The United States defeated the Iraqi army in battle in 1991, only to fall into postwar turmoil. In 2003, America did it again. President Obama declared the combat mission in Iraq complete, but conflict wears on. Now, attention has shifted to the 10-year old war in Afghanistan, but our exit strategy remains unclear. Why is the strongest power in modern history so good at winning battles, but so bad at preparing for the aftermath of war? In his new book, “How Wars End,” author Gideon Rose examines wars over the last century, and argues that our leaders have focused too much on beating up the enemy and not enough on careful postwar planning. What can and should leaders do to win not just war, but peace?
Gideon Rose, author, How War Ends: Why We Always Fight the Last Battle, A History of American Intervention from World War I to Afghanistan; editor of Foreign Affairs