War is always a nightmare. These wars shattered all sense of purpose or proportion. They describe how Americans have experienced battle and the impacts it has had, despite being terrifying and existentially perplexing. They’re worth comparing because of what they have in common and what they tell about our attitude toward conflict. Wayne Lee’s book The Other Face of Battle tells us that “asymmetrical” or “irregular” combat is no longer the exception but the norm. Knowing its origins seem to be more important than ever.