The road to success is paved with mistakes well handled.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.

There is a final and essential battle to win in order to restore the power of American power: It is to defang those liberals and conservatives who repeatedly corner our leaders into making commitments they cannot fulfill. America has endured more than half a century’s worth of these unattainable goals. We live with them now: nation-building in places such as Afghanistan, where there is no coherent nation and certainly no outsider could do this for them anyway; spreading democracy to countries such as Iraq with no tradition of, or foundations for, democracy; and insisting on bringing such places as George or Ukraine under NATO’s wing with neither the intent nor the capability of actually sending troops to defend them. False promises and failures are the surest way to kill power.