The Republican National Committee has chosen to host its 2016 GOP convention in the all-important battleground state of Ohio. The GOP has been waging an all-out battle with itself since the 2012 presidential election that saw Mitt Romney’s campaign go down in flames.  

Since then, the party has rolled out “autopsy” strategies and seen the rise and fall of some of its most promising 2016 candidates, most notably, scandal-plagued New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. By choosing the city of Cleveland to host its nomination event the party sends the message that Ohio will be its last stand. What’s further interesting is it chose a Democratic and unabashedly blue city. It did not choose undeniably and reliably red Cincinnati, home to the leader of the GOP, Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerSpeculation mounts, but Ryan’s job seen as safe Boehner warns Trump: Don't pull out of Korea-US trade deal GOP Rep: Ryan wasting taxpayers dollars by blocking war authorization debate MORE.

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The GOP has been smarting since upstart Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaGOP rep: North Korea wants Iran-type nuclear deal Dems fear lasting damage from Clinton-Sanders fight Iran's president warns US will pay 'high cost' if Trump ditches nuclear deal MORE upended maverick Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainSenate's defense authorization would set cyber doctrine Senate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions MORE (r-Ariz.) who was seen by many as the most seasoned and experienced of the two. Like Romney, McCain has never been able to live with his and Obama’s places in history.

All of this gave rise to the tea party movement, and ever since, the GOP establishment and tea party wings of the Republican Party have engaged in an all-out GOP Civil War. This summer’s GOP primary season has been especially bruising as Eric CantorEric CantorEric Cantor offering advice to end ‘immigration wars’ Trump's olive branch differs from the golden eras of bipartisanship After divisive rally, Trump calls for unity MORE (R-Va.) became the first House majority leader in history to lose a primary contest. Moreover, Mississippi state senator and tea party darling Chris McDaniel is considering a legal fight after black voters came to the rescue of incumbent Republican Sen. Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranMcConnell tees up debt, government-funding vote National Flood Insurance Program is the next storm for hurricane survivors Trump exempts Citgo from Venezuela sanctions MORE (R-Miss.) in their June run-off.

While the GOP is only getting stronger at the state level, with a majority of governorships and state legislatures under their control, nationally, the party is slowly regressing. It has been unable to develop a viable policy agenda and is constantly beset by infighting on direction and strategy. The tit-for-tat fighting is eating away at what was the “Party of Lincoln.” By deciding on Cleveland, the GOP is making a last stand as a viable national party. Ohio is a perennial battleground state and its 18 electoral votes will play an important role in deciding the next president. The GOP has decided to take on itself and the Democratic Party in a fight for Ohio’s crucial electoral votes. The GOP is courting a two-front battle for the soul of the party and for the nation and Cleveland is its Waterloo.

Waterloo was the decisive battle with much at stake. The battle ended a series of wars that waged throughout Europe. It also was the end of the first French Empire and more importantly, ended the political and military career of Napoleon Bonaparte, undoubtedly one of the greatest commanders and statesmen in history. However, the battle at Waterloo did usher in nearly a half century of peace in Europe. Might Cleveland too? Will it be decisive in finally bringing an end to a brutal and bruising GOP Civil War that has raged throughout the Republican landscape since the end of the 2012 presidential election? More importantly, will Cleveland bring an end to political careers of some of the more divisive voices in the Republican Party a la Mr. Bonaparte?

Cleveland is a fascinating choice for sure. Coming out of the nomination process the GOP will either be a stronger united party or fractured and weak. Either way, a potential showdown with a possible challenger such as Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden slams Trump over golf gif hitting Clinton Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax hit by earlier hack | What to know about Kaspersky controversy | Officials review EU-US privacy pact Overnight Tech: Equifax hit by earlier undisclosed hack | Facebook takes heat over Russian ads | Alt-right Twitter rival may lose domain MORE will be too much for the latter and still formidable against the former.

Post-2012, the GOP has seen some of its biggest supporters turn against one another. The Club for Growth vs. Chamber of Commerce; former RNC Chairman Michael Steele vs. RNC Chairman Reince Preibus; establishment vs. tea party; Bush wing vs. Romney wing; hawks vs. isolationists; the one constant being the fights get nastier and more detrimental both to the party and the nation.

The Republicans have a very real shot at taking control of the Senate in 2014 but will tea party factions get behind vulnerable incumbents such as current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate passes 0B defense bill Overnight Health Care: New GOP ObamaCare repeal bill gains momentum Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea MORE (R-Ky.)? Will Laura Ingraham, Sara Palin and spurned tea party candidate Chris McDaniel support “establishment” candidates in 2014? Will the growing rift over foreign policy percolating between Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Lawmakers grapple with warrantless wiretapping program MORE (R-Ky.) and former Vice President Dick Cheney be resolved by 2016 or will the growing uncertainty across the globe only lead to greater chaos at home within the GOP?

All critical questions to be sure and if they’re not answered now, they will most certainly be answered in Cleveland in 2016. And much like Waterloo, the answers will be decisive and final.

Ham, a national-security and political analyst is author of the bestselling book, THE GOP CIVIL WAR: Inside the Battle for the Soul of the Republican Party.