Naval War College Review


Richard Norton


If the story of the military history of the United States could somehow be pre- sented in a single museum, the most grand and widely visited halls would be those dedicated to the American Revo- lution, the Civil War, and World War II. Less visited, but still of interest, would be much smaller exhibits de- voted to World War I, Korea, Vietnam, and DESERT STORM. Conflicts such as the War of 1812 and the war with Mex- ico might rate a single dusty showcase in some obscure corner. Tucked out of sight, rarely seen, and all but forgotten would be cabinets, crates, and cartons packed with the jumbled stories of bush wars, expeditions, occupations, paci- fications, and reprisals—the often sanguinary and surprising “small wars” of the U.S. military experience.