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There's no such thing as overkill in preparation, not practice.

If we were really comfortable with overkill, there wouldn't be a single Afghani or Iraqi alive, and it all could have been done with far fewer US military casualties.

by Zwackus on Mon Apr 12th, 2010 at 08:11:10 AM EST
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Only in the very short term. In the longer term there would likely be many more US casualties because of (very literal) international fall out.

The US is only nominally a hyperpower. In practice its actions are always constrained by political and military consequences.

Which is why the calls for consensus and international support are more important than they seem to be. Even during the darkest and most psychotic days of King Bush it was very, very important for the US not to feel it was going it alone.

If European pols understood this more clearly, they'd realise just how much leverage they already have.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Apr 12th, 2010 at 08:47:38 AM EST
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Yes and no.

In the second world war, overkill (euphemistically known as "strategic bombing" and "total war") was the stated and practised policy on the Pacific Front. That still left enough living Japanese to warrant serious worries about casualties in the event of an invasion of the home islands. Even blanketing Iraq in nuclear fire (which, of course, would both piss off people the US can't afford to piss off and obviate the whole "take their stuff" part of "beat Iraq over the head and take their stuff") would leave quite a lot of Iraqis alive, armed and very, very pissed off.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Apr 12th, 2010 at 09:08:38 AM EST
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