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Sharing the Burden of Peace

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groovedaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-19-11 10:59 AM
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Sharing the Burden of Peace
Have you braced yourself for the Pentagon spending cuts recently unveiled by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates? Dont bother. Though many journalists used that term to describe the Gates budget, Gates himself conceded that this is really all about a reduction in the rate of growth in spending.

Im sure Gates did his best, comparing the bang-per-buck of different weapons systems and dropping the ones that failed this cost-benefit analysis. But theres a different kind of cost-benefit analysis, and if the Obama administration used it, we could actually cut defense spending. And, as a bonus, we would correct a national security strategy that is disastrously off course.

In economics there is something called a collective action problem. Suppose theres a row of merchants, and all are bedeviled by a troublemaker who roams their storefronts, scaring off customers. All merchants would benefit from getting rid of the troublemaker, but it doesnt make sense for any one merchant to bear the entire cost of the necessary policing. Collaboration is in order.

The collaboration can take various forms. In a shopping mall, merchants may split the cost of a security guard. In a sidewalk setting, security comes from the towns police, whose costs the merchants share by paying taxes. Either way, the point is that, in the absence of such collective arrangements, no single merchant is going to assume the burden of fixing the problem unless that merchant is willing to let the other merchants be what economists call free riders. In other words: unless that merchant is a sucker.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/18/cut-def...

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DCKit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-19-11 11:13 AM
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1. As the worlds #1 instigator of terrorism, our share is still 99%. nt
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mrchips2 Donating Member (2 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-02-11 03:25 PM
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2. 2 Security Forces (Air Force police) lose their lives in Frankfurt
This is a news tip for a breaking story today, Wednesday, 3rd of March 2011. Sadly according to news reports. At least 2 US Air Force servicemen one I know was Security Forces (Air Force police)was shot and killed by a armed Kosovo national. This very hard for me on many levels. Because I am a former SSGT US Security Forces and Special Operations. Normally we target and eliminate bad guys and terrorists and not the other way around. I am watching this story closely. To see why the threat came from Kosovo. And could it tie into Colonel Momar Quadaffi and the unrest and killing in Libya.
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