The United States has not won a war since 1945. We have been involved in numerous conflicts and our military has performed magnificently — considering the political interference and (mis)direction endured.
This interference has caused us to lose (as in the case of Vietnam) or come to a draw (as in the case of Korea) or had victories given away (as we are now witnessing in
We are following the same formula of failure in
The result of this has been an erosion of international respect that has negatively affected our ability to use international coalitions or the threat of military action as effective suasion. Truth be told, few trust our resolve.
This weakness has forced us into conflicts where we fail to articulate both our political or military missions to our people or to those we are supposedly assisting. Quasi or potential allies tire of our presence and our citizens demand to know when our involvement will end.
He related that when McArthur was placed in charge of
If we could converse, we could develop a bilateral mission statement with intermediate goals which would define our success and continued involvement. It is imperative that the statement be articulated often and realistic progress assessments reported.
Contrary to Gen. McChrystal's belief that we can succeed in Afghanistan, Daniel K. Hays, in his letter last week in the Times, disagrees ("No military, even ours, can never be able to stamp out all terrorist forces," April 11).
As evidence of our preordained failure, Mr. Hays cites that during WWII, partisans were able to create havoc for the helpless Germans. But to suggest that the
Since some of these people — whom even tongue in cheek I would never refer to as "terrorists" — aided my father when he escaped from a Nazi prison camp in Poland (Oflag 64, Szubin, Poland), I have nothing but the utmost respect for their efforts.
Mr. Hays, the Nazis would have exterminated all involved in the French underground — just as millions of brave Vietnamese were killed, imprisoned and forced into exile by the Communist government established by Ho Chi Minh or the liberated people of North Korea.
I am all in favor of bringing our men and women home as soon as the mission is accomplished. That mission is not to make the investment our military has made be in vain, as were previous engagements and now Iraq.