Let me offer a clear criterion of victory: the end of violent struggles between foreign troops and Iraqis. And let me offer these words from Sallust - who was a Roman senator and military officer under Caesar - in support of this sensible definition of victory:
It is always easy to begin fighting, but the man who starts may find it exceedingly hard to stop; for while anyone - even a coward - can open hostilities, only the victor can decide when they shall cease. (Sallust, The Jugurthine War, VIII, 83)On this view, America is fighting a war in Iraq that cannot be won. The sooner our nation faces up to the impossibility of "victory," the sooner we can put an end to our losses, both human and financial.