Thursday, June 16, 2011

Why Can't We Win Wars?

With the recent spectacle of the Secretary of Defense refusing to say whether or not we are winning in Afghanistan, and our seeming inability to even define what winning means in wars any more, Mark Steyn's article, "Too Big to Win," is a must-read. It's a long column, but it makes numerous excellent points. Here's one example.
An army has to wage war on behalf of something real. For better or worse, “king and country” is real, and so, mostly for worse, are the tribal loyalties of Africa’s blood-drenched civil wars. But it’s hardly surprising that it’s difficult to win wars waged on behalf of something so chimerical as “the international community.” If you’re making war on behalf of an illusory concept, is it even possible to have war aims? What’s ours? “[We] are in Afghanistan to help the Afghan people,” General Petraeus said in April. Somewhere generations of old-school imperialists are roaring their heads off, not least at the concept of “the Afghan people.” But when you’re the expeditionary force of the parliament of man, what else is there?
The whole article is worth reading.

h/t The Atheist Conservative


  1. Well: 1) Political Correctness; 2) General Left-wing lunacy. 3) Left-wing cowardice (and perhaps treason and subversion).

    I mean these in the local and direct sense, that is, PC rules of engagement, bizarre visions of ultimate war goals, strategies and tactics, and the broader and more indirect sense, that is, the degradation of culture, society and language, the corruption of institutions, particularly political and governmental institutions, and a corrosion of the spirit.

    Leftism is, in the end, death, and death not just of the physical body.

    A case in point of all of this is the brouhaha over DADT. Here we are in the middle of a mortal assualt against our very civilization in and engaged in a protracted conflict where we have a radical and extreme advantage, and yet one of our major concerns seems to me "the rights" of homosexuals in the Military. History will take a much less charitable view of this lunacy than do our media pundits. We are now nearly a decade ofter 9/11. Consider where America was a decade after Pearl Harbor. Nothing could more clearly signal a profound moral decline.

    One hopes that the historians that write that history at least speak English. If we do not turn the Leftist tide it is a pretty good bet that they will not be free Americans who write it.

  2. @ Anonymous - Oh sigh – ‘them gays’ are the downfall of civilization...

    War is waged these days more as a jobs program for the military-industrial complex – as long as we are in a state of war (and why would any congress critter care if there is a well-defined exit strategy\winning conditions), the Boeings, GEs, Halliburton, are having a good quarter and keeping employed all those engineers and technicians and assembly workers.

    Perhaps before blaming the evil gays, you should read President Eisenhower’s take on the dangers of the military industrial complex when he left office.