The United States faces daunting international challenges. Uncertain strategic objectives, questionable alliances, and fuzzy policy goals make it seem as though we are spread too thin everywhere to be effective anywhere. It seems that this is new to our times—that our challenges were much simpler in other eras—but during the chaotic years of World War II, the United States was similarly vexed.

While the enemies were arguably clearer then, there were, for example, contentious debates over military strategy and priorities, problematic alliances with China and the Soviet Union, and policy differences on demands for unconditional surrender. What was never in question, however, was America’s resolve to respond with a commonality of purpose and breadth of global reach. Never was this more in evidence than in June of 1944.

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