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February 16, 2016

MARK MOYAR: The White House’s Seven Deadly Errors. “Strategic defeat often results from an accumulation of tactical failures. Repeated battlefield setbacks can destroy an adversary’s capabilities, as befell Napoleonic France, or its will, as befell Britain in the American War of Independence. In such cases, military organizations may deserve at least some of the blame for the strategic loss, because in most countries the military leadership bears primary responsibility for training, equipping, and commanding armed forces, functions that are fundamental to tactical effectiveness. Military strategy, by contrast, is often set by civilian leaders, and in the case of the United States it is the statutory prerogative of the civilian commander in chief. . . . A review of America’s military interventions since 2001 reveals that seven broad errors account for America’s inability to turn tactical successes into strategic victories. These errors are described below. In every instance, the error was the direct result of presidential decisions on policy or strategy.”