It might be considered the only war the we lost, but there have been several major wars that we certainly didn’t win.
We think we won the War of 1812, but we didn’t. Our major victory — Andrew Jackson throwing back a British assault in the Battle of New Orleans — happened after the Treaty of Ghent, ending the war, was signed. But it was 1815 (I know…we probably shouldn’t call it the War of 1812 since it lasted for three years), so the hostile forces fighting in North America and the diplomats negotiating in Europe didn’t know what was happening in the other place until weeks later. The War of 1812 was a draw. We shouldn’t ever be allowed to claim victory in a war where the enemy invades the capital city, eats the President’s dinner, and then burns down the White House, U.S. Capitol, and most of the rest of Washington, D.C.
The Korean War ended in a stalemate. Technically, the Korean War never ended — there’s an armistice in effect, but there is no peace treaty.
Vietnam was a defeat. Some will claim that it ended in a stalemate like the Korean War, but it was an American defeat.
Afghanistan is still going. It’s been almost 13 years now — it’s longer than both World Wars combined, It’s longer than the Revolutionary War and Civil War combined. And we don’t know what victory looks like there.
And I don’t understand how anyone can claim an American victory in the Iraq War. Especially this week as the President prepares to address the nation about a brutal terrorist group that is destabilizing the country and region far worse than Saddam Hussein ever did. We weren’t victorious in Iraq when President Bush said so after landing on the aircraft carrier in his silly flight suit and we weren’t victorious in Iraq when President Obama said so after we withdrew all of our troops. It’s a war that we never should have started, and we did not win.
"I fired him because he wouldn’t respect the authority of the President. I didn’t fire him because he was a dumb son-of-a-bitch, although he was, but that’s not against the law in general. If it was, half to three-quarters of them would be in jail." — Harry S Truman (1884-1972), 33rd President of the United States, explaining the firing of General Douglas MacArthur for insubordination during the Korean War