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The Boston Globe

Ideas

How Grenada reshaped the US military

Three decades ago, a tiny war changed the armed services for good.

On Oct. 25, 1983, the United States invaded the tiny Caribbean island republic of Grenada, a military mismatch analogous to a Goliath doing battle with a David—only with no sharp stones in the shepherd’s pouch.

Hostilities on the island were declared over within a week. The invasion is remembered today in America, if at all, as a brushfire war where the US military won a restorative victory in its first full-fledged combat since the ignominious end of the Vietnam War a decade earlier.

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