Many took issue with my argument that Hoth represented a military debacle for the Galactic Empire. …

My responses are less interesting than those that others can provide. So we at Danger Room widened the aperture and brought in six military nerds — soldiers, academics, bloggers — with a similarly abiding love for Star Wars. Some agree with me, most disagree with me, and all add keen insights, except for when they disagree with me. In any event, check out their thoughts on Hoth, for the Force is strong with them.
Vader Lost Bigger at Bespin

If Hoth was a defeat for Darth Vader, as Spencer Ackerman contends, it was a short-lived one at best. Thanks to well-conceived contingency plans, and a judicious use of nefarious private military contractors, Darth Vader was still well along the path to achieving his ultimate strategic objective: turning Luke Skywalker to the Dark Side of the Force, and finally overthrowing the Emperor. Of course, Vader’s agenda only tangentially marries up with that of the Imperial Forces at large, and is cross-purposes with that of the Emperor. Thus, Vader’s true objective in the attack on Hoth is not the destruction of the Rebel Alliance, but rather, capturing Luke. In many ways, Darth Vader is a one-man shadow government, who seeks to find and shelter the religious extremist responsible for the greatest terrorist act ever perpetrated against the Empire — all to further his own personal political agenda.