American parochialism and the privileged, triumphant course of American history make this point hard for Americans to grasp. Yet in at least four major instances during the Cold War, the U.S. had to come to terms with failure, accept the consequences, and change course, sometimes by 180 degrees: Korea and the Korean War, China and the recognition of the Communist regime, Vietnam, and strategic parity with the USSR. In every case, accepting failure served to avoid further losses and potential disasters and led to an outcome different from what the U.S. was originally trying to achieve, but better. America would be worse off now had it won any of those contests in the way it originally tried to. ~Paul Schroeder, The American Conservative