"Victory" is when you have successfully achieved your mission.
In 2002, we were told that Saddam Hussein had amassed stockpiles of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), that were a "Growing and gathering threat to our safety and security". If we did not act, "We would awake to see the mushroom cloud on the horizon". On October 2, 2002, the United States Congress passed resolution H.J.Res.114 which required that Saddam dispose of his stockpile of Weapons of Mass Destruction and authorized military action if needed to force him to do so. The Congress enacted this resolution as a necessary step before requesting that the United Nations Security Council pass a similar resolution. On November 8, 2002 the U.N. enacted resolution 1441 offering Iraq "a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations". To ensure that Iraq would dispose of its stockpiles of WMDs the U.N. required that Saddam furnish a listing of all weapons currently on hand, and an accounting for what had become of all weapons that he had had when inspectors had previously been in Iraq. The U.N. also required that Saddam allow new teams of inspectors to come to Iraq to look everywhere and talk to everyone who might know about weapons, to verify the list, and to oversee the disposal of the stockpiles of WMDs. Saddam complied, and claimed that he had no WMDs.
Our mission was to rid the world of the menace of Saddam's stockpiles of Weapons of Mass Destruction. The inspectors never found any WMDs nor any indication that there had been any since the last time inspectors were there. In all the years since, all evidence indicates that there were no WMDs. Mission Accomplished, we had achieved Victory in Iraq before we began.
But wait! As we began to drop bombs on Iraqis, it was announced that "Operation Iraqi Freedom" had begun. There was a new mission. We would free the Iraqis from the clutches of an evil dictator, and they would thank us with chocolates and flowers. A few weeks later, after our campaign of "Shock and Awe", we toppled the giant statue of Saddam. The evil dictator was gone. We could have left the army in tact, left the national, regional and local governments in tact, installed an Iraqi to be in charge, and left. Mission Accomplished, we had achieved Victory in Iraq.
But wait! As the Iraqis actually thanked us with suicide bombers and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) we had another new mission. We would make Iraq a Democracy - a shining beacon that all countries of the Middle East would want to emulate. We launched a campaign to rid the government of members of the Baath Party, which included everyone who had had any position of power or authority. We developed a cute "deck of cards" with pictures of all of the most powerful people, and arrested them. We held an Election and proudly took pictures of people holding up their purple dyed fingers. We turned out the Sunni ruling class, and put the majority Shia in charge. We created a Democracy. Mission Accomplished, we had achieved Victory in Iraq.
But wait! We had upset the social order. The rich and powerful didn't like it, and they had hundreds of thousands of unemployed young men that we had dismissed from the army to form into tools of violence. As the country descended into civil war, and instead of a shining beacon, Baghdad became a city of darkness, violence, and rotting sewage, we had a new mission. We would "Stay the Course", we would not "Cut and Run", which would dishonor all the brave efforts of our troops. If we did not "Fight them There" we would have to "Fight them Here" - we must not "Embolden" the enemy. "They" would follow us home. And so we have stayed.
And then came "The Surge!" Which sounds like an overpowering show of strength to overwhelm the "enemy", but in fact was just building the number of troops back to its former level, and changing tactics. Instead of trying to kill everyone who opposed us, we began to talk with them, negotiate, buy their cooperation, and form alliances--recommendations from the "Iraq Study Group" proposed years ago, but rejected at that time. Our new mission is to have Iraqis kill us and kill each other more slowly than they did before "The Surge". Mission Accomplished, we have achieved Victory in Iraq.
Read more about this topic and 25 chapters on other thought provoking topics in the highly acclaimed poignant and witty new book "Running Amok - Our Grandchildren will Curse Us" by Dave Rosenak. Check out the web site http://www.runningamokthebook.com/ Whether you think the book will start a revolution, or whether you think the author should stick all of his stinking opinions back where the sun don't shine, you won't be bored!