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IPFS News Link • United States

Proponents of forever war in Syria can't answer one question: Why?

•, Dan DePetris

Speaking to a roomful of Army cadets at West Point in February 2011, Gates made the pointed but astute observation that the U.S. military needed another Iraq and Afghanistan-like conflict like it needed a hole in the head. "In my opinion," the outgoing SecDef advised that day, "any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should 'have his head examined,' as General MacArthur so delicately put it."

The U.S. national security community has taken Gates's words to heart, to a point. While the U.S. military has avoided the kinds of large-scale deployments that characterized the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the United States itself is still very much a nation at war.