But why does that word – yes, ‘withdrawal’ – leave such a funny taste in our mouths? It’s because a funny thing happened along the way in the development of US foreign policy lingo. The term ‘defeat’ was replaced with the term ‘withdrawal’. This happened as a result of needing to soft-sell major defeats like Vietnam or Iraq. Defeats were re-branded as ‘withdrawals’, even though in doing so, the term withdrawal was forever changed into a synonym for defeat, and a lack of resolve. A similar thing happened to the word retreat. In actuality, strategist may well look at any strategic map and say, ‘Well, we ought to withdraw forces from here, and deploy them over there’. It is a neutral term at its core. Forces can be withdrawn, and they can even retreat, but it would be an error to equate these with either a tactical set-back or a defeat.