Still -- was the eight years of blood and treasure poured into this troubled Middle Eastern country worth it? Was the four year surge worth it?
When nation-protecting turns into nation-building, the United States steps beyond its meaningful and manageable capacities.
We had a mission -- stop Saddam Hussein.
As one former state department official reported, Hussein was a weapon of mass destruction.
Still, the havoc wreaked on our domestic financial system brings us to this question:
Was it really worth it?
Yes, Saddam Hussein is dead and buried. There is a representative parliamentary democracy in Iraq. Al-Qaeda has been significantly weakened.
But will there be rest for the Iraqis? Will there be peace in the Middle East?
The rise of the Arab Spring, which has descended into a frosty winter of violent Iranian overtones, would suggest that long-term stable peace is still a long way for the Arab People.