“Mission accomplished,” George Bush famously proclaimed in reference to the defeat of Saddam Hussein’s military organization. However, as recent events in Iraq have once again demonstrated, it is much easier to start a war than it is to end it.
Every War Must End, which Colin Powell credits in his autobiography with having shaped his thinking on how to end the first Gulf War, analyzes the many critical obstacles to ending a war – an aspect of military strategy that is frequently and tragically overlooked. This book explores the difficult and often painful process through which wars in the modern age have been brought to a close and what this process means for the future. Iklé considers a variety of examples from twentieth-century history and examines specific strategies that effectively “won the peace,” including the Allied policy in Germany and Japan after World War II.
In the new preface to his classic work, Iklé explains how U.S. political decisions and military strategy and tactics in Iraq – the emphasis on punishing Iraqi leaders, not seeking a formal surrender, and the failure to maintain law and order-have delayed, and indeed jeopardized, a successful end to hostilities.
Author: Fred Charles Iklé