Defining victory in most wars is inherently difficult because most wars are fought for limited objectives and because most war aims can be unstable, multiple, intangible, undeclared, and even negative (e.g. not losing or seen to be losing). Defining victory in modern wars is even more difficult because today’s wars are often vague in purpose and lack clear measures of success. In this podcast Dr Jeffrey Record examined the problems and pitfalls of the problem of bringing a war to an end.
Dr Jeffrey Record is a well-known US-based defence policy critic and teaches strategy at the Air War College in Montgomery, Alabama. He has served as a pacification advisor in the Mekong Delta during the Vietnam War, Rockefeller Younger Scholar on the Brookings Institution’s Defense Analysis Staff, and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, the Hudson Institute, and the BDM International Corporation. Dr. Record also has extensive Capitol Hill experience, serving as Legislative Assistant for National Security Affairs to Senators Sam Nunn and Lloyd Bentsen, and later as a Professional Staff Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He is the author of eight books and over a dozen monographs, including Beating Goliath: Why Insurgencies Win; Dark Victory: America’s Second War Against Iraq; Making War, Thinking History: Munich, Vietnam, and Presidential Uses of Force from Korea to Kosovo; Hollow Victory, A Contrary View of the Gulf War; The Wrong War, Why We Lost in Vietnam; and Bounding the Global War on Terrorism.