During the Cold War, the United States preferred to husband, rather than expend, its military power. The idea was not to fight but to defend, deter, and contain, a cold peace infinitely preferable to nuclear cataclysm. When US policymakers strayed from this principle, attempting to unify the Korean Peninsula in 1950 or deploying combat troops to Vietnam in the 1960s, the results proved unhappy in the extreme.
"Ending Endless War" is from the September/October 2016 issue of Foreign Affairs.
©2016 Foreign Affairs (P)2016 Audible, Inc.