Why America Loses Wars: Limited War and US Strategy from the Korean War to the Present
America loses wars because America doesn’t want to win wars because America doesn’t believe in the dichotomy of winning/losing anymore is Donald Stoker’s point. He tells us this immediately and hits us over the head with it for the next couple hundred pages because a book is an argument and arguments are to be won. Donald Stoker believes in winning.
Wars must have an objective, like, c’mon, Stoker says. If they don’t got an objective, then what are we doing here? War now “seems an exercise in risk management for too many political leaders,” lacking not only a formal declaration, but any real, clear thought process, and therefore “[poisoning] the US ability to fight any war.”
Stoker draws a lot from Carl von Clausewitz, the early nineteenth-century military theorist extraordinaire, which makes sense – one doesn’t usually become extraordinaire for no reason – but this heavy reliance also risks ignoring two hundred years of history & technological advancement. Stoker’s argument is that the underlying psychology of war ain’t changed much in thirty thousand some odd years of human existence, but the dramatic changes since Clausewitz strolled the battlefield are worth considering.
|Cambridge University Press
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