Col. Harry G. Summers Jr. begins his book, On Strategy: The Vietnam War in Context, by relaying the following conversation: “‘You know you never defeated us on the battlefield,’ said the American colonel. The North Vietnamese colonel pondered this remark a moment. ‘That may be so,’ he replied, ‘but it is also irrelevant.’” As much as we may not want to admit it, in this sense, our current war against al Qaeda and their ilk resembles that of Vietnam. In fighting our post- 9/11 wars, we have won nearly every battle but are far from winning the war. How can this be? The answer lies largely in the civil military nexus that underpins how America wages war.
Changes for November 24, 2014 Update: On November 23, Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga, Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), and Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs) that include Iraqi Shi’a militias cleared the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham from the areas of Jalula and Sadia in Diyala province in northeastern Iraq.