A debate on intervention

*intro musik*
*camera zooms towards show host*

Mr. Handsome: "Ladies and gentlemen, thanks for joining The Global News Show with Dick Handsome! Our topic tonight will be the atrocities committed in Dustistan and how our country should lead the response. I welcome Mr. Paul McFriedman of the Center for stupid ideas, a defense think tank! "

*taped applause*

Mr. Handsome: "and my other guest, Prof. Boring from the university of backwater."

*switch to camera showing Handsome and McFriedman*
*background screen shows a map Dustistan and neighbouring countries, lined with scary flames*

Mr Handsome: "Paul, three journalists have been killed in Dustistan yesterday. What's your take on this?"

*switch camera on McFriedman*

McFriedman: "It's a huge atrocity and shouldn't be tolerated. The free world must not be silent on this, it needs to react. We should take global leadership on this and build an alliance of the stupid. Then we should bomb the terrorists. I expect swift and decisive results. Air power strong, ugh!"

*switch to camera showing Handsome and McFriedman*

Mr. Handsome: "No ground forces?" 

McFriedman: Well, we should of course exploit this opportunity to set up a quasi-permanent base with a few thousand troops servicing themselves and supporting a few dozen troops actually training a regional force whose language and culture they don't understand. This works like a charm every time - as a political preparation for a larger ground forces intervention, for example."

*switch to camera showing Handsome*

Handsome: "I agree. This sounds perfectly sensible. You're a very serious person!

*Mr. Handsome turns to Prof. Boring: "Mr. Boring, what else could we do to kick asses?"

*switch to camera showing Handsome and Boring*

Prof. Boring: "Well, three dead journalists is a tragedy and no good news for press freedom."

Handsome: "Obviously."

Prof. Boring: "Science has actually devised models to help decision-makers find the right decision in such situations. A military intervention in such a conflict will at least cost a billion $, possibly ten billion $. The purpose would be revenge for three dead men, maybe the effort would save the lives of ten citizens who travelled into the civil war zone at their own risk. This would be a hundred million $ per life saved.
Meanwhile, authorities at home reject proposals for road safety investments on cost grounds because the price tag per saved life would exceed ten million $.
To spend a billion on possibly saving ten lives of adventurous journalists would essentially kill almost a hundred of our people at home. To spend ten billion $ on warfare would kill a thousand of us at home.
That's no efficient resource allocation."

*switch to camera showing Handsome and McFriedman*

Handsome: "Paul, you are an expert on these things. How far are our carriers away? Will it take more than a week to assemble an intervention force to bomb pickups and huts in Dustistan?"

McFriedman: "We can begin to bomb bomb bomb Dustistan today. It only takes an executive order. We powerful, ugh! We spend a fortune every year to have our carrier fleets patrolling thousands of nautical miles from our territories right under the nose of countries which people like me don't like because our paycheck depends on it."

*switch to camera showing Handsome*

Handsome: "We'll be back to discuss the intervention in Dustistan in a few minutes."

*commercial break*

- - - - -

I'm kidding. The Professor wouldn't be invited, much less allowed more than 20 seconds of uninterrupted commentary.

For older related blog posts click this link to all Defence and Freedom blog posts
tagged "War and Peace", going back to 2007.


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