Hilzoy nails it: Keeping U.S. troops in Iraq to prevent violence is like swapping your Prius for Hummer to prevent global warming.
Hilzoy sums up the basic goofiness of the humanitarian argument for supporting the endless “surge”:
Suppose that someone asked you whether you thought preventing genocide was a good reason to keep our army in Iraq. “Of course not,” you’d say. “That would only make things worse. That’s like asking whether my I care enough about global warming to swap my Prius for a Hummer.”
Author: Mark Kleiman
Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out.
Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken)
When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist
Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993)
Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989)
View all posts by Mark Kleiman