WINNING BATTLES VERSUS WINNING WARS
Retired Lt. Gen. Dan Bolger, author of the controversial book "Why We Lost," on MTP yesterday:
"…the reality is the U.S. military is all about winning battles but wars are an act of the entire country. One of the challenges that we have, one of the reasons an accounting of these wars as the President said we fought for more than 13 years is in order, we have to determine what we're doing wrong that's preventing us from winning… the military can give you a quick victory over a conventional army. It cannot deliver a rebuilt country in the place you go. That takes an effort in the entire U.S. population and government and moreover it takes the commitment of the American people for the long-term."
I first met Dan back in 1996 when I was researching the 101st Airborne (Air Assault). They were in the middle of an exercise (MEGAGOLD) and Dan was as busy as hell with the fight. Nonetheless, he took the time to give me an insight into what was going on—and impressed me greatly.
I already knew about him because, apart from being a professional soldier (he has now retired with the three star rank of Lieutenant General) he is also an author and I had read several of his books.
I agree with much of what Dan says—he is a thoughtful, intelligent man—but I think if I was writing about the U.S. Army, I would be a little tougher on some issues.
Hmm.. Now, I think about, I am writing about the Army—right now in fact.
This is going to be an interesting year.
VOR words 278.