Read what the President-elect's National Security Advisor had to say about winning wars a couple of months ago. Military Review is the professional journal of the Army's intermediate-level professional school, the Command and General Staff College.
Extracts Below the Fold
Important questions about our military services and their Title 10 responsibilities, the size of the Pentagon’s bureaucracy, and whether our combatant commands under Goldwater-Nichols mandates had lost sight of their true reasons for existing all came up during testimony and the question-and-answer session that followed. However, what was most disturbing to me about the testimony given and the ensuing discussion was what we did not talk about. We did not discuss winning—or more candidly—why it appears that we can no longer win.
…our military leaders should feel morally bound to protest, in a meaningfully way, the
political mindset that routinely embarks the U.S. military on participating in wars—often not even insisting that they be called wars—with no clear metrics describing a victorious end state, and does so just because it has a professional military available and it can.
…war zone pizza parlors and burger barns serve as a collective metaphor for the inappropriate ease
and comfort that policy makers now too easily promote within the military toward war making that is
reflected in a lack of strategic purpose that should aim at victory in as short a time as possible.
…to win this war, we must defeat IS not only by direct action against its claimed land space
and physical assets, but also by attacking the value system and moral code it uses to recruit through an information war.
…also taking dramatic steps to cut off the support they receive from a host of players, including unfortunately, many of whom are among those we nominally consider allies but who are covertly supplying and supporting IS for their own national or personal purposes.