Just speaking for myself. After 9-11, I supported the war in Afghanistan because:
- Killing al Qaeda terrorists seemed like a good idea, and the Taliban was harboring them.
- It was only one war.
- It was legal. (Congress authorized it. As did the United Nations, explicitly.)
A couple years later, I supported the Iraq war because:
- Killing al Qaeda terrorists seemed like a good idea, and Saddam had begun to harbor some who had just fled from Afghanistan, like Zarqawi.
- Whether or not Saddam Hussein had ready-to-go WMD, getting him and his thugs off the world stage seemed like a good idea.
- It was only a second war.
- It was legal. (Congress authorized it. As did the United Nations, more or less.)
By 2008, both wars seemed almost to be won. Their endings were in sight. But then a strange thing happened.
America elected a feckless socialist (Barack Obama) as President. He promised indeed to end the above two wars. But he didn’t. He messed up our winning positions; meaning the wars dragged on.
Even worse, he started more wars. All were illegal (not authorized beforehand by Congress). All were disastrous.
- His (and Hillary’s) Libya war destabilized all of northern Africa and eventually drowned Europe in “migrants”.
- His Ukraine coup (and the war/tensions that followed) was an unprecedented and deliberate rattling of the Russian bear’s cage, re-opening the Cold War that had been won in the 1980s and settled in the 1990s.
- His Syria war fueled the rise of ISIS in Iraq. (Since ISIS and the Syrian rebels overlap quite a bit, aid to the Syrian rebels quickly becomes ‘de facto’ aid to ISIS.)
- His Saudi friends’ war in Yemen is no help to anyone.
For the first time in U.S. history, we were at war every single day of someone’s 8-year presidency. And his preferred successor (Hillary Clinton) wanted to extend those wars. The U.S. has “achieved” an Orwellian state of Continuous War. That’s bad.
Ever read Thucydides? Athens – the progressive, open, commercial-democratic society of that era – failed. Basically, she over-extended herself in too many wars. She couldn’t afford them – whether financially, militarily, politically or morally. I don’t think we can, either.
Sometimes it’s better to retreat and retrench, and patriotic to advocate for it. If you catch me striking a different tone on our wars than I did 5-10 years ago, that’s why.
We should shore up our borders and defenses, our infrastructure, our industry, our national finances, our energy independence, and our commitment to liberty, here at home. We can probably still keep our commitments to Europe, Japan, Korea and Israel (which means I’m no isolationist). But, apart from the historical commitments just mentioned, we should accept a multi-polar world order and NOT look for wars to get into.
In my opinion. Please feel free to criticize or to state yours, in the comments.