...for another micro-second, than you really need to listen to Matthew Hoh:
Hoh served, successively, in the State Department, in Iraq, and in Afghanistan, as a consultant, a marine captain and a foreign service officer, under Presidents Bush II and Obama. So he has a unique perspective on the "war on terror," combining first-hand experience of the highest levels of bureaucracy in Washington, D.C. with on-the-ground military and diplomatic experience in Iraq and Afghanistan.
And he tells it like it is. Retaliating against those responsible for the 9/11 attack was good and necessary. But this whole "nation building" thing is hopeless at best and counterproductive at worst.
One particularly refreshing aspect of this fascinating interview is Hoh's (admittedly, implicit) understanding of the reality and the importance of tribal diversity, and how it stands in the way of universalist democratic liberalism. Other than that, it's hard for me to single anything out: you just have to watch the whole thing.