Awd-turbo do you think the ~100K dead iraqis would say their lives are better now or before? Do you think that the family members of those dead iraqis is better now or before? Do you think the lives of the soldiers who died unnecessarily are better now or before?
We get it, you served and therefore have the only valid opinion on war/occupation. No one else has enough 1st hand knowledge about the situation to be able to formulate a valid opinion. What us "others" have is intelligence, foresight and historical perspective... Both are needed to fully understand most complex situations.
Do you realize that Saddam was put in power by the US/CIA? Do you realize that the US supplied Iraq (and Iran) with arms? Do you realize that US are the ones that supplied Iraq with the biological weapons he/his brother used against the Kurds? Do you realize that the US/CIA are the ones that trained/armed the Taliban/Mujaheddin in Afghanistan? Do you realize that US gives billions of your tax dollars away to Israel each year. Do you realize that UK/US were the ones that overthrew a democratically elected official in Iran and installed their own dictator?
When are you going to open your eyes and realize that all this BS has consequences? You think you can go around pissing on people all you like and they're just going to sit there and enjoy being pissed on because you have the biggest stick? I know you like to think everything you do is for the greater good but wake up, seriously. Try putting yourselves in their shoes for once. How would you like being bullied around by the big kid on the block? Would you sit there and take it?
Have you been watching the news lately? Which country has been taking a beating in the western media? Which country is the US and most of its allies trying to place new sanctions on? Which country is directly between Iraq/Afghanistan with huge military installations/forces on each side of its border? What if China tried to "help" Mexico with all of its drug problems and build huge bases all along the US border. That would be fine with you because they'd be helping Mexico... Right?
What do the people of the US have to gain from all this? Does it make sense to occupy other nations with hundreds of thousands of soldiers to catch a few thousand thugs? If a business spent 5000 dollars in man power to prevent 5 dollars worth of theft would that make sense to you? Is it fine for the government to be doing that?
Most importantly don't you realize that the terrorists are kicking your ass really bad right now? By doing simple sh*t they've got America running in circles spending money they don't have and doing all kinds of crazy paranoid sh*t. The US is destroying itself from within and doing more harm to itself than ANY terrorist organization could ever hope for. If things don't change I fear what the US is going to look like in 15 - 20 years.
I honestly don't know if its worth it or not. Our countries have been there for quite a while and the only things we hear about is the stuff the media reports and they tend to slant stuff one way or another based on their papers "official stance" on the war. Its pretty sad that we can't get fair objective reporting these days.
With that being said, it appears (at least) that things are better than they were when the taliban was in charge but once we leave will it resort to the old way? If it does then it wouldn't be worth it, but if the peace and democracy last then It will. Is that possible?, How are we to know?
How do we know it wont last... You look at the history of the region. The US has been trying to stabilize the region for 60+ years. The US is the reason why Hellman province is as prosperous agriculturally as it is. Same people that built the hoover dam also built a large dam in Afghanistan to help regulate the flow of water. Unfortunately, that new found agricultural capacity was used for opium/heroin/pot crops because they pay a lot better than wheat and other conventional crops. Until Afghanistan has an economy that doesn't revolve around drugs there's ZERO chance of keeping the corruption out of the country. The US would love nothing more than peaceful prosperous middle east so that it could build pipelines all over the place and transport Oil/NG to the rest of Asia.