It was a noble idea, and one which I supported: help plant democracy in the region to serve as an attractive example that empowered moderate leaders. Next time, “rubble doesn’t make trouble.” Sigh.
Bing West puts it well. I hope he’s correct because if we have to disabuse them of their ideology, a la Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan, it’ll be much worse.
“Islamic extremism is a virulent cultural disease. It will run its course until snuffed out by moderate Muslims. Until then, with small expeditionary forces and steady resolve, America can contain the epidemic. For years, our military has recommended leaving residual forces of about 12,000 in both Iraq and Afghanistan, in order to avoid precisely the collapse that has forced Mr. Obama to return to Iraq.”