What about American interventions in troubled countries where the perception is that we can influence the outcome to be favorable to the United States? I think it is useful to look at examples of when we tried to do this, and accurately see just what actually happened — to see whether such interventions were in fact in the best interest of the United States, not of the country we tried to intervene in but of our own country, the benefit to it.
Vietnam comes to mind. Nearly 60k dead Americans and an untold number of wounded Americans. Perhaps a million dead Vietnamese. And the hyper inflation of the 70s. Not much benefit for the US there.
Iraq — not so many American casualties but a very large number of Americans with very serious wounds. Perhaps a half million Iraqis dead. But then the creation of an internal civil war between Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq that spilled over into Syria and destabilized that country. Ultimately an Iraq that is now firmly under the sphere of influence of Iran — one of our adversaries. Not much benefit for the US there.
Afghanistan – the longest war in American history and more or less now a permanent civil war with the Taliban (who by the way never attacked us), and so an endless drain on our treasury. Not much benefit there either.
So where have been the benefits to the United States? What has the United States actually gained from these types of interventions? I only see LOSS, and not small losses either but big ones.