With few exceptions, the U.S. military, certainly since the Korean War, has had an unprecedented capacity for winning all of the battles it has fought. Yet, concurrently, the U.S. government has a parallel capacity for losing wars, defined as failing to gain its objectives in the peace that followed the end of hostilities. Consider the wars and major conflicts the United States has waged over the past nine decades.
We entered World War I in April 1917, late in a contest that began in 1914. American man and material power turned the tide, enabling the exhausted Allies to defeat the equally exhausted Central Powers. But the subsequent peace was a disaster, sowing the seeds for another world war two decades later.
Of the many reasons that caused us to lose the peace, the greed and anger of the Allies in seeking reparations and the failure of President Woodrow Wilson to secure bipartisan support from the Senate for the Versailles Treaty were atop the list.