If It Could Happen to Churchill...

Could it befall Bush? Why a wartime leader's success can be his downfall

Wartime leaders have always faced the worst fear: defeat in battle. But in democracies at least, war leaders also confront another danger: success. The qualities that make for great statesmanship in wartime--determination, a single focus on victory, a black-and-white conviction of who is friend or foe--can often seem crude or overbearing when peace comes around. The most dramatic example of this in Western history is Winston Churchill. It is no exaggeration to say that without him, Britain may well have been destroyed by Hitler. He was the difference between victory and defeat. But almost the minute that victory was declared, the...

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