A proxy war or proxy warfare is a war that results when opposing powers use third parties as substitutes for fighting each other directly. While powers have sometimes used governments as proxies, violent non-state actors, mercenaries, or other third parties are more often employed. It is hoped that these groups can strike an opponent without leading to full-scale war.
Proxy wars have also been fought alongside full-scale conflicts. It is almost impossible to have a pure proxy war, as the groups fighting for a certain nation usually have their own interests, which can diverge from those of their patron.
Typically proxy wars function best during cold wars, as they become a necessity in conducting armed conflict between at least two belligerents while continuing cold warfare.
Famous quotes containing the word war:
“... there was the first Balkan war and the second Balkan war and then there was the first world war. It is extraordinary how having done a thing once you have to do it again, there is the pleasure of coincidence and there is the pleasure of repetition, and so there is the second world war, and in between there was the Abyssinian war and the Spanish civil war.”
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