Today we have this on the money observation.
Consider two other big counterinsurgency wars that were going badly after a few years: Vietnam in 1964 and Afghanistan in 1984. In both cases, the entangled superpower had the option of either pulling out and taking its lumps or extending the conflict, and in both cases it made the choice to extend the conflict. And both times that was the wrong decision. Staying in Vietnam did immense long-term damage to the national security of both Southeast Asia and the United States, and staying in Afghanistan was a leading cause of the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union. For both countries, staying involved in a long and deadly counterinsurgency almost certainly did far more harm than pulling out would have.But of course that's what everyone is suggesting. Of course that's not going to happen. At the latest the US will be out sometime in 2009. If the Bush/Cheney cabal compound the Iraq debacle with an attack on Iran it will be must sooner.
So if you had to guess whether another five or ten years would be good or bad for the United States, the odds say it will be bad. Very, very bad.