Before going to war again, our leaders must first decide on what we mean to accomplish and how far we are willing to go to win. Otherwise, we will again subject our troops to unnecessary
confusion, stress, and personal risk, as we did in Vietnam and are doing now in Iraq.
First, let's be clear on the meaning of war. It is deadly business, both for the troops who fight it and the civilians caught up in it. It is ugly and cruel, not exciting and glamorous as so often portrayed in Hollywood. Wars are fought primarily by young men barely out of high school who are still maturing and forming values. They don't have the luxury of weighing the morality of their actions from safe and comfortable homes and TV studios. Split-second decisions on whether or not to use lethal force are required in situations where their lives and those of their comrades hang in the balance.