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Understanding The Victory Disease: From The Little Bighorn To Mogadishu And Beyond

68 pages1 hour


As a result of America’s national strength and its demonstrated military prowess, US forces are quite susceptible to falling prey to the effects of the “victory disease.” The disease, by definition, brings defeat to a previously victorious nation or military due to three basic symptoms: arrogance, complacency, and the habit of using established patterns to solve military problems.

The growth of the victory disease can best be analyzed through the study of historical examples where the symptoms become quite clear. This work uses the 1876 Battle of the Little Bighorn and the 1993 actions of Task Force Ranger in Mogadishu, Somalia to highlight the disease’s effects.

Studying the victory disease can help one avoid succumbing to its effects and ultimately find an effective vaccination. As this work will argue, the only real vaccine for the disease is found in increased study of military history in the Officer Education System, particularly through focusing on campaigns and battles where defeat may be attributed to the sickness. Simple awareness of the problem prevents one from falling prey to the disease, thereby creating immunity.

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