In this particular case, it was the right thing to do. Every conflict is different.
We went to war against a regime, not the nation's people. One of the many reasons for doing so was to establish a strong and stable ally in a very volatile and dangerous region.
In order to do that, it was incumbent upon us to stabilize the country. Leaving it in smoldering ruins would have given Iran a much larger territory from which to operate. Since the war drew a large contingent of al Qaeda into the country, it was almost like a two-fer. While the reconstruction of the nation has been underway, there has always been concurrent combat action, and the enemy has been engaged far from U.S. shores. The battles only abated earlier this year, allowing the reconstruction to really get going. We are doing it now with Iraqi funds, by the way.
This is not a no-win situation by any stretch. This is a very successful operation and the media has managed to conceal that from the American people for the most part.
“We went to war against a regime, not the nation’s people. One of the many reasons for doing so was to establish a strong and stable ally in a very volatile and dangerous region.”
You and I have gone ‘round before on this. I appreciate your view on-the-spot. This is a noble goal, quixotically so. There is very little likelihood of us having a strong and stable ally in Iraq. They will be an islamic state. Republicans will blame a democratic congress or Obama, if elected for the failure, but in the end, nation building does not work in the third world - and that is the reason why it will fail. We don’t have enough time, money, or patience to force them into the first world. Their third world corruption, cronyism, and incompetence stands in the way.