- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008. He can be reached at email@example.com.
The British did it in the American Revolution. We did it in Iraq. I don’t know if we did it in Afghanistan, but I wouldn’t be surprised.
In a ring around New York and northern New Jersey, the British had Loyalists take loyalty oaths, which later were used against them by Revolutionaries. “As the war progressed, the British field generals time and again undermined the loyalists or used them ineffectively by not holding the ground the army had taken.”
This is more than inattentiveness. In a war for the support of the people, it is doing the job of the enemy.
We need to redefine victory: It is not just removing the enemy, it is achieving the objective. You have not won if your military operations just make potential supporters more vulnerable.
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