I agree with your points. Interesting that we have to debate the merits of a strong military at a site like Free Republic. Without a strong military and a free country itself then none of the other stuff we discuss at this site even matters. None of it.
Sure we had skirmishes here and there, but the global wars, the super-costly wars that cost millions of lives didn't happen.
The closest thing to it, was the Iraq/Iran war where I believe each side lost about 500,000.
Why? Because the U. S. made it know, it was going to kick the ass of any rogue state that crossed us.
You probably saw one sage state that we could go back to pre WWII status, and wait until something came along to scale up again.
Any ideas why we had to scale up then? It was because the enemy saw Europe and us weak enough to exploit.
We were damn lucky in that war. It was no walk-over.
“Interesting that we have to debate the merits of a strong military at a site like Free Republic.”
Sadly, FR is rife with crazy isolationist libertarians that don’t see the need for a large standing army. Also, there are extreme tea party (AKA “fiscal conservatives) persons here that don’t want to pay taxes to keep the military strong. They would rather DoD be downsized that to repeal the sequester that is killing national defense.