The reasoning seemed persuasive, but it neglected the limitations of Western power that have manifested themselves so visibly in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Yes, Tom ... if the NeoCon warmongers had been paying attention in 2001, they could have saved taxpayers billions of dollars, and countless military families the pain of losing their loved ones or having them come back maimed for life - because it was obvious back then that all out military invasion of Afghanistan or Iraq was doomed to fail in the first place.
As far back as 2001/2002, I remember arguing that you don't fight shadows with heavy armor - you fight shadows with shadows. You fight shadows by removing the dark crevasses that they hide in by shedding light on them. All out conventional war creates more shadows, it does not eliminate them. It never has and never will.
What the NeoCons don't understand about foreign policy can be summed up in the Afghanistan and Iraq experiences - military force is the threat you use in today's world. The real work happens much more covertly. You don't defeat terrorists by blowing up the compound that one of their leaders lives in, you defeat them by undermining their activities and efforts.
The question we face now, is what to do with Afghanistan and Iraq. Long term military occupation is unlikely to feasible or politically palatable to taxpayers, and it is hard to imagine that we have any real allies in those countries right now.