Never Call Retreat was the last of eminent historian Bruce Catton's Civil War series. Section 3 of Chapter One is titled "The Politics of War." In it you will read the following
"During many unrewarding months of war, public men in Washington became convinced that the country's woes came from bad leadership. This belief was pessimistic but comforting, because there was always somebody to blame for misfortune, and so whenever bad news arrived, eloquent letters were written...Congressman William H. Wadsworth, a border state conservative, took heart after Fredericksburg (1862) ‘a nation which Lincoln and his controllers could not destroy in two years is immortal.' Ultra-radical senator Zachariah Chandler asserted that folly reigned supreme and complained of ‘fool or traitor generals.'
"....Reflective liberal-intellectuals like George Bancroft...summed up the complaint (about Lincoln's leadership) in a letter to fellow liberal Francis Lieber: ‘How can we reach our president with advice? He is ignorant, self-willed, and is surrounded by men some of whom are almost as ignorant as himself...what to do, when his power must continue for two years longer and when the existence of our country may be endangered before he can be replaced by a man of sense. How hard, in order to save the country, to sustain a man who is incompetent.'"
I would argue that, in the case of Iraq and the war against Islamofascism, America and despite cowardly congressional actions, America must never call retreat.