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Vietnam, Iraq, Kosovo, Afghanistan

The lowest point for the American military was the Vietnam War (1963-1975), an era during which returning soldiers were more often spit upon than welcomed. By the time of the American involvement in the Gulf War against Iraq in 1990-1991, however, the country was ready to bend over backwards to support its troops overseas. Yellow ribbons, signifying the desire to see the troops return as soon as possible, sprang up all over the country. American leadership of the Nato air war in Kosovo in 1999, though extremely effective, was less popular with the American public. The US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 had broad popular support among the American public at first, but ran into difficulties as casualties mounted. The United States also has maintained an involvement in Afghanistan since shortly after the terrorist attacks on the US in September, 2001.

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