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Defining “Victory”

Apparently, the DoD doesn’t know what victory looks like (HT to ArcPat, by whom I learned of Mr. Waller).

Another thought from ArcPat:

If it’s worth fighting for, then WIN. The desired end state is end the threat. By any means necessary. Any outcome other than victory in a fight worth fighting is unacceptable. Choosing to lose in such a fight is immoral. Any fight in which you can afford any intentional and unnecessary risk of losing is a fight that perhaps you shouldn’t have fought.

But what is victory? Here’s an acceptable definition, as far as I’m concerned:

For a defined enemy E, objective O and opposition force F, victory is defined by F as the inability of E to exercise it’s will towards achieving O due to the actions of F, and the ability of F to exercise it’s own will towards O without interference from E.

Note that the definition encompasses both offensive and defensive action, and does not settle for just one or the other. Also, the “actions of F” could be interpreted to mean action or inaction, as long as the will of E is hampered. Let’s look at some examples:

  • Ambrose Burnside (E) seeks to destroy (O) Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia (F) at Fredericksburg. Lee acts to prevent this by placing his forces behind strong defenses, covered by artillery on high ground with clear fields of fire against their enemy.
  • In Atlas Shrugged, John Galt (F) wishes to preserve his work (O) from moochers and looters (E). He does this by withdrawing from society and doing business only with fellow Atlases. This prevents the looters from gaining access to his work, and provides him a market in which he wishes to sell his work.
  • VA Rifleman (F) wishes to preserve his wealth (O) from inflation caused by the Federal Government (E). He exchanges his FRNs for Gold and Silver coin when the Fed causes inflation. The will of E towards my wealth is hampered because their actions work towards my benefit and not theirs.

Discuss, please.

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