How many military operations do you remember the US carrying out in your lifetime? I remember Desert Storm, and the recent attacks on Afganistan, and of course, Vietnam. I’m sure I’m forgetting a few. But for the most part, I’ve lived in peacetime. Haven’t I?

I was born in 1964. During my lifetime, there have been 182 military operations (including counterdrug operations), many on our own soil. The Federation of American Scientists has a list of operations going all the way back to before the Revolution.

I am grateful that a few of these operations were humanitarian, but that is the minority. Oh, to live in a world where the military was used exclusively to deliver aid. Better yet, a world where a brilliant military force is kept ever-ready–combat trained, highly educated, and wholly superfluous.

So don’t kid yourself. If you think you’ve lived in peacetime, you actually haven’t. But wait, the news gets worse: guess who struck first in the majority of these operations?

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