Here is McCain. And here is Podhoretz. Now come three political scientists, Andrew Enterline, J. Michael Greig, and James Meernik, to provide a more rigorous answer. They translate Podhoretz’s argument into this testable hypothesis:
bq. Considered collectively, the Podhoretz argument suggests the degree of militarized force employed by the United States and the period of peace following the application of force will be inversely related: The greater the military force applied by the United States, the greater length of post-hostility peace with an opponent state.
bq. In fact, our model shows strong support for the idea that American military clashes reduce, rather than extend, the durability of peace following a use of military force.
Find the paper here.