Athens, Ga. – Despite overwhelming military superiority, the world’s most powerful nations failed to achieve their objectives in 39 percent of their military operations since World War II, according to a new University of Georgia study.
The study, by assistant professor Patricia L. Sullivan in the UGA School of Public and International Affairs, explains the circumstances under which more powerful nations are likely to fail and creates a model that allows policymakers to calculate the probability of success in current and future conflicts.
“If you know some key variables – like the major objective, the nature of the target, whether there’s going to be another strong state that will intervene on the side of the target and whether you’ll have an ally – you can get a sense of your probability of victory,” said Sullivan, whose study appears in the June issue of the Journal of Conflict Resolution.
Based on Sullivan’s model, the current war in Iraq has a probability of success of nearly 26 percent with an estimated duration of 10 years,
When the common language of the universe says that there is no hope with Iraq (or Afghanistan, for that matter), isn’t it time to leave?