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Why Can’t America Win Its Wars? by the Hoover Institution

Why Can t America Win Its Wars Hoover Institution


The wars waged by the George H. W. Bush administration in Panama in 1989 and the Arabian Gulf in 1991 had a better outcome. Among the reasons for success in these endeavors were clearly articulated and achievable goals, broad domestic and international support, the application of overwhelming military force, and clearly articulated end states that precluded a lengthy commitment of US forces in the aftermath of conflict. Kuwaitis were delighted at their liberation by coalition forces, and Panamanians were ambivalent enough about the departure of the dictator Manuel Noriega to preclude their taking to the jungle to fight on in a guerrilla struggle. The US return of control of the Panama Canal to the Panamanians a decade later helped to salve any lingering resentment.

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The short answer is: It's complicated. 

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