A timeline of US military adventures and misadventures around the world since World War II
1950-1953 Korean War: Communist North Korea, supported by China, invades South Korea. UN forces, principally made up of US troops, fight to defend South Korea. The Korean War is the first armed conflict in the Cold War.
1961 Cuba: The US orchestrates the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion, an unsuccessful attempt by Cuban exiles to overthrow Fidel Castro's communist regime in Cuba.
1961-1973 Vietnam War: In 1955, communist North Vietnam invades non-communist South Vietnam in an attempt to unify the country and impose communist rule. The United States joins the war on the side of South Vietnam in 1961, but later withdraws combat troops in 1973. In 1975, North Vietnam succeeds in taking control of South Vietnam. The Vietnam War is the second longest conflict the US ever fought and the first war it lost.
1965 Dominican Republic: US president Lyndon Johnson sends marines and troops to quash a leftist uprising fearing the Dominican Republic might follow in the footsteps of Cuba and turn communist.
1982 Lebanon: US troops form part of a multinational force to help the Lebanese government maintain power in the politically volatile country. In 1983, 241 US Marines and 60 French soldiers are killed by a truck bomb. The multinational force withdraws in 1984.
1983 Grenada: US President Ronald Reagan invades the Caribbean Island nation of Grenada to overthrow its socialist government, which has close ties with Cuba. US forces remains there until 1985.
1989 Panama: US President George H. W. Bush invades Panama and overthrows Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega. Noriega is later tried and convicted on a number of charges, and is imprisoned in the United States.
1991 Gulf War (Kuwait and Iraq): Iraq invades the country of Kuwait. The Gulf War begins and ends swiftly when a US-led multinational force comes to Kuwait's aid and expels Saddam Hussein's forces.
1993 Somalia: A US-led multinational force attempts to restore order to war-torn Somalia so that food can be delivered and distributed within the famine-stricken country.
1994 Haiti: After Haiti's president Jean-Bertrand Aristide is ousted in a coup in 1991, a US invasion three years later restores him to power.
1994-1995 Bosnia: During the Bosnian civil war, which begins shortly after the country declares independence in 1992, the US launches air strikes on Bosnia. It becomes a part of NATO's peacekeeping force in the region.
1999 Kosovo: Yugoslavia's province of Kosovo erupts in war in the spring of 1999. A US-led NATO force intervenes with air strikes after Slobodan Milosevic's Serbian forces uproot the population and embark on a plan of ethnic cleansing of Kosovo's ethnic Albanian population.
2001-Present Afghanistan-The US and UN coalition forces invade Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks. The Taliban government is ousted. Thereafter, the Taliban begin regrouping. By 2005, the Taliban and coalition troops are engaged in ongoing clashes with coalition troops. By 2021, when the US are finally ready to leave, the war becomes the longest and most expensive war the US ever fought.
2003-2010 Iraq War: The US and Great Britain invade Iraq and topple the government of Saddam Hussein. The US engagement in Iraq continues for the next several years amid that country's escalating violence and fragile political stability. On August 31, 2010, President Obama announces the end of US combat missions in Iraq.
2011 Libya- In early 2011, a coalition of nineteen states began intervening in the civil infighting in Libya. By March, NATO assists rebel forces against the government of Muammar Gaddafi. The intervention lasts until November, when fighting tapers off temporarily following Gaddafi's death.
2012-2019 War with ISIL- In 2012 militants in Iraq and Syria declare a new caliphate and rapidly seize a large territory. They begin a widespread campaign to cultivate domestic terrorism in other countries and to recruit new members. The United States and NATO allies begin a long campaign to contain and reverse the spread of ISIL.
2017-Present, Syria - After several years of launching airstrikes in Syria against ISIL, the United States pivots to launching airstrikes against the Assad regime and its regional allies.