To continue in spite of overwhelming odds is a choice few, if any, are prepared to make. Assessing the utility of continuing and balancing that assessment against a cessation in favor of resting, regrouping and then returning often moves the decision in favor of discontinuing, perhaps to reenter the fray from a more substantial position.
War and natural disasters have similar results for people in the affected zone: loss of life and property as well as a feeling of hopelessness. Picking up the remnants of lives so brutalized is a difficult and time consuming task. Human kindness can often be the difference between despair and renewal.
What is now called "asymmetric warfare," i.e., a modern army versus guerrilla forces doesn't produce victory for either side; rather the result is a protracted loss of life and property. In the midst of such struggles doctors who uphold the Hippocratic Oath treat friend and foe alike.
Scorched earth, collateral damage, death and destruction: all words and phrases that try to describe the misery that war brings to the people of a geographic area. Once begun, the fury of prosecuting the war has no limits until one side breaks under the awful strain.