Actually, they are generally kept in lower threat areas unless the mission dictates. For example, normal doctrine would not have had AWACS where we were, however, in the end, we went to where it was necessary regardless of the risk.
Of course the nature of my argument is changing. As far as I know, the argument has never been made before. Therefore it is necessary, if it is to be argued again, to collect data on what works and what doesn't in order to correct and refine it. Should I decide to reuse it in the future, your feedback has been very useful. Emperors and Kings used to execute Generals who lost battles, that is ignorant, they should only be executed if the lost and were to stupid to learn from it.
Does others lack of altruism and empathy dictate what we should do? Or should we act upon our own beliefs and desires?
You pointed out how poorly we did at occupation in Iraq. Exactly how many times have we actually invaded and occupied another country since WWII? How many people have we helped during that time? Some claim it was economic interests, oil primarily, but how much oil did we get from Iraq before and how much do we get now? If "cheap" Oil was our true motivation for invading, we would have invaded Venezuela or Mexico or Even Canada instead.
No, the logical reason for invading Iraq at the time that we did was the number of assets tied up there already. Due to distance, Northern Watch and Southern Watch used up separate Command, Control and Surveillance assets, CSAR assets, Air Defense Suppression assets, Ground Attack assets and Air Superiority assets. One squadron, at least, of each were locked into support of each operation, not one of each covering both operations. Even if you combine Air Defense Suppression and ground attack, how many squadrons did that tie up? How many did we have?
You may believe that we shouldn't have been there at all. Fine, however, isolationism has never worked and we benefit from trade and getting resources from elsewhere. We need them. Further, the planet, at present, is a closed environment. If we, the strong, don't stand up for the weaker and strengthen them, then in the end, how many of them can we stand off alone?