Landing party at Veracruz, 1914 (Courtesy Hampton Roads Naval Museum)
Last week, the U.S. hit a Syrian airfield with 59 cruise missiles as retaliation for Syria’s alleged use of banned nerve agents on its own civilian population. Some have questioned whether or not the strike went too far or perhaps did not go far enough. Many – including myself – equated it to the Clinton administration’s use of cruise missiles against targets in Iraq, the Balkans, Sudan, and Afghanistan in the 1990’s: limited force to make a statement, but nothing more.
Leaving aside the issue of what our future strategy will be for Syria, let’s take a look back at little-known episodes in American history where limited force on foreign soil has been used for limited gain.
First Sumatran Expedition – 1832
Probably one of the first times that Americans saw the name of a place in the…
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