As I write this Russian tanks have reportedly crossed into Ukraine, and an unlovely group called The Islamic Republic of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is advancing towards Baghdad shooting and decapitating prisoners and posting pictures of their handiwork on social media.


The American Embassy in Baghdad is preparing for their Vietnam 1975 moment.


In Afghanistan the Taliban are waiting on the announced withdrawal of all but a symbolic number of American forces next year.


I could be wrong, and I hope I am, but it seems to me the most likely outcome over the next year or two is: Russia seizes a big chunk of eastern Ukraine, Iraq breaks up in civil war, and the Taliban takes Afghanistan.


The good news is, a lot of people in America and abroad are getting what they want, an America that stays home and minds its own business.


An old saying about being careful what you wish for comes to mind.


Democrats are blaming George Bush. ďIf he hadnít lied us into Iraq this wouldnít be happening.Ē


No it wouldnít, and Iraq would still be ruled by a murderous psychopath and his loathsome sons.


Iím not being sarcastic here (or maybe just a little), there are thoughtful arguments made by people like military strategist Edward Luttwak that in the long run itís best to let local civil wars burn themselves out.


Republicans are blaming Barrack Obama for allowing another debacle like, well like Vietnam 1975.


Obama does seem eerily disconnected from what happens outside the U.S. but this is not entirely fair either.


The fact is, the whole country is sick of foreign semi-wars that seem to accomplish nothing.


And not just on the left either, there are substantial factions on the right that heartily wish the rest of the world would go hang.


In Europe any number of harsh critics of American foreign policy will damn us whichever way it breaks.


If we re-intervene in Iraq we will be condemned for American imperialism. If we donít, we will be blamed for the chaos and casualties.


When Afghanistan falls to the Taliban, countries which have contributed troops will wonder why they ever backed us to begin with.


As for Ukraine, there is pretty much nothing we can do but weíll be blamed anyway.


But there is something that should be noted about this. Years of living in Europe convinced me that the Europeans donít want America to totally renounce military interventions, they want us to intervene in ways they approve of.


A good friend of mine in Lithuania for example, thinks Americaís invasion of Iraq was Stalinism pure and simple. And if you know how Stalin treated Lithuania, thatís not an idle criticism.


I donít think heíll mind an American intervention when Russia tries to reabsorb the Baltic coast though.


What do I think?


I think that in hindsight there are two viable strategies when it comes to invading other countries which have given us legitimate reasons to retaliate Ė such as harboring and supporting terrorists who have attacked us.


One is to invade, remove the regime and get out. Perhaps as John Bolton suggested, leaving them a copy of The Federalist and wishing them the very best of luck.


The other is the imperial strategy of staying, repairing the infrastructure, and building all the institutions of civil society: bureaucracy, police, army etc.


The disadvantage of the first is it might leave them in a position to rebuild and re-attack, as Germany did after World War I.


The disadvantage of the second is that it realistically takes at least a generation of continuous occupation, with all the expense and casualties that entails. We evidently havenít got the patience for that, which is rather a pity because the experience of occupying the Philippines, Germany and Japan seems to show weíre rather good at that kind of imperialism.


Imperialism is one of those things that, if it canít be done right, shouldnít be done at all. And perhaps the world will breathe a sigh of relief when America withdraws from those messy foreign interventions.


And then again, when the two biggest countries who have no such scruples about intervening in other peoples affairs are Russia and China, perhaps not.

As I write this Russian tanks have reportedly crossed into Ukraine, and an unlovely group called The Islamic Republic of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is advancing towards Baghdad shooting and decapitating prisoners and posting pictures of their handiwork on social media.

The American Embassy in Baghdad is preparing for their Vietnam 1975 moment.

In Afghanistan the Taliban are waiting on the announced withdrawal of all but a symbolic number of American forces next year.

I could be wrong, and I hope I am, but it seems to me the most likely outcome over the next year or two is: Russia seizes a big chunk of eastern Ukraine, Iraq breaks up in civil war, and the Taliban takes Afghanistan.

The good news is, a lot of people in America and abroad are getting what they want, an America that stays home and minds its own business.

An old saying about being careful what you wish for comes to mind.

Democrats are blaming George Bush. ďIf he hadnít lied us into Iraq this wouldnít be happening.Ē

No it wouldnít, and Iraq would still be ruled by a murderous psychopath and his loathsome sons.

Iím not being sarcastic here (or maybe just a little), there are thoughtful arguments made by people like military strategist Edward Luttwak that in the long run itís best to let local civil wars burn themselves out.

Republicans are blaming Barrack Obama for allowing another debacle like, well like Vietnam 1975.

Obama does seem eerily disconnected from what happens outside the U.S. but this is not entirely fair either.

The fact is, the whole country is sick of foreign semi-wars that seem to accomplish nothing.

And not just on the left either, there are substantial factions on the right that heartily wish the rest of the world would go hang.

In Europe any number of harsh critics of American foreign policy will damn us whichever way it breaks.

If we re-intervene in Iraq we will be condemned for American imperialism. If we donít, we will be blamed for the chaos and casualties.

When Afghanistan falls to the Taliban, countries which have contributed troops will wonder why they ever backed us to begin with.

As for Ukraine, there is pretty much nothing we can do but weíll be blamed anyway.

But there is something that should be noted about this. Years of living in Europe convinced me that the Europeans donít want America to totally renounce military interventions, they want us to intervene in ways they approve of.

A good friend of mine in Lithuania for example, thinks Americaís invasion of Iraq was Stalinism pure and simple. And if you know how Stalin treated Lithuania, thatís not an idle criticism.

I donít think heíll mind an American intervention when Russia tries to reabsorb the Baltic coast though.

What do I think?

I think that in hindsight there are two viable strategies when it comes to invading other countries which have given us legitimate reasons to retaliate Ė such as harboring and supporting terrorists who have attacked us.

One is to invade, remove the regime and get out. Perhaps as John Bolton suggested, leaving them a copy of The Federalist and wishing them the very best of luck.

The other is the imperial strategy of staying, repairing the infrastructure, and building all the institutions of civil society: bureaucracy, police, army etc.

The disadvantage of the first is it might leave them in a position to rebuild and re-attack, as Germany did after World War I.

The disadvantage of the second is that it realistically takes at least a generation of continuous occupation, with all the expense and casualties that entails. We evidently havenít got the patience for that, which is rather a pity because the experience of occupying the Philippines, Germany and Japan seems to show weíre rather good at that kind of imperialism.

Imperialism is one of those things that, if it canít be done right, shouldnít be done at all. And perhaps the world will breathe a sigh of relief when America withdraws from those messy foreign interventions.

And then again, when the two biggest countries who have no such scruples about intervening in other peoples affairs are Russia and China, perhaps not.