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Squeaking in at the end of the decade, President Bush sent 12,000 American troops into Panama City on Dec. 20, 1989, in an effort to capture Gen. Manuel Noriega and install the government elected democratically earlier in the year.


The eight-year war was the decade's longest conventional military conflict. Casualty estimates vary widely and reaches as high as 1 million dead, two-third of them Iranian.


Continuing civil war between Soviet-backed government and U.S.-supported insurgents. Moscow withdrew Soviet troops in 1989. The United Nations estimates that 1.5 million Afghans have died. Moscow says 13,310 Red Army soldiers died.


Civil war that started in 1975 continues, with casualties mounting to more than 150,000, most of them civilians. The israeli invasion of 1982 led to additional casualties, including 654 Israelis war dead. Almost 300 U.S. and French peacekeeping soldiers were killed in 1983 bombings.


Argentina and Britain engaged in a short, bloody war in 1982 over disputed islands in the South Atlantic. The air, sea and ground conflict left 712 Argentines and 255 Britons dead.


In a conflict that began in 1979, leftist guerrillas have been battling the U.S.-supported Salvadoran government, and more than 71,000 Salvadorans have died, mostly civilians. Thousands have been killed by right-wing death squads.


Since 1981, Sandinista government troops and U.S.-supported Contras have been locked in sporadic conflict, but the war appears to be ending. At least 29,000 dead, according to President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua.


The Sudan >Peoples' Liberation Army has fought the government since 1983. Casualty figures are not available, but U.N. estimates put the number of war-induced famine deaths at 250,000 in 1988.


The National Resistance Army battled the government from 1981 to 1986, when it seized power. Casualties estimated at between 100,000 and 200,000.


A civil war erupted in 1975 and sputters on, despite a declared 1989 cease-fire. None of the parties released casualty figures, but 200,000 deaths were estimated.


Guerrilla war in which black nationalist South-West African People's Organization sought to end white South African control of territory. Settlment negotiated in 1988. Some 20,000 killed over 23 years.


Separatists in Ethiopia's northern province of Eritrea have been waging war against the central government since 1961. Casualties are estimated at 1 million from fighting and famine. Other separatist conflicts have flared elsewhere in Ethiopia.


Vietnam and a Vietnamese-backed Cambodian government fought a coalition of three guerrilla groups through the '80s. Vietnam said 25,000 of its troops were killed. The Cambodian government said it lost more than 20,000 killed and wounded. Guerrilla casualties were not reported.


Changing attitudes AP/GALLUP POLL

As times change, so do attitudes. The 1980s brought some striking changes in American opinion. Here is a brief look.

Percent of Americans saying they have `a great deal' or `quite a lot' of confidence in the following organizations.

1979 1989 Change

Church 65% 52% -13%

Military 54% 63% +9%

Supreme Court 45% 46% +1%

Public Schools 53% 43% -10%

Banks 60% 42% -18%

Congress 34% 32% -2%

Most important issues:

1979 1989

1. Cost of living, inflation 1. Drugs, drug abuse

2. Energy 2. Budget deficit, poverty, homeless

Most admired men:

1979 1989

1. Jimmy Carter 1. Ronald Reagan

2. Pope John Paul II 2. Mikhail Gorbachev

3. Billy Graham 3. George Bush

4. Anwar Sadat 4. Pope John Paul II

Most admired women: 1979 1989

1. Betty Ford 1. Margaret Thatcher

2. Rosalynn Carter 2. Mother Teresa

3. Golda Meir 3. Nancy Reagan

4. Patricia Nixon 4. Oprah Winfrey

1979 1989

Use alcoholic beverages? 69% 56%

Smoked cigarette in past week? 36% 27%

Memorable quotes of the '80s.

"It's not the most intellectural job in the world, but I do have to know the letters." - Vanna White, "Wheel of Fortune hostess

"If I were a betting man, I'd be willing to bet you I'd never bet on baseball." - Peter Rose, commenting on gambling allegations

"I stand before you to proclaim tonight: America is a land where dreams can come true for all of us." - Rep. Geraldine Ferraro, Democratic candidate for vice president

"I'm not bad - I'm just drawn that way." - Jessica Rabbit, from the movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit."

"We have done a great thing. But we shall do still bigger things." - Lech Walesa, Polish Solidarity union leader

"Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack KIennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy." - Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, from vice presidential debate with Dan Quayle

"Don't worry, be happy." - Bobby McFerrin, singer

"Comrades, this man has a nice smile. But he has teeth of iron." - Andrei Gromyko, from nominating speach for Mikhail Gorbachev

"Just say no." - Nancy Reagan, slogan for anti-drug campaign.

"If you have a monogamous relationship, keep it. If you don't have one, get it." - Surgeon General C. Edward Koop