Wasting power

While the US has done a fairly good job being the global cop, that is not to say that we have not made many costly mistakes along the way.  Too much power has often led to hubris, overconfidence, and over reach – overestimating our power and underestimating the difficulty of using it has had serious negative economic effects.  In 2003, the Pentagon and the White House estimated the cost of the Iraq war would be $50-$60 billion.  It ended up costing over a trillion dollars, largely because we underestimated the cost of re-establishing a strong government and economy after removing Saddam Hussein and ended up fighting a protracted counterinsurgency war.  Doing this kind of thing again is not in our national interest.


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