Best Defense

Has American strategy been undercut by the American lack of a tragic sense?

Yes, avers Col. Isiah Wilson III. In a thorny but interesting essay in the new issue of Parameters, Col. Wilson writes that "One dimension of our tragic flaw is this taste for happy endings itself." He also writes that "the United States’ focus on force led it in many cases to compromise its own core ...

Yes, avers Col. Isiah Wilson III.

In a thorny but interesting essay in the new issue of Parameters, Col. Wilson writes that "One dimension of our tragic flaw is this taste for happy endings itself."

He also writes that "the United States’ focus on force led it in many cases to compromise its own core ideals with greater effectiveness than any enemy could have done."

His conclusion: "A renewed American grand strategy would acknowledge the nation’s tragic flaw: its pride in its force and technology."

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com.

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