Iraq Syndrome

Lexington diagnoses the American public:

In 2005 John Mueller, a professor of political science at the Ohio State University, predicted in Foreign Affairs that an “Iraq syndrome” would eventually make America more sceptical of unilateral military action, especially in places that presented no direct threat to it, and less inclined to dismiss Europeans and other well-meaning foreigners as wimps. “The United States may also become more inclined to seek international co-operation, sometimes even showing signs of humility.” A bull’s eye for the professor.

Greg Scoblete shakes his head:

It's always puzzled me why much of the Washington foreign policy community saw the "Vietnam Syndrome" as a bad thing, as if the U.S. had curled up into a geopolitical fetal position, unwilling to use force even to protect vital interests (not true: when push came to shove we ejected Saddam from Kuwait). But to the extent that a "Vietnam Syndrome" prevented policymakers from blundering into an unnecessary conflict, so much the better, I would argue.

A realist is a neocon who has been mugged by reality.