Take, for example, the master-concept behind Obama's surge, namely that in order to prevent Afghanistan posing a terrorist threat it was necessary to launch full-spectrum counter-insurgency operations. It is possible, of course, to expose the curious premises, analogies and chains of inductive logic which imply our activities in 2010 are an efficient way of preventing another terrorist attack. And 20 years from now, we may struggle to explain why we once felt Afghanistan required the deployment of 100,000 troops or the spending $100 billion each year -- why it required far more resources and attention than its more powerful and populous neighbors Iran or Pakistan.
And now I want to take a blunt stab at this one... Is the defense industry not, in essence, a jobs program? Sure it is how we fight wars, but that seems to be the most compelling reason why America spends $100 billion a year on a country now with less than 50 members of al-Qaeda.