I think it's helpful to be able to articulate a vision for victory. That said, it is possible to be wrong about this sort of thing:
Troops still in Japan? We lost World War II.It's likely we'll have troops in Iraq for many, many years. If Iraq someday looks like South Korea or Germany, though... well, or even the Philippines.
Troops still in Germany? We lost World War I.
Troops still in the Philippines? We lost the Spanish-American War.
Troops still in the South? We lost the Civil War.
And I just learned that we have 10,500 troops in Britain. That means we lost the Revolutionary War. No wonder we speak English.