The Right Way to Lose a War: America in the Age of Unwinnable Conflicts

The Right Way to Lose a War: America in the Age of Unwinnable Conflicts
Prof. Dominic Tierney

Thursday, December 5, 2013
4:30-5:30 p.m.
Scheuer Room, Kohlberg Hall
Swarthmore College

Directions

Army's Top Marksmen Mentor Afghan National Army Rifle Range Instructors

isafmedia via Flickr under Creative Commons license 2.0

Since 1945, most major American wars have ended in regret. The era of U.S. power has also been a time of military frustration, stalemate, and loss, in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq. What should we do when a conflict becomes an unwinnable war? Can we cut our losses and leave without seeing everything we fought for crumble into ashes?

The stakes are incredibly high. How wars end, and the U.S. exit strategy from conflict, may decide the fate of thousands of American soldiers, impact America’s reputation and global image, cast a long shadow over the home front, and shape the future of the allied country.

tierney

Based on interviews with dozens of leading generals, ambassadors, and secretaries of state, this book project provides a guide to handling military failure and escaping from a quagmire. The talk will explain how the United States can avert military disaster, negotiate with opponents, withdraw its troops, train local forces, bind the wounds of veterans, reconcile with enemies, and remember military loss in ways that foster national learning and renewal.

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