Summers’ conclusions influence the potential to hinder not only the ideas of doctrine and conduct of war, but also the formal study and understanding of the nature of war. Summers stated that the war is fought by nation-states, with formal declarations of war, using absolute principles with no end save victory. Summers efforts continued to have an effect on American strategic thought. He presented the history that exposes the failure of the army in Vietnam in the context of politicians, press and anti-war movement.
Today, the idea of fighting a declared, morally unambiguous war against a clearly defined nation-state seems like a striking belief of a past period. While we can draw lessons and parallels from the conflict, following the clearly defined principles of war, withdrawn from the critical study of Vietnam and the study of war in general. As the world security situation is becoming more complex, leaders will need to have the strategy of critical analysis to understand it. America is now engaged in undeclared wars. All these wars have unique justifications. The global war on terror is largely an exercise of executive power, with funding and oversight provided by Congress. America avoids intervention in anything but clear, conventional conflicts. America’s participation in humanitarian interventions is the exception and would be cut short after any significant action resulting in casualties.
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