Osama bin Laden believed people prefer the strong horse. No, people prefer the steady horse. What use is a strong horse if without warning it keeps bucking and throwing you to the ground, or for no seeming reason decides to run around the race course the wrong way?
The political system of the United States, as it's worked in the modern era, makes steadiness of purpose impossible when it comes to foreign relations. The peoples of the Middle East have discovered this bottom line about America the hard way.
Americans of misplaced faith theorize the U.S. government is unpredictable on purpose -- a clever stratagem.to keep everyone else off balance. The problem with the theory is that people on the receiving end of such behavior don't tend to make a distinction between unpredictability and unsteadiness. For this reason alone the United States needs to leave the Middle East, before Americans are treated with open contempt throughout that part of the world.