Three reasons not to fight ISIS

3. What counts as victory?

In announcing bombing runs and sending more American soliders to the Middle East, President Obama not only failed to call for congressional authorization, he neglected to discuss any sort of exit strategy. That’s a prerequisite for any responsible war plan. As important, his definition of success—we will “ultimately destroy” ISIS—is a goal nobody has ever achieved against any terrorist group.

Let’s be clear: The U.S. should do everything it can to defend its citizens and its interests.

But if the past dozen years have taught us anything—in Iraq and elsehwere—it’s that war is more complicated than our leaders ever want to admit. And it’s a lot easier to start wars than to win them—or even know when they’re over.