The use of military means to achieve political ends evokes a thread of a rich discussion, one that reaches back through the ages. It was certainly so even in the winter of 1775, as Edmund Burke spoke on the floor of Parliament, at a time when England decided to send an army and a navy to put down the American rebellion.
Although Burke wasn't exactly espousing our independence in his speech, he did question his government's reliance upon military force in preventing it:
Those who wield the thunder of the state may have more confidence in the efficacy of arms. But ... my opinion is much more in favor of prudent management than of force; considering force not as an odious, but a feeble instrument in preserving a people as spirited as this.
So I can only imagine Burke's surprise--if he were alive today--to hear our Secretary of Defense …