Our military is the strongest in the world. As such we have a responsibility to see that it is used to further peace and protect our interests. One criticism I have of the use of our military force is that it has been used in politically-motivated-no-win-wars. Please note that this is not a criticism of the military as much as a criticism of politicians use of the military. Our last declared war was WWII. It was an all out war with everyone helping. We had Rosie the riviter, war bonds, victory gardens, rationing of critical war materials including food, etc. And there was no criticism allowed. Many of our civil liberties were curtailed for security reasons. But this war only lasted four years to conclusion. We won unconditional surrender. And now our enemies of the time have reformed and become our friends.
Contrast that with our undeclared wars in Korea, VietNam, Iraq, and Afganistan. Long protracted wars (Korea is a truce only). And the results.
Eleven years now we have been kicking sand in the middle east after being attacked at the Twin Towers. If we had declared war on these people, it would have been over a long time ago. We beat the worlds biggest military power in four years but have been unable to deal with some lightly equipted insurgents in the desert. If we had declared war, Pakistan could not have aided the enemy. In a declared war to aid our enemies is to be at war with us and we would have to respond.
The fiasco in Bengazi shows how little we are prepared for the war being waged against us by our enemies. They attack us and we have to get command authority to respond. Our leaders make a political decision. It should be a military decision. If we were at war the local command would have immediately responded and wiped out the attackers. But in the current environment, our leaders had to determine the politics involved to determine their response.