Victory and the American Way

By K. David Du

In tonight’s story, I’d like to ask a question to our readers.

What defines victory within the context of war?

Why I ask this question is because in the American way of war, victory defines success and success affects the American public support of the war.

When I say the American way of war is our penchent to settle our wars, compared to other nations, is we fight for unconditional victories. Look up the Civil War, the Spanish American War, and World War 2 as examples of this. The victors were the ones who won the battles.

More recent examples of total victories are the police actions in Kosovo against Serbia, the Gulf War, and the first phase of the Iraq War.

However, in contemporary warfare such as the counterinsurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, we won every military battle but we’re losing the hearts and minds of the American public. Vietnam is probably the most imfamous of this type.

So what do you think? Do we need to totally destroy the enemy to consider a war a victory or must it be much more?

Unfortuntately, the answers to this question may be to not only win the battlefield, but in the hearts and minds of the public.