"I'm always worried about using the word 'victory,' because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur," Obama told ABC News.
The enemy facing U.S. and Afghan forces isn't so clearly defined, he explained.
"We're not dealing with nation states at this point. We're concerned with Al Qaeda and the Taliban, Al Qaeda's allies," he said. "So when you have a non-state actor, a shadowy operation like Al Qaeda, our goal is to make sure they can't attack the United States."
Having had the privilege of carrying Marines to troubled spots in the world back in my "brown water" Navy days, I know that they are trained to seek "victory"...beats the hell out of "losing." We are rapidly approaching the point we were at under Jimmy Carter where the military couldn't train with real ammunition - we had to flash signal lamps at each other to pretend we were firing weapons. I guess the Marines had better get used to yelling "bang, bang, bang" at the enemy in the hopes of scaring them off. God forbid we engage them, kill them and prevail on the field...it might hurt their feelings!