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effectiveness and efficiency in conflict situations

Reader comment on item: Assessing the U.S. Global Military Force
in response to reader comment: The Unexpected and sending the wrong message

Submitted by myth (Germany), Jan 18, 2012 at 08:34

In a conflict scenario an attacker is free to choose the moment of the attack. Say the US is the one to react. A high degree of efficiency, that is an arsenal reduced to match the threat at minumum budget cost, easily lets the attacker choose the weapon and the theatre of the conflict. The US should have a wide choice in the arsenal with which to determine the weapons and the location. That creates the alternative of an overproportionate response in another area where it really hurts. Only an affluent military can determine the rules of the conflict.

From the perspective of effectiveness the US has one major weakness. The informed public will not tolerate a large number of casualties. A military win at high cost translates into a lost conflict easily.

Applying this to the Strait of Hormuz situation: You do not want to risk the sinking of a single US-navy ship live on TV when the real problem is the regime in Teheran, not the weapons used. You would like to have an option that says to Iran: You can block the seaways as long as you like, but in the meantime we may invade your country and end your regime; we can do one, or the other, or both.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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