Indeed, military history plays out well on the silver screen. The major wars of American history--the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War Two, etc have clear-cut good guys and bad guys. In those wars, the "good guys" win. They fit neatly into an action-packed two hour extravaganza, complete with explosions. I mean, everyone loves explosions, right? Absolutely, we all do.
But unfortunately, not all wars are won with the cool little cut-away diagrams found in thousands of military technical books. Nor are they always won in dramatic battles, despite the emphasis placed on destroying the enemy through decisive battle by Karl von Clausewitz, Jomini, and the Civil War wall art which adorns many military headquarters.
Rather, much of US military history has been dominated by "small wars"--involvement in Latin America, counterinsurgency in Afghanistan, even a campaign in the Soviet Union which conveniently got left out of most history books.
Every Soldier secretly wants to be the hero in the big battle, but the fact of the matter is, the big battles are far and few between in the world. Rather, the real contributions to national security, as well as economic and political stability across the globe are being waged by Soldiers purifying water, curing disease, and playing the difficult balancing act of simultaneously hunting down insurgents while building popular support among the populace.
We live in a world where the best intelligence may not be gleaned from a billion dollar satellite, but from a small child who receives a few life savers. A water purifying unit or an IV needle isn't expensive, nor is it sexy, but it's incredibly vital for fighting the small wars of the early 21st Century.
I figure my next goal is to bring sexy back...to Small Wars.
Edit: I now vow to include more Megan Fox pictures to improve one's awareness of Small Wars!