Someone commented on a naval-themed blog
My answer was
Remember the "axis of evil" nonsense? Such primitive fearmongering devices are being used to enable (and promote) aggressive policies and resource re-allocation in support of these confrontational foreign policies. There are industries, bureaucracies and other groups (often even foreign countries) who benefit from such but the nation as a whole hardly ever does. Top the nation, expenses in support of confrontational foreign policy are government consumption that yields no public goods, essentially no benefits. Repairing bridges, cleaning up poisoned areas, investing in research and paying down public debt would be much better alternatives.
There are essentially no benefits from confrontational foreign policy. it's entertaining for stupid people in some ways, but entertainment can be had much cheaper, without thousands getting killed, disabled or disfigured.
What was the benefit to the West from the Iraq War, for example? Point at it, I dare you. Iraq was no threat at all, and anybody not too stupid to look at a globe or map knew that. Particularly with all that" WMD" stuff being easily visible lies (seriously, most of it was debunked before the war already, showing that the liars were liars!) and Iraq's conventional military having received hardly any repairs, spares or upgrades after 1990 and having suffered the loss of the huge majority of its heavy weapons and combat aircraft during 1991. Well, that and the successful disarmament regarding ballistic missiles and stuff through the inspections till 1996.
So there was absolutely nothing to be gained for Western nations by attacking Iraq, but a few warmongers, a few industries and in a strange way the subsequently funds-flooded armed bureaucracies did benefit at the expense of all others.
The fearmongering and confrontational attitude are hurting the infected nations. It's wasteful activity, self-harming and even more harmful to others, with no net benefit for any country.
Foreign leaders are perceived as caricatures, foreign countries are being perceived as comic story-like empires of evil instead of as countries, and the aversions and idiocy spills over into domestic affairs, with discrimination against people from the vilified regions or countries or even only their majority religions.
Defence policy should be about deterrence and defence for the own nation and if applicable, alliance.
Security policy may be about a bit more, but whatever "more" is being added on top of actual defence policy should be subjected to a cost/benefit test, with the burden of proof being on those who want to spend more on it. Those benefits should be identified rationally, not by hysterical idiots, irrational military fanbois or paid political shills.
For example, German troops were in a mission to Congo for peacekeeping during elections there. Most Germans didn't even notice, and I'm sure that almost no German whatsoever had any benefit (save for those who received extra pay) from this operation. This isn't even an example about confrontational foreign policy, but it suffers from the same defect: No justification. Congo is the business of the African Union, not ours.