American has had a history of involvement in war in one place after another since World War II ended.
We were engaged in the Korean War from 1950 to 1953. The war was primarily the result of the political division of Korea by the Allies at the end of World War II. The United States pushed the UN Security Council to authorize military intervention in Korea and then provided 90% of the soldiers involved. It was our war that ended badly.
The Vietnam War lasted from 1961 to 1975. Our government decided that America's involvement in the war would prevent a communist takeover of South Vietnam and was a strategy of "containment." Over
public protests we sent young men to fight there. 58,220 United States military members died in the war. The benefit of the war is still debated.
In 1983 the United States invaded Granada, a Caribbean island following a military coup. Our excuse was the presence of American medical students and the island. The United Nations Gen. assembly condemned our invasion as a flagrant violation of international law.
In 1989 the United States invaded Panama using the justification the protection of the Panama Canal shipping lane.
In 1991 the United States was involved in a war known as the "Gulf War" after Iraq invaded Kuwait but we were careful not to invade Iraq as a declared war under George Bush's father.
During the 1990s the United States was involved in wars in Bosnia with United Nations forces.
In 1993 an American-led United Nations force was involved in a war in Somalia.
In 2001 the United States intervened in the war in Afghanistan and remains there to this date. Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011 in Pakistan, but the war in Afghanistan however continues. Tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians have lost their lives in this war.
The United States invaded Iraq March 20, 2003 under George Bush. We are still involved in the war in Iraq as of today. Some 50,000 US troops were designated to be advisers in September 2010 and in 2011 the US announced that the war was over withdrawing United States troops except for advisers. Significant violence continues in Iraq and the number of US military who lost their lives exceeds 4486.The number of civilian deaths is significant.
The financial cost of these wars is staggering and the ongoing, never ending wars in Afghanistan and Iraq explain the troubled economy to a large degree.
The question is: Was our involvement in these various wars worth it? Korea was described as "a police action" to stop the spread of Communism. The Vietnam war was likewise described as needed to stop Communism. China and Russia were seen as the enimies we needed to resist as taking over areas. We got into Afghanistan after a disastrous involvement by Russia and found we could not extricate ourselves so we are still losing our military as casualties. Everyone knows the Iraq story of lies and misrepresentation to get us into a war that never should have happened.
So, are we as Americans better off for having been the the policeman of the world? Is that the role we want, to invade every country that has internal conflict or a dictator who abuses it's citizens? Whether we get involved in yet another war in Syria depends upon how you see America's role in the world in that regard. But, one thing that I think is not subject to debate is that there is no way to have a "limited" involvement in Syria. The assurances of a quick and limited involvement in Iraq were soon proven unreliable. Whatever action is planned for Syria Newton's laws of physics will apply: For every action there is a reaction.
I think it utter foolishness for the United States to take any action in Syria and that doing so will cause far more harm than good. Pope Francis has asked for prayers of peace and with that I am in full agreement.