Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Mismanaging a War

It's really hard not to think that the U.S. Pentagon has mismanaged the war in Iraq. Have they been using a misunderstood production function, trying to over-substitute capital for labour? It is hard to tell for sure, but it seems they used too few soldiers, bad and biased intelligence about local support, and now escaping insurgents attacking other cities. I certainly hope there's more planning behind all this than meets the eye.

Update (in response to the comment below; also see Tom Hanna's blog):
Back when I was in grad school, we used to talk about pentagon models that estimated the marginal productivity of enemy kills with respect to bullets (and presumably other inputs). That was during Vietnam; I expect the production function is different for Iraq.
Also, it is probably more appropriate in many situations to build production functions with other objective functions besides enemy kills .
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