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Why Has America Stopped Winning Wars?

02.06.2015  |  23:27
Why Has America Stopped Winning Wars?

Why does the United States struggle in war? How can it resolve a failing conflict? Can America return to victory?

~snip~

Today, these are critical questions because we live in an age of unwinnable conflicts, where decisive triumph has proved to be a pipe dream.

~snip~

The price of military triumph was often immense. In the Civil War alone, there were around 750,000 American fatalities—more than the deaths in every other U.S. war combined. But if the costs of conflict were staggering, so were the benefits. The Civil War saved the Union and emancipated the slaves. World War II ensured the survival of liberal democracy in Western Europe. For Americans, golden-age conflicts became the model of what war ought to look like.

And then, all of a sudden, the United States stopped winning major wars. The golden age faded into the past, and a new dark age of U.S. warfare emerged. Since 1945, Americans have experienced little except military frustration, stalemate, and loss.

The martial dusk began with the Korean War, which deteriorated into a grim stalemate at a cost of nearly 37,000 American lives. Meanwhile, in Vietnam, the United States faced outright military defeat for the first time in its history—and, most shockingly, against North Vietnam, a “raggedy-ass little fourth-rate country,” as Lyndon Johnson put it.

Why Has America Stopped Winning Wars?. 598.jpegAfter World War II, the U.S. constructed the most expensive military machine that ever existed—and endured seven decades of martial frustration.

~snip~

Since 1945, in terms of victory in a major war, the United States is one for five. The Gulf War in 1991 is the only success story. The dark age is a time of protracted fighting, featuring the three longest wars in American history (Afghanistan, Iraq, and Vietnam).

(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...

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