This piece at the Washington Post has a bunch of interesting survey questions. Can you guess the one question where I line up with the Republicans? Check below:
I side with the GOP on the idea that the Afghanistan war was worth it (being a bit careful to think about what "worth it" might mean). Post 9/11, the US had to disrupt and disperse Al Qaeda's Afghanistan operation. It would have been nice had Rummy/Franks not micromanaged things so that the US could have gotten more operatives early. Whether the wars from 2003 to 2014 "are worth it" is a related question but not the same thing. The war was worth it, but which aspects, parts, whatever, not so clear. Despite heaps of recent controversy, I am still ambivalent about the surge in Afghanistan--that it might have been necessary to make withdrawal possible and did probably give Afghanistan a decent chance at winning the civil war to come.
On the other hand, the Iraq war? Not worth it at all. As I have posted (here and here to start) and will be posting, the war was a bad idea, badly executed, by the wrong people. It was never a good idea. It is interesting to see how quickly Independents turned on the war. Perhaps a combo of no WMDs and Rumsfeld's repeated arrogance did the trick. Of course, one has to consider with a grain of salt the GOP take on Iraq. I would not be surprised if the % of GOP still thinking Iraq was a good idea is not that dissimilar from beliefs about Obama (Kenyan, Muslim, whatever). In other words, reality is a flighty bird for much of the modern GOP.
Indeed, the next pic is really striking: did the war contribute to US security: