Originally Posted by cutthemdown
I think you are downplaying how much all the killing we have done has helped. They spend there time re-organizing the new power structure as much as planning an attack on usa. They concentrate on whats going on in pakistan, in afghanistan because we are there dogging them all over. It does help even though I totally understand how people see it as a futile effort.
It's not like how war used to be where you lose 50 thousand troops, win, lose or tie, and then come home in 3-4 yrs. These new wars are more like 20 troops here, 50 troops there, 10 troops here etc etc and never seem to end. It's like a slow grinding hell that I think all of us admit has to end at some point. Not sure Obama has that type of balls yet, but maybe if he makes second term by then he would.
I think the most effective stuff has been the CIA and intelligence gathering for their drone programs. Either way I think we need to honestly question whether stopping one or two big attacks on our soil (if we had done nothing) is worth all the cost and loss of life on our part. History suggests that in the past decade maybe one major attack could have been pulled off in that time. Even when we weren't going crazy over this stuff attacks didn't happen very often. They are hard to pull off.
I'm all for more money to the intelligence branches and the drone programs. They cost a lot less, are incredibly affective, and much less risk is involved. Countless experts are on board for more drones and the old fashioned police work band wagon.
But this disaster of a joyride that George sold to the country is definitely more costly than if they had managed to take down another building or two. We passed even point in the cost/benefit ratio a long time ago both in lives lost and dollars spent. Never mind the political ramifications. Which I don't think anybody will argue have been positive.
(Although I will grant that if we had just stuck to Afghanistan this probably wouldn't even be a discussion. Things would be a hell of a lot better off. But I would also say that Afghanistan's political/social/geographic makeup also make it a truly unique scenario.)
That's one thing I do really like about Gates. He's all for the smaller, cheaper, less risk, and more bang for the buck projects. He wants more drones and smaller ships for the navy and I'm all for that. Cheaper and likely more effective in the future.