The Watchword Is Wariness

Weinberger outlines six criteria for sending troops into combat

Everyone agrees that the long, dreadful U.S. experience in Southeast Asia implies certain important truths about what the nation should and should not attempt overseas. But exactly what are those lessons? In military terms. Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger declared in an address last week, the conclusions are simple: pick wars carefully, make sure the public will cooperate, and then fight to win. Weinberger's rules are nothing new. Thoughtful U.S. military officers have been recommending the same deliberate course for some time. But Weinberger, rather surprisingly, has codified that consensus into an explicit checklist...

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