When our politicians plunge us into these interventions they nearly always
say: "Troops home by Christmas", metaphorically speaking. We know this is driven
by the electoral cycle, but the fact is you must be prepared to commit over a
long period probably as much or more resources as you committed during the war.
In the days and weeks after the conflict probably more troops are necessary than
were needed during it; Iraq is a classic example of this...
He goes on to pose a fascinating question on the future of military interventionism, to which I suspect, none of us has the answer...
Two things can happen. Perhaps we are going to burn our fingers one last
time in Iraq and then never do this again. That would be a tragedy in an
interdependent world. I do not believe we have reached the end of the era of
large-scale wars and that we will only be left with small intra-state wars. I
think a perfect storm is gathering out there and that large-scale war will
return unless we are very careful. I also think there are times when you have to
intervene because of the effect on world peace. Either we will say "never again"
after Iraq and, particularly, Afghanistan or we will learn how to do it properly
and people will understand that intervention is not a rare phenomenon but part
of the bloodstream of modern international diplomacy.
You can read the full article HERE.