In Iraq, we invaded with no plan for the aftermath. The only thing holding the country together by 2011 was the remaining US soldiers. But Obama had said he would bring everyone home and so his ego had to be appeased. Iraq is now in the midst of a civil war.
In Afghanistan, we invaded with no end-goal beyond kill as many Al Queda and Taliban. We stuck around under the auspice of country building in a place that has no conception of the Westphalian state. We should have left years ago, but Obama said Afghanistan was the good war, so he threw more troops, money, and drones into the fire no real objective. We still have no definition of victory, yet cannot figure out a good excuse to leave.
And now we have Syria.
No one has verbalized our objective. Do we intend this raid to be humanitarian or simply punishment? Is success measured in by number of bombs dropped and missiles fired? What comes after?
In all honesty, neither side of the Syrian conflict benefits us. Hezbollah versus Al Queda? Better to let them both kill each other on their own.
America would most likely been blamed and hated by some for not intervening. However, it is even worse to jump in now---we are guaranteed to decrease our standing in the region. We will shoot some missiles and call it a day, but once again, have created an expectation. The rebels will keep calling for more. The rebels in other countries will demand our help all the more and know that any WMD accusation they can pin on the opposition is the ticket to American air strikes.
In some circles they are whispering that we are telling Assad when and where we will strike, thus avoiding casualties. So the punishment for crossing a “redline” is that the US will waste millions of dollars destroying non-essential targets so the bad guy learns his lesson and we can feel like we did something. That might be even more insulting. It is paramount to wink, wink, nudge, nudge diplomacy--we will pretend to punish you and hope you pretend to be chastised.
Stupid. Deranged. Cuckoo.
The definition of insane is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Apparently being Democrat or Republican does not matter. Our dear leaders continue to engage in foreign policies that blatantly risk American lives with no thought to the consequences of their actions.