You can already see this in the countless articles and commentaries about the Afghan debacle, both in the mainstream press and on the Internet. Most of the critiques revolve around how the the war and the resulting occupation were mismanaged. "If only they had done this and if only they had done that, everything would be different" is the common refrain.
If that's all we learn from this deadly and destructive disaster, we will not have learned anything. What we need to do is to raise our sights to a higher level by focusing on what fundamental changes are needed to move our nation in a better, more peaceful, prosperous, and harmonious direction.
A foreign policy of non-interventionism
First, we need to end foreign interventionism entirely.
Some of the critics of the Afghanistan debacle are suggesting that what we need instead are just "smarter" interventions — ones, they say, that really, truly are only in our "national interest."
They are wrong. You can be assured that with every single intervention, U.S. officials have concluded that the intervention is in our "national interest." When U.S. officials invaded Afghanistan, make no mistake about it: they were convinced that they were acting in our "national interest."