Webster's defines Civil War as "war between geographical sections or political factions of the same nation."
Just in case those nuances are too subtle, Political scientists like to impose a tangible threshold of 1,000 dead as a metric establishing when a conflict has truly reached the status of Civil War.
GlobalSecurity.org suggests five criteria that must be met in order for Civil War to exist: The contestants must
- control territory
- have a functioning government
- enjoy some foreign recognition
- have identifiable regular armed forces
- engage in major military operations.