West Point gathering examines endings of US wars





American wars usually begin with a bang, yet it's the endings that usually have long-lasting influences, a gathering of prominent military historians told West Point instructors who are training the next generation of Army officers.

"Wars don't end simply, where someone declares victory," said Brian Linn, a professor at Texas A&M University, one of 14 academics, authors and other military history experts who took part in Monday's "War Termination Conference" at the United States Military Academy.

Peter Maslowski of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's history department said, "The endings of wars are messy, messy."

The daylong conference examined the ways American wars have ended and how those endings have influenced subsequent military actions and history....

Organizers of the West Point conference brought in some of the nation's top military historians to discuss war endings before an audience that included about 20 other academics and about a dozen officers from the academy's history department. Because cadets are on summer break, West Point instructors will use essays written by conference participants and videotape of the gathering for their classroom lectures, said Col. Mat Moten, deputy head of the academy's history department....



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