Victor Davis Hanson writes some good stuff. He moves with ease between the 40,000 soldiers Athens lost in Sicily in 411 B.C., Vicksburg in 1863, and the spring of 1943, the demise of the Soviet empire, and connects them. These were periods of great change when a critical mass was reached in wars when new victors began emerging. This has to do with our current war, he claims. "We are beginning the third year of this multi-theater conflict, and it resembles the Punic War after the Carthaginian defeat at the Metaurus in 207 B.C., the year of decision of 1863, or the autumn leading to Alamein and Stalingrad. Ever so slowly the momentum is building. If we stay resolute and tighten the noose around the Baathists, the days of the extremists in Iraq will be numbered even as the rest of the country begins to prosper. And the final victory will only embolden us and discourage our enemies. The war itself cannot be won in the Sunni Triangle, but it might well have been lost there."
And this: "Very rarely in history do any of the belligerents quite realize what stage of the war they are actually in. The slugfest at Zama still followed Hannibals escape to Carthage. After Gettysburg there was the terrible summer of 1864 to come. The Battle of the Bulge followed both Normandy Beach and Stalingrad. And for much of the 1980s the world was sure that Soviet divisions were going to crush Polish steelworkers as a crumbling empire went out with a bang rather than a whimper."