Is It All About Winning?   [open pdf - 43KB]

This document aims to explain the effects of modifying our military away from the "winning decisively" mentality. "Major General James Dubik, J-9 for U.S. Joint Forces Command, contends that one of the requirements for transforming the military to become an effective future force is to expand the definition of war. The Army is embracing a larger mission set of appropriate military activity, but is not calling it war. Either characterization of the notion of broader utility for military forces calls for a shift in the military lexicon of winning, despite how comfortable we might be with analogies of sports and other games of competition. Whereas the overly idealized traditional view of war saw its conclusion in terms of winning or losing, it makes little sense to talk of winning a reconstruction or humanitarian effort. Success in either of these activities can be defined and measured by using evaluation research techniques, though we can expect to always encounter issues of validity and reliability. But there are no opponents to concede defeat and certainly no referees to call 'end of game' and declare a winner."

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U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute: http://www.carlisle.army.mil/ssi/
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