We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
On a pretty arbitrary scale -- between Korea (1950-53), Cuba (1960-63), Vietnam (1963-75), Iran (1979-1981) and Iraq (2003-present) -- the United States has spent about 27 of the last 55 years engaged in politico-military maneuvers that, at the very least, did not bring obvious success, and frequently brought disaster. Yet, in spite of these disasters, the long-term tendency of American power relative to the rest of the world has been favorable to the United States. This general paradox must be explained. And in the course of explanation, some understandings of the Iraq campaign, seen in a broader context, might emerge.
He makes the point that these "minor" (without national mobilization, and pursued with economy of force) wars generally achieved their geopolitical objectives without a WW ll-style victory. Read the whole thing.
Dr. Friedman is an idiot. His three premises are wrong, his conclusions, pompously concluded after the fact and a bottle of Pinot Noir, are wrong. Politics have limited our ability to wage war. We should have destroyed each one of those enemies, but home-grown discontent prevented victory.
The main thing he completely omitted is that all the wars up to and including WWII were funded separately by a budget called The War Budget. Congress had nothing to say about it. The President was empowered to sell bonds to pay for war. In the four months after Iwo Jima, 26 BILLION dollars worth of bonds were sold. That amount of money transacted for anything hasn’t occurred since.
The Democrats stopped that DURING Korea precisely because it was an unpopular expedition. They empowered Congress to ‘better reflect’ the will of the people and it’s gone downhill since.