I supported the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, but I do not support the way they were handled. I do think the military-industrial complex should have been abolished long ago. Why? Because what has it done to protect us, really?
Vietnam? It didn't help us win.
Grenada? Yeah right. A banana republic with a few Cuban troops that our Salvation Army could have whipped.
Panama? See above.
Gulf War I? We didn't win that war, remember? We stopped just short of victory, a violation of one of the most fundamental principles of war that history has ever taught us: never leave an aggressor intact. We had to go back and do the job right in 2003.
Somalia? We were trying to help those people, they started shooting at us, so we left.
Confrontation with Saddam's forces while enforcing the no-fly zones and inspectors? Come on. We had about 20,000 troops in theater at the time. We don't need to spend $400b a year to maintain THAT, or any of our other troop commitments around the world.
Iraq War and Afghan War? We took an army with a military doctrine of slowing down a Soviet tank advance across Europe just long enough for our ICBMs to reach Moscow, and tried to use it to fight two major land wars in Asia. Big mistake. We SHOULD have immediately instituted a draft after 9/11, converted factories to war production, raised a massive army (like, 5 million men), and when the time was right, rolled into Iraq with at least a million strong. The PROPER way to occupy a country you defeat is to make sure your occupying troops are in every city, town and village so they can establish ORDER. That wasn't done. You can only spread 100,000 troops so far in a country if 28 million. And we have all seen the results.
They always make the same mistakes, thinking you can do war "on the cheap". You can't. But I am encouraged by Secretary Gates' plan. It may be a step in a direction we should have gone in decades ago.