You have many good points and I especially appreciate this not being an Anti Trump rant as I expected. I do not see President Trump or anyone else going war with Iran as the outcome would be predetermined but costly. It would likely cause the President his office in the next election and it would be bad for business and President Trump is all about business. I doubt Bernie would have been the dove that everyone expected although he would have obviously greatly reduced the military budget and that would have led to global power vacuum and embarrassed Bernie who I have always expected is not much of a statesman. Bernie is a passionate believer and passionate believers have started many a war.
Violence creates more enemies than it destroys. Yes and that is why we have the war on terror or virtually any war in history. There is an act of violence towards another nation and the other nation responds with violence. That being said violence is often successful in long term strategic goals if it is not countered. Using the ISIS invasion of Iraq as an example if it were not countered by the US most of Iraq would now be part of the caliphate and Iran would likely be the line of defense. As it was with US assistance Iraq and the Kurds were able to repel the invasion. This proves your point as ultimately ISIS violence created far more enemies than it could defend against. But the huge US and Soviet military machines were the only forces that could quickly conclude and contain ISIS without a protracted war that could have involved many more nations and much more suffering.
My biggest contention is you seem to champion Iran. Granted our history with Iran is not without sin. What you fail to mention is Iran has been determined for the deaths of 608 US servicemembers deaths in Iraq, the Beirut Marine Corp Barracks killing 241 (note this was a UN peace keeping mission) the list goes on and on but Iran has and is committed and sponsored violence globally and it has been an effective national strategy for them. Iran was mentioned over 100 times in the 911 report. Looking at this more deeply Israel is a nuclear power and Iran has threatened them many times. I do not think for a minute that Israel would hesitate to use the Nuclear option if they felt an attack was imminent. Not thinking Iran is aggressive and often uses or sponsors violence supporting a Shite agenda in the Middle East is simply naïve.
Having spent nearly a decade in Iraq and Afghanistan as a Soldier and a civilian most of the data you pick is simply that. I am no fan of Cheney or Haliburton but the mechanical and logistical support I have received from defense contractors was incredible what I saw were a well paid high performing work force that delivered a very good but high priced product. Like this point most of points are simply do not show context or any depth of understanding with the exception of the friendly fire incidents of the two Blackhawks and the Pat Tillman tragedy. It honestly looks like you went to an anti war blog and did a copy and paste. Your own link for “ thousands of children killed” does not say what you elude to at all. I could go on and on but you make some good points and it is a shame to bury them by rehashing anti war and mostly anti US propaganda.
Having fought as Soldier, lived off of the economy, and worked as a humanitarian in the areas you mention I do speak with some real perspective. I suspect no matter who is elected President in the next decade you will see less and less US military influence in the world. I suspect you will see this power vacuum filled quickly by nations and opportunistic actors. Using history as an example; after the collapse of the former Yugoslavian government and the resulting in the Bosnian wars that resulted in over 100,000 casualties is a prime example of what happens in a power vacuum. The UN sent in a force to quell the ongoing genocide in Sarajevo that promptly proved to have no affect. The conflict only came to an end after US and NATO intervention.
Lastly I cannot speak for the validity of the below graphic it is an independent source and I have heard this quoted many time so I suspect there is truth to it. Please note the post WWII drop that corresponds with the start of the Cold War and the beginning of the UN and the US playing the role of world police.
You have a solid message and lord knows I despise war and I have seen it from many perspectives. What I know is the world would be a very different place without US military intervention. It is impossible for you or I to say it is better or worse for the our efforts as it is simply cause and effect; I can also attest to the fact that war is far from an American innovation an to blame one without the other simply shows a lack of depth. A military is what a military is and it is designed to kill a nations enemy as determined by the politicians or sometimes elected leaders and in that capacity the American military is the greatest force the world has ever seen. I agree with you whole heartedly about empirical evidence required before a nation commits to a war. I suspect our days are of being global police are coming to an end. Let us see how it works out.