Vox brings us an insightful view of what Neoconservatism is:
Neoconservatism, which had been around for decades, mixed humanitarian impulses with an almost messianic faith in the transformative virtue of American military force, as well as a deep fear of an outside world seen as threatening and morally compromised.
This ideology stated that authoritarian states were inherently destabilizing and dangerous; that it was both a moral good and a strategic necessity for America to replace those dictatorships with democracy — and to dominate the world as the unquestioned moral and military leader.
Translating this: Neoconservatism is liberalism enforced by conservative principles, much like liberal democracy is Leftism enforced through conservative institutions. Echoing American stated (but not actual) motivations during the Vietnam war, Neoconservatism is the fight by liberalism against those who believe in any system other than liberal democracy, which in turn echoes our justifications (but not motivations) in the first and second World Wars.
Experienced observers counter this illusion with the idea from Spengler and Plato that every population gets the leadership it deserves. In the third world, people are chaotic enough and so little dedicated to social order that the only power they will respect is a dictator; “near third world” countries like Russia and Italy prefer strong leaders for foreign policy and oligarchs or local warlords for day-to-day concerns.
In many ways, this distinction reveals the consumerism behind the spread of liberal democracy: having a democracy, especially a social democracy, signifies being from a wealthy nation. When this system shows its cracks as it did in the 1990s and early 2000s, the best solution is to affirm its status above those other systems, namely by defeating them with a combination of military and technological might.
From that perspective, the Iraq war was not about Iraq at all, but the fears of Americans and Europeans that their economic and social structure was failing. Much as the falling Roman empire went to war to unify its people, the modern empire launches its crusades in order to enforce solidarity among its people against an enemy, and the only way it knows how to designate that enemy is through Leftist ideology.