"The other, and much bigger obstacle to winning small wars, brings a moral dilemma. According to Callwell, to win small wars, mere victory isn't enough, the enemy must be thoroughly and utterly destroyed to the last man, woman, and child ? which means enormous civilian casualties. For citizens of most modern democracies, this is an unacceptable stance. The level of violence and barbarism it would take to beat an insurgent force -- torture, wholesale executions, leveling of towns -- is a place where most democracies refuse to go. This keeps victory out of reach." And this morally obtuse blockhead says this like that's a bad thing. How about a policy of non-involvement, whether directly or by proxy, in foreign conflicts instead?