Originally posted October 7, 2013.
I agree 100% with this Cato Institute analysis by John Mueller.
Dealing with current threats mainly calls for policing and intelligence work with occasional focused strikes by special units as necessary. There is no need for the maintenance of a large standing military force. Moreover, the U.S. should not pay for those costs of terrorism that are based less on the likelihood of an attack than the fear of such an event. Similarly, humanitarian intervention with military force is unlikely to become common because of a low tolerance for casualties in such missions, an increasing aversion to the costs and difficulties of nation-building, and the lack of political gain from successful ventures.