First things first, I am adopting a fully cynical point of view that disregards the tragic human loss and suffering generated by 20 years of conflict (not being ironic at all here).
I’ve read different figures on the huge amount of money that was poured into this war (why was it started again?)… Let’s average the claims to a trillion USD.
If you consider that whatever the official goals for the invasion were just a pretext, a decoy, and the real reason was to funnel money into the “Military Industrial complex” that Eisenhower loved so much, and all the other business that gravitate that sun, could it be that the economic results from all that activity were a plus for the US (in terms of jobs generated, scientific research, taxes)?
Military superiority is also an obvious strategic asset, but keeping that superiority has a cost, and whereas China’s leaders can just dictate how much they are going to spend on defense, the US has to use some persuasion on it’s population and elected officials, and what better justification that a morally justified war? (Something taken directly from Sun Tzu’s book).
So the second point is that it was also a strategic win as it helped the US further its military superiority.
Not passionate about any of the arguments above, just interested in reading points of view.