Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has been explaining the new US approach to war in a series of speeches. Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post writes:
The speeches, delivered at Kansas State University and the Army's Fort Leavenworth, amount to a formal effort on the part of the chairman to codify how a decade of combat is changing the military's understanding of its role in battle and, more broadly, its place in U.S. foreign policy.
"In this type of war, when the objective is not the enemy's defeat but the people's success, less really is more," Mullen said. "Each time an errant bomb or a bomb accurately aimed but against the wrong target kills or hurts civilians, we risk setting our strategy back months, if not years. [emphasis added]
I'm speechless. The objective is not the enemy's defeat.
Quoting Winston Churchill, of whom there has rarely been a politician nor military man of more considerable classical education, which means the ability to remember the Past and recall its lessons and their applicability to our Present ...
"There is no greater mistake than to suppose that platitudes, smooth words, and timid policies offer a path to safety."
"How many wars have been averted by patience and good will?"
"When nations are strong, they are not always just and when they wish to be just, they are no longer strong."
"Victory will never be found by taking the line of least resistance."
"I cannot subscribe to the idea that it might be possible to dig ourselves in and make no preparations for anything else than passive defense. It is the theory of the turtle."
"I never worry about action, but only about inaction."