After decades of wars in which decisive victory and a coherent purpose were often elusive, the Department of Defense announced it has adopted a new motto: “Winning Isn’t Everything.”
“Moving forward, it’s important for us to try and enjoy the process, rather than focus on the outcome of international conflict,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said at a Pentagon press conference. “You win some, you lose some. At the end of the day, we can go home with our heads held high knowing that at least we tried.”
Military leaders from every branch of service were quick to announce their support for the motto.
“Sometimes when you’re cruisin’ down that highway that is war, you just gotta lean back, feel the wind in your high and tight, and try to enjoy the ride,” said Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley. “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey, man. That’s what this new motto means to me.”
The path to creating the motto wasn’t an easy one: The Pentagon funded a 10-year study and experimented with a number of obviously doomed strategies to refine it.
But in the end, it was a handful of self-help blogs and 1990s sports dramas that convinced Pentagon leadership that the U.S. military’s best path was to stop stressing about winning, and start focusing on living.
“There’s no reason we shouldn’t be able to blow each other to smithereens out on the battlefield then shake hands and have a beer afterward,” said Austin. “That’s just good sportsmanship.”
Military leaders also noted that win or lose, we all learned some important lessons.
And aside from a few hundred thousand casualties on either side, “we’ll all live to fight another day.”
“No matter who comes out on top,” said Austin, “we should all be able to watch our global hegemony crumble knowing that we did our best.”