The Will to Win

| Wed Oct. 27, 2010 4:21 PM EDT

Mark Thompson writes about the conduct of war:

When I think of wars I've known, they seem to boil down to a three-legged stool: capability, will and time. The U.S. always has plenty of capability; will and time — not so much. Dollars can buy capability, but not the other two.

I think this is a dangerous misconception. He's talking about Afghanistan, a war that's been going on for nearly a decade. Despite the famous impatience of the American public, the United States has had plenty of time. What it's lacked is capability. It's possible that more resources earlier might have helped, but that's not a sure thing by any stretch. This is not a war that can be won simply by pouring more resources into it. One of these days this is something we have to get straight about.