How Do Wars End?

Gone are the old days when might was right and unconditional surrender was the end of a 141-year unbroken chain of US wars, from 1812–the final battle in the War of Independence– to 1953, the Korean war armistice. And gone are the days when might was a sign of divine mandate, God is behind. Among christians God may favor the mightiest. Among muslims, perhaps. But certainly not across that divide. Gone are the days of direct battle heroism. Sitting at a computer in the Pentagon directing drones, or in a cockpit at 44,000 feet hitting “coordinates”, in favor of pure cowardice. Or, rather: the risks change with the war. When more commit suicide than are killed in the field reality has changed. Confronted with a choice between a very elusive victory, defeat, and flight, conflict resolution might grow in attractiveness.