I wish a Democratic candidate would run on a platform of removing the profit motive from war. The military-industrial complex has so thoroughly permeated the government, and this administration in particular, that market forces alone seem to be dictating US foreign policy.
How long should the US stay in Iraq? As long as there are US tax dollars that can be shoveled into the coffers of KBR, Halliburton, Lockheed, Northrop Grummand and their ilk. How long should Israel's incursion into Lebanon last? The answer will have nothing to do with what's in the best interest of the Lebanese or Israelis, or even US citizens.
Not to say that any of these need necessarily be conscious decisions on the part of policymakers (though on Cheney's part, they most assuredly are.) It's just that it is in the financial interest of powerful well connected corporations to prolong lucrative contract situations as long as possible., (contracts that are generally no-bid, but that's another issue.)
This is all laid out in the film Why We Fight, which I haven't seen, but the main thesis seems to explain a lot more about current US foreign policy decisions than any other theory. Ike predicted it 50 years ago. It's not about oil, or freedom, or terra, or US interests. It's not even about the Benjamins, it's all about the Wilsons . A few billion here a few billion there. Pretty soon you're talking real money. Your grandchildrens money.