So here are five straightforward lessons—none acceptable in what passes for discussion and debate in this country—that could be drawn from that last half century of every kind of American warfare:
1. No matter how you define American-style war or its goals, it doesn’t work. Ever.
2. No matter how you pose the problems of our world, it doesn’t solve them. Never.
3. No matter how often you cite the use of military force to “stabilize” or “protect” or “liberate” countries or regions, it is a destabilizing force.
4. No matter how regularly you praise the American way of war and its “warriors,” the US military is incapable of winning its wars.
5. No matter how often American presidents claim that the US military is “the finest fighting force in history,” the evidence is in: it isn’t.