Carl von Clausewitz, the great military tactician and theorist, often called war the “continuation of politics by another means.” If he was thinking about any of these five wars when he formulated that notion, then Clausewitz had a pretty dim view of the political process. Today we examine some of history’s most protracted conflicts; you might also notice that many of these long wars were nearly pointless in the greater scheme of things. Some wars are brief and violent, but effect change. Some are long and drawn out, but ultimately decisive. Others, like the longest war in history, were pointless.