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German Emperors bore the title of Warlord (German: Kriegsherr), sometimes as a formal label of honour, sometimes in grim earnest.

More recently the word warlord has become a general pejorative term that refers to a person who has de facto military control of a subnational area by virtue of military force which is personally obedient to that warlord.

Groups of rival warlords predominate in the rule of Somalia. As of 2003 much of Afghanistan, despite the presence of non-regional military forces there, also remains under warlord control.

Historical warlordism in China

Warlords exercised widespread rule in China several times in Chinese history, notably in the period from the overthrow of the empire in 1911 until the Northern Expedition in 1927.

Chinese warlords include:

DC Comics published a comic book called The Warlord from 1976. Vietnam veteran pilot Travis Morgan, the title character, passes through a dimensional barrier to the sword and sorcery world of Skartaris, in a move strongly reminiscent of Edgar Rice Burroughs. The book was DC's answer to Marvel Comics's popular Conan the Barbarian title.