- Colonel Paul YinglingNobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.
Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.
All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
It's the most fundamental principle of economics. If a person wants something, they are going to pursue the most effective means of obtaining it-- and if all legitimate means of obtaining that object are closed off, they will turn to illegitimate means.
"To waste, to destroy, our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by rights to hand down to them."~ Theodore Roosevelt (Message to Congress, Dec. 3, 1907)
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Laura make much of me