Anyone with the requisite authority
Anyone with the requisite authority can commence a war, but he can’t end the war he started. All war is like a crap game once you have cast your dice; you don’t know what is going ro happen. Most wars start off being fought like the last war, but they soon take on a life of their own. They use different weapons, and swiftly develop different tactics.
A good example of this is the French and British at the beginning of WW II. Both of them imagined that the war would be fought like a continuation of WW I. This didn’t happen during the years separating the two wars Germany developed a set of tactics designed to be swift. The allies on the other hand relied on their concept of a static war. Look what happened; the French were outflanked possessing one of the finest fortifications in the world the Maginot Line. The British who anchored the line against the Belgium border eventually got run out of Europe having to be evacuated from Dunkirk.
A lot of war is strictly based on posturing by the combatants. There is nothing better in a poker game then a good bluff, and outmaneuvering your opponent. Two good examples of this were the Invasion of Inchon during the Korean War, and the Hail Mary Run by Norman Schwarzkopf during the Gulf War.
Today we are faced with yet another war that we had apparently won in May 2003, but because of outside influences, mainly Al Qaeda we have seen this war dragged out for the next four years with no end in sight. George Bush is not to blame for what happened after it was thought we had won. If there is any blame it is because of these outsiders.
It does not help anyone except our enemies to have our country so divided over the war. On one side we have a faction that wants to continue with the war, on the other side we have a different faction that wants to end the war. It is a good thing that we are able to afford to have this controversy, but there is also the issue of giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
What is not apparent to the American people is that this is not a usual war where both sides square off, and have at it until one side or the other wins. Instead since the other side is completely outgunned by us they have had to resort to guerilla tactics. This is the most difficult kind of war there is to fight. The other thing that the American people fail to recognize that this is a religious war the other side thinks they are fighting to save the world. They are trying to save their world as they perceive it to be. Perception is everything!
We can win this war if we win over the common people on the other side. Without a population that they can swim in the guerillas have no place to hide. Cut the base out from under them, and they are finished. But, that is very hard too accomplish.
It reminds me of a comment made once by an Indian mine owner. He said, “It takes a certain amount of patience to operate a mica mine.”