Don’t keep putting coins in the machine.

Posted: September 18, 2009 by datechguy in opinion/news
Tags: , , , ,

One of the more reasonable arguments concerning the White Houses’ missile defense move is the cost savings it entails. It sounds pretty good but it is deceptive.

First of all political capital and possibility monetary capital was spent to get the permission to put the stuff there in the first place. Now that it will not be deployed that is all now a loss.

Second of all it means if either the technology or threat changes then we would have to spend it all again, only this time we would have less credibility and it would have a higher cost in political and financial capital, in fact it might not even be in time. Sort of like the four stage strategy of diplomacy via Sir Humphrey starting around 6 min in this clip or if you just want the meat at 7:40

If your goal is to actually do nothing then it’s a great plan. If your goal is you know actual deterrence it’s not a good idea. It’s like losing money in a machine and then just putting more in again instead of getting your quarters back first.

But Datechguy you say: Aren’t these missiles actually better than the ground stuff and more flexable? It’s the arugment in the LGF thread on the subject that was offered and here is my answer verbatim:

Those things are true in the physical sense but it is a worse deterrent in a political sense. If a country is under actual threat there is little question in the mind of the potential aggressor that it will use a deterrent under it’s own control on it’s own soil.

If the deterrent is not on their own soil then the political will of the guarantor is taken into effect. Europe’s graveyards are full of casualties of the lack of political will.

That’s why US troops South Korea are a more effective deterrent then a promise to deploy troops would be. It’s also why we actually had troops in Europe instead of relying on a nuclear deterrent. Your more likely to stay in the pot if you already have money in it.

That is the reality.

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