I don't like war. However, if we have to enter into a war, we need to do a few things.
We need to fight to win!
We need to pay for the war!
We need to pay for the care of the returning veterans!
We need to pay to have our equipment shipped back to the United States!
I find it terribly sad that we have not always done these things.
I'm afraid my knowledge of history is not very good. I don't really know anything about WW I, except that some believe the treatment of Germany after the war, set the country up for them to accept Hitler. I don't know if that is true, or not.
I understand that we entered into WW II with every intention of winning the war. We also made a valiant attempt to pay for our involvement in the war. Frankly, I don't know if we took very good care of the returning veterans. And, I know we left some equipment behind.
To this day, we have not won the Korean war. I hope that hostilities will not flair up again, since we have an agreement to defend South Korea. We would have to fight the North and the cost would be high in both lives and dollars. As I understand it, the taxes imposed during WW II were continued to help offset the cost of the Korean war. I don't know about how we cared for the returning veterans. We are still there and we still have equipment still there.
Next was the Vietnam war. It was officially a "police action" and it took years to get it declared a war by our infinitely wise government. As I understand it, we entered Vietnam as the French left. They had not been able to deal with the situation and the United States would do so much better. This war was an effort to stop the spread of the Godless Communists. There was a huge fear that if Vietnam fell, then other countries would fall. The "domino effect." This country did not enter into the Vietnam war with any intention of winning. We just wanted to maintain a "status quo." I asked a friend of mine, who was a Vietnam veteran, why the war was so horrible. He told me that it was watching your buddies get killed taking a hill for the fourth time and then being told to withdraw. I am also told, that we informed the enemy what corridors our bombers would use to approach Hanoi, just to make life interesting for our bomber crews. Our government was indeed so very smart. Because the war was a "police action," the veterans were denied benefits due to them. Years later, they were reclassified as war veterans. I don't know how much equipment we left behind for our enemies to use.
For my memory, the next war was the First Gulf War. We decided to help Kuwait repel an invasion by Iraq. I'm not sure why we decided that we had an interest in Kuwait, I'm not sure. While we did not go into the situation with the intention of winning, we did have a plan and we did what we said we would do and we left. I believe that George H. W. Bush did attempt to pay for the war with tax money. I don't think there was any money allocated to pay for the care of the returning veterans and I haven't a clue about what equipment we may have left behind. So far Kuwait is still considered our ally in the area.
Now step forward to the Iraq war. The story goes that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and someone had to go in and destroy them. Personally, I believe that Cheney wanted to finish the first I war with Iraq and he hinted to the intelligence community that he wanted to justify the new war. I have no evidence of that, but it does seem to fit with Cheney's personality. We did go into Iraq with the intention to win and we did. We completely and totally destroyed their government and military. President George W. Bush made absolutely no attempt to pay for the war. While we have recently passed a law to increase the funding of the Veterans Administration, we have not bothered to figure out how to actually pay for the increased funding. Some of the equipment we left for the Iraq army to use, has fallen into enemy hands. We are now looking at reentering Iraq to defeat the Islamic State that has taken control of parts of Iraq. It is interesting to note that Saddam Hussein was a Sunni and the government we installed was Shiite and the Islamic State is Sunni. We have done nothing but make the situation in Iraq worse. My opinion.
I thought invading Afghanistan was a fool's errand and reminiscent of Vietnam. Russia was not able to control Afghanistan with their mighty and ruthless military and we thought we could. In all fairness, we were supplying the enemies of Russia with arms. Sadly, those enemies of Russia are now the enemies of the United States, using the weapons that we gave them. We ain't too terribly bright. We did manage to run the Taliban out of some of the country. However, as we pull out, they seem to be returning. Also, the government that we left in power is failing. The war lords still control the areas where the cash crop is grown. The military and police that we helped train are turning on US troops and killing them. We have done nothing except spill our soldiers blood. We have not won anything in Afghanistan. We have also made no attempt to pay for this war. And again, we are increasing funding to the VA with funny money. There are rumors that we are going to leave a great deal of equipment there. It costs too much money to bring it back. I'm sure our enemies will find a good use for it.
One explanation for leaving equipment behind is that our "Industrial Complex" will get to make more for the next conflict and, therefore, make more money. I truly hope that we have not sunken to this level, but I am suspicious. This money making has also been cited for getting involved in conflicts/wars. That would be incredibly disgusting. Pay for our economy by killing and injuring our soldiers. What a horrible thought.
One conflict that I think we should have gotten involved in deals with Putin's invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent annexation of Crimea. Russia signed an agreement to respect Ukraine's borders in exchange for them giving up their nuclear weapons. While we were under no official commitment to defend the agreement, I think we did have an unofficial commitment to defend the agreement. However, we don't want to piss Russia off too much. Without them we cannot get our astronauts to and from the space station. Our military cannot place large satellites into orbit. The heavy-lift rocket uses a Russian main motor. What a stupid idea.