I've tried in the past to draw attention to the substantial continuities between the "neoconservative" foreign policy of George W. Bush and the classical imperialism of the late-19th and early twentieth centuries. "D" at Lawyers, Guns, and Money notes some linkages in terms of the rhetoric of gender anxiety as a motivating factor in foreign policy adventurism. And I think there's something to do. This sort of consideration doesn't drive strategic thinking, but it does help create a mentality wherein the destructiveness of war counts as a benefit rather than a cost of a war policy (see also "suck on this"). That skewed approach to accounting obviously sends the whole debate off-kilter in very bad ways.
Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.