Monday, July 15, 2013

Perception is Key

Perception was more important than reality in the Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) strategic nuclear policy of the Cold War.  If a party was perceived as weak enough to be attacked, it would be of little consequence to the millions of dead that the attacking party was wrong.  On the other hand, would one expect to be able to achieve savings by focusing on perception rather than reality?

In the good old days, the US could retaliate against a terrorist country for a terrorist act against the US or a US citizen.  If we got it wrong, nobody knew except for the real perpetrator and, possibly, us.  If someone credible spoke out, we would have a new target.

While thinking about the War on Terror, I realized that, if we have a list of “bad guys/countries”, we can pick a (deserving) target and punish them.  Everybody will think that crime does not pay except for the real perpetrator.
I can see an analogy with local law enforcement.  Now, with DNA evidence, the innocent of the particular crime is being set free but no replacement is being found.

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