Originally Posted by Lusankya
Once again, the benefits of international intervention cannot be seen in the span of a decade. Going back to the Marshall Plan, US aid to post-war Germany and Japan was the direct cause of them becoming the (until recently) second and third largest economies in the world. But in the decade after WWII, people were saying much the same about the aid. It's also interesting to note that during WWII, the US's federal debt was also larger than its GDP, yet the US embarked on funding the reconstruction of two much larger countries than Iraq anyways. Although I do not wish to bring the discussion off-track, the fact that the root cause of modern federal debt lies within our systems at home, and not the military. Reducing the defense budget is only attacking the symptoms of the disease, but it won't change much. Money saved from the military is only going to be spent elsewhere rather than actually saved.
As for the "let's focus on our own problems" argument, if this were a valid theory then no country would ever send anyone out of its borders, ever. First, let me point out that there is no country at any point in history that has ever had no problems. If you wanted to wait until you had no problems to deal with the international community, then you would be waiting forever. Second, the fact is that other people's problems are our problems. Like it or not, there is no corner of the world today in which instability and war does not affect us back home. Terrorism, dictators, revolutions, and wars in Asia affect us politically and economically here in the US. To not play the "overzealous parent" will own exacerbate our "own problems".
Why are you comparing us back to World War II? The conflicts in the middle east aren't even close to being comparable with that of WWII. Back then the war provided thousands, maybe even millions of jobs for Americans and any business no matter what was able to sell more of its products for a large profit because of the number of troops that we needed to equip for combat. With the Iraq War, we've done nothing but spend more and more for a huge decrease in the number of troops than WWII, but create no jobs to balance the difference. Because of that, the dollar value has decreased and we kept having to take loans from other countries thus enlarging the national debt even further.
As for focusing on the homeland, you completely missed a major point in my first argument. You make it sound like I said that international relations with foreign countries does more harm than help, which I never said or implied at all. So because of this, I suppose I'll have to repeat myself. I'm all for keeping some troops in middle eastern countries at military bases or something, but simply for moderation. The only effect that intervening more would have would eventually be the complete meltdown of our economy. Spending more doesn't help. It loses money, clearly... So if the "benefits" of intervention can not be seen in the span of this past decade, then how in the world can you say that there remains any benefits at all?