Yes, that's a bromide.  Reason's Sheldon Richman recommends the latest corollary proposition, Foreign Intervention as Experimentation in State Control.  Sample:
Foreign interventions serve as a testing ground for domestically constrained governments to experiment with new forms of state-produced social control over distant populations. Intervening abroad allows governments to circumvent many of the domestic constraints that end at the nation’s geographic borders. The relative weakness or altogether absence of international constraints allows members of the intervening government to develop and hone new methods of control over citizens. Under certain conditions, these innovations in social control are then imported back to the intervening country through several channels that change the costs and benefits associated with expanding the scope of domestic government activities. The result is that the intervening government becomes more effective at controlling not only foreign populations but the domestic population as well.
Thus, there's more than "moral equivalent of war" or "we had the will to win a war in Europe, why not a war on drugs?" in the upward ratcheting of government activity.

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