There's a long, sad history of national leaders promising that the wars they were launching would be short. That was the common view in August 1914. After his dramatically successful Inchon landing in Korea, General Douglas MacArthur foolishly proclaimed the U.S. troops would be "home by Christmas." The G.W. Bush administration acted as if the war in Afghanistan was over after the Taliban left the major cities. And of course President Bush stood in front of a banner proclaiming "Mission Accomplished" just as Iraq descended into sectarian violence.
To add to this list now" the French parliament has just extended its authorization of military operations in the Central African Republic for an indefinite period. Lawmakers had to act now because their original three-month operation has not yet succeeded. They had even named the action after a short-lived butterfly. Now they know better.