All empires disbelieve that war is the problem, not the solution to their problems.
They pay a ruinous price for that disbelief.
President Obama has thus been absurdly criticized by ultra-neocons for insufficient avidity for military action in places completely irrelevant to the national security: Iraq, Syria and Ukraine. If anything, Mr. Obama has been too eager to fight over these irrelevancies rather than too cautious.
He has been assailed for refusing to supply weapons or other military support to alleged “secular moderate rebels” fighting Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in 2011-12. But moderate secular rebels in the Middle East are as mythological as unicorns. They are invented as predictably as the butterflies at Capistrano to justify ubiquitous warfare.