The ability to win wars and conflicts is vital to a nation’s sovereignty and security. However, in recent decades, the United States has faced numerous challenges in achieving victory in conflicts. This essay explores the notion that America has forgotten how to win wars, attributing this phenomenon to the divisive nature of politics, the lack of commitment to the nation’s founding values and principles, weak leadership, and a failure to support allies. This lack of strategic vision and operational effectiveness has hindered the United States’ ability to prevail in conflicts since World War II.
Divisiveness and Lack of Commitment to Founding Values
One of the primary factors contributing to America’s inability to win wars lies in the divisiveness and lack of commitment to the nation’s founding values and principles. Politicians, driven by partisan interests, have prioritized short-term gains over long-term strategies to combat enemies effectively. This partisan divide prevents the formulation of coherent policies, as politicians tend to focus more on scoring political points than pursuing winning strategies.
The erosion of national unity and a shared sense of purpose has further hindered America’s ability to win wars. Without a collective commitment to a common cause, it becomes increasingly challenging to rally the nation behind a war effort. Consequently, lacking a united front weakens the resolve and determination necessary for victory. Congress needs to do more in its constitutional responsibility to declare wars and then monitor, ensure accountability, and adequately resource the conflict on behalf of the people.
Weak and Politicized Leadership
Another significant factor contributing to America’s struggle to win wars is the growing focus of senior military and civilian leadership on politics rather than achieving victory. The rise of career politicians and the increasing influence of special interest groups have diluted leadership effectiveness as decision-making becomes entangled in political calculations.