For John, BLUF: And, if it is on Congress, it is on us. We let those Congress Critters plot their own course. Nothing to see here; just move along.
Which means it is on us.
The intent of this essay is to advance several observations about how we plan and fight wars, in order to shed light upon why we are performing so poorly. We invaded both Afghanistan and Iraq with inchoate plans and inadequate forces to establish post-war security and governance. After winning the first battle in both countries, President George W. Bush offhandedly decided to build democratic nations, a task for which our State Department and US Agency for International Development had no competence or interest. By default, the mission fell to our military, also without competence but with unflagging devotion and determination.When there is a problem and an Administration is out of Ideas, Manpower or Airspeed, they turn to the Department of Defense. Maybe not the best venue for this or that, but the one that can move out and make it happen. The Except talks to Department of State and US Agency for International Development. The US Congress, however, has never funded them to be a robust organization in case we need them to help work the issue of Democracy. This is where the Vulcans fell short. They thought they could bring Democracy to the rest of the world. I would suggest that there was no "there" there in State and US AID. They couldn't surge to meet the need.
And who is this on, ultimately? We, the voters.
Regards — Cliff