Most Americans realize that our mistake was not just in how the occupation was botched by Paul Bremer -- failure to stop the looting, disbanding the Iraqi Army. The blunder was in attacking a nation that did not attack or threaten us, or any U.S. ally.
Before Congress decides on the enhanced size and new weaponry of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, we need a bottom-up review of U.S. commitments and to begin shedding them rather than adding to them, as we have done, willy-nilly, since the end of the Cold War.
Why, for example, when Congress is demanding that Iraqis take responsibility for defending their own democracy, are we not also demanding that South Korea take responsibility for defending its own democracy? Cannot the South, with twice the North's population and an economy 40 times as large, defend it self?
And as we are not going to fight yet another land war in Asia, why not move all our forces offshore, as Gen. MacArthur urged in 1951?
And as Europe is richer and more populous than we, why not shift responsibility for Europe's defense to the Europeans, and bring the U.S. troops home? This is what Eisenhower urged Kennedy to do -- in 1960.
In the War Party, many wish to confront Russia and extend NATO to Ukraine and Georgia. Are Americans really going to fight Russia in the Black Sea over the Crimea, or to prevent secession of Abkhazia or South Ossetia from Georgia? What concern is that of ours?
Americans welcomed as a godsend the liberation of Eastern Europe. Yet, no president -- not Truman, Ike, JFK, LBJ, Reagan -- ever broke relations with Moscow when Soviets blockaded Berlin, effected the 1948 coup in Prague, crushed the Hungarian Revolution, built the Berlin Wall, snuffed out the Prague Spring or crushed Solidarity.
Now, we are willing to go to war with a Russia with thousands of atomic weapons -- over Estonia. Have we lost our minds?
Before we decide how many ships, planes, guns or troops we need, let us first decide what is so vital to us that we are willing to continue having the planes come in to Dover, and the ambulances rolling in from Andrews to Walter Reed, to defend it.
And there are not many things that can justify that.