Re: The most expensive dick swinging contest in history
I think they could have saved all those lives by just not deciding to wade into Iraq & Afghanistan with no serious plan at all about what to do when they inevitably won the military part of the operation in short order.
Indeed, if people had actually learnt from Apollo, the most important lesson would probably have been
Have a plan. Have a plan for what happens if that plan goes wrong. Have a plan for what happens if that plan goes wrong (and go as far as you can down this recursion). And be competent to spot things going wrong and execute these plans in real-time.
Instead the fashionable approach is
Make no plan at all, it will be fine. Blame someone else when it is not fine.
This is why we're all fucked: we did not actually learn anything from Apollo (or: we did, but we've forgotten.)