The current Republicans could learn from another one, Dwight Eisenhower:
Trying to hold a country the size of Iraq in the middle of a civil war with 160,000 troops would have seemed to him absurd. If you need to use force, you should have enough of it to do the job quickly and completely. Then get the troops home and leave the rest to the politicians and diplomats. That was the American way of war, as Ike and Grant saw it.
Ike was shrewd enough to avoid getting entangled in France's war in Indochina. "No one," he said, "could be more opposed to ever getting the United States involved in a hot war in that region than I am." As for the Middle East, Ike offered prescient words: the United States had no business transforming itself into "an occupying power in a seething Arab world," and if it ever did so, "I am sure we would regret it."
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