A new era of ‘persistent conflict’
In the decades after Vietnam, the U.S. military was almost entirely focused on training for a big, unthinkable war with the Soviet Union. There were small conflicts, such as Grenada, Panama and the Persian Gulf War, but the United States was largely at peace until the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, led to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Defense Manpower Data Center; Defense Department. By Greg Jaffe; Julie Tate; Todd Lindeman/The Washington Post.