by General Raymond T. Odierno
Chief of Staff of the Army
First, our Army must prevent conflict. Prevention requires a credible force with sufficient capacity, readiness and modernization. Our ability and will to win any fight cannot be open to challenge. As part of a joint force, we must be clear that we can fight and win across the full spectrum of conflict. That means realistic training, expert leaders, modern equipment, and quality Soldiers. Prevention is achieved by convincing your potential opponents that armed conflict with your force would be extremely unwise. Our land forces must continue to be a credible force around the globe.
Second, our Army must help shape the international environment so our friends are enabled and our enemies contained. We do that by engaging with our partners, fostering mutual understanding through military-to-military contacts, and helping partners build the capacity to defend themselves. This is an investment in the future, and an investment we cannot afford to forego. It is cultivating friends before you need them, being a reliable, consistent, and respectful partner.
Finally, we must be ready to win decisively and dominantly. If we do not, we pay the price in American lives. When MacArthur said, “In war there is no substitute for victory,” he was making a plain statement of fact. Nothing else can approach what is achieved by winning, and the consequences of losing at war are usually catastrophic. With so much at stake, the American people will expect what they have always expected of us: to never lightly enter into such a terrible endeavor, but once there to win and win decisively.