It is a test of wills

The recent confluence of the confirmation of a new 4 star and the debate about a congressional resolution concerning tactics has provided much fodder for discussion. Senate Resolutions and the War in Iraq (UPDATED) at Q&O takes note of one emphasis by the new general.

We speak often of the psychological aspects of war. This is one of the more critical psychological aspects, especially when contemplating a long-war. If you can convince your enemy he has no hope of success, you’ve planted a very important seed which will indeed germinate if you are able to show any success militarily. In fact, perhaps metastasize is a better word than germinate. It will eat away at his will to go on (going back to the “test of wills” meme).

In any endeavor it is the intangible that can make the difference. The student must know he can succeed and the teacher must not allow any of his bias to convey any other message to the student. Football teams are charged with a will to win no matter the odds and a good coach can use that to win against the odds. Doubt is a cancer and it is the role of the leadership to turn doubts into challenges that can be overcome. That is why the current debate is important: do we take efforts in Iraq as challenges or do we foster doubt about our abilities by reducing our efforts and assuming defeat? (again)

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