Writing at Mother Jones about Leon Panetta's new book, Kevin Drum brings up a good point:
Think about this. Panetta isn't even a super hawkish Democrat. Just moderately hawkish. But his basic worldview is simple: as long as Obama is launching lots of drone attacks and surging lots of troops and bombing plenty of Middle Eastern countries—then he's a "strong leader on security issues." But when Obama starts to think that maybe reflexive military action hasn't acquitted itself too well over the the past few years—in that case he's "kind of lost his way."
We have been bombing or invading someone for going on thirteen straight years now. If you count assorted "peacekeeping" missions, the steak is even longer. That is crazy.
I would say Panetta is the epitome of the DC insider, but Lanny Davis is pretty planted in that spot like a fungal growth. Still, Panetta's complaints are emblematic of the received wisdom of basically anyone to the right of Bernie Sanders at this point.
Military action has become the United States' default foreign policy. By that off-kilter logic, if we are not invading or bombing someone, then we must be doing nothing, and therefore have no strategy.