(See K. K. Miller, p. 10, December 2007 Proceedings)
Captain Rick Jacobs, U.S. Navy Reserve (Retired)—In his analysis of the Vietnam War, On Strategy, the late Colonel Harry Summers explains the seminal error we made in accepting the enemy's definition of the war as an insurgency rather than an invasion. Because of that we failed to isolate the battlefield, focused our troops on peripheral objectives, and lost the war. It is crucial that we understand the nature of the war against extreme Islamism, a struggle spanning continents and reaching back centuries.
Iraq is not the war; it is a campaign in the war, for both sides. Part of a coherent grand strategy may be to withdraw from that theater. But "closing operations in Iraq" would not end the war, since the war is not limited to Iraq. There are centers of gravity outside of it and, stay or go, our commanders need an effective strategy to engage them. Mr. Miller offers only a jeremiad of doom, as defeatist a piece of work as the Naval Institute has ever published.