15 January 2013

Chuck Hagel Quotes

Ricks has a nice roundup of Ten Hagel Quotes You Need to Know.

Some are quite thoughtful, like
"The worst thing we can do, the most dangerous thing we can do is continue to isolate nations, is to continue to not engage nations. Great powers engage."

"We must avoid the traps of hubris and imperial temptation that comes with great power."

But I was most struck by this one, especially the key quote in the exposition: "Win what?"

“We forgot all the lessons of Vietnam and the preceding history.”

In 2009, Hagel challenged President Obama and the United States to get out of Afghanistan and Iraq sooner rather than later, arguing that neither war was America’s to win. “Win what?” he asked, explaining that changing minds and the quality of life in places like the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region would require “political accommodation and reconciliation.” That term was far more controversial three years ago, when Hagel inked it in the Washington Post. And, again, Hagel pushed for long-term, multinational coalition building across regions that work with perceived adversaries to find common interests. “Does anyone believe we will get to a responsible resolution on Iran without Russia?” Good question, still.

So I ask, dear readers: "Win what?"

What did we "win" in Iraq?

What do we expect to "win" in Afghanistan?

By: Brant


S O said...

Is the identity of the first two quotes intentional?

Brant said...

Nope. Thanks for pointing that out, and it'll get fixed in editing momentarily!