In May 1992, no doubt based on my observations of the world, I jotted down a generalization that I still think is true and extremely timely for today, too:
"It is much easier to get rid of an unsatisfactory order than to eliminate an unsatisfactory absence of order."
It seems to me that this is something U.S. leaders should have thought about before sending troops into Afghanistan and Iraq. In both of these countries we destroyed governments that were vile and despotic without too much difficulty. And both countries now suffer from a very unsatisfactory absence of order which it is probably beyond our power to fix.
With this experience in mind, what do we do? We set out to destroy the current government of Libya! Which is indeed vile and despotic.