the biggest head scratchers of all time.

The war was fought over oilfields in a region known as the “Chaco Boreal”, a vast insect infested combination of desert and swampland between the two countries in the center of South America.

When it was all over, 100,000 unemployed workers and starving Indian peasants died in hand to hand combat.

To make this affair even worse, the war was probably financed between two rival OIL COMPANIES.

Standard Oil of New Jersey was awarded oil concessions in Bolivia, while Royal Dutch Shell was backing Paraguay.

Both were eager to acquier the oilfields in this dump, so many many lives were sacrificed.

I have to go with World War I. After killing several million people and devastating Western society, consider what it accomplished: it led to the rise of Nazism, Communism, Yugoslavia, and the Arab-Israeli conflicts.