Urban Legends Reference Pages: Politics (A Word Transformed): "there was no viable 'exit strategy' we could see, violating another of our principles. Furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations' mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different --and perhaps barren --outcome. "
...and then there was the admonition, "Whatever you do, son, DON'T PEAK TOO SOON!"