Winning the War by Winning the Peace: Strategy for Conflict and Post-Conflict in the 21st Century

  • December 01, 2004
  • COL Lloyd J Matthews

During each of the last 15 years, the U.S. Army War College has sponsored a broad-based strategy conference that addresses a major security issue of current relevance to the United States, its allies, and, indeed, the entire world. The conference theme for year 2004 was "Winning the War by Winning the Peace: Strategy for Conflict and Post-Conflict in the 2st Century." Informed by the Korean, Vietnam, and Gulf wars fought by the United States and its allies during the last half of the 20th century wars in which, despite the qualitative superiority of our forces, the outcomes proved to be less than satisfactory. The conference theme for 2004 entailed a deep probe into the question of how can the West, in this new century of omnipresent terrorism, capitalize on its superior military and economic might to achieve a satisfying and enduring modus vivendi. The search for answers to this central question was lent added relevance and urgency by the fact that the allied anti-insurgency wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were transpiring even as the conference proceeded and, indeed, even as this report goes to press.