Ryan Crocker: Beware of Unintended Consequences
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  • Anthony

    Ambassor Crocker makes two salient points as it relates to intervention: remember the law of unintended consequences; understand that getting out of a conflict once you are in can often be dangerous and as destructive for the country as the original conflict. Now, if only common sense becomes common…

  • Kenny

    To be added to Crocker’s advise:

    If America gets into a any conflict, it must do so with the intent to WIN!

    If the U.S. can’t or won’t do that, it should not engage in conflict.

    U.S. military personnel is not cannon fodder for the the twits in the State Department or political pawns for politicians.

  • Kris

    Remember the law of unintended consequences.
    Recognize the limits of the United States’ actual capabilities.

    I hope it is not only American foreign-policy-makers who take this to heart.

  • jaed

    that means you are in somebody else’s stadium, playing by somebody else’s ground rules

    The rest of the sentence is unexceptionable, but this is just… an odd analogy. Warfare is not a game. When we go to war, we are not playing, nor are we in “someone else’s stadium” or playing by their “ground rules”. We go to war with certain aims, we operate by our own customs and laws of war when fighting, and the goal is not to score higher than the enemy.

    What’s really strange about it is that he not only does not seem to recognize the inaptness of the metaphor, I’m not sure he recognizes it as as a metaphor.

    (I realize this isn’t really germane to the point of the post… but it did catch my attention, and it seems to be an all-too-common failing in the conventional-wisdom mindset. War ain’t football.)

  • rr

    jaed: good point. It always seems peculiar to me that people talk in terms of fairness and rules of the game in international conflicts. The whole point is that there is a disagreement about behavior and rules, and you want to change his behavior.

    The reason to take “someone else’s stadium” and “ground rules” into account is to use them in your favor, and to know your enemy. If at times abiding by these local customs is beneficial, fine. But part of the reason we intervene is because we disagree with how things are sometimes done “locally”.

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