Less Powerful Than We Think

Exum tends "to believe the actions of local actors are more significant than those of U.S. policymakers":

In general, we Americans -- especially some of our friends on the American Right -- tend to overestimate the importance of what we do in comparison to what local actors do. (Iraq and Afghanistan, seriously, should have taught us better.) That doesn't mean we fold up our tents and head home: we just have to be realistic about what we can hope to achieve through the application of U.S. power, military force especially.