Americans on Board?

In this article that I found about the President's decision to keep our American troops in Iraq, I couldn't help think that maybe the citizens of this country don't really know what they want. Many people are backing down when the job isn't completely done. The article talks about how the popularity of the Bush administration is going down considerably because of the President's inability to project a timetable for bringing home all of our troops. The President tells us as a nation as he has before to "stay the course". This is seen by critics as just another delay, and not a viable answer. Is their anything wrong with finishing what you started? I agree with the President that these things take time. We don't know how long this will take. Even if a projected time were given as the war started, that isn't a definite answer. I don't like the war, but I think that everything would be wasted if we were to just bring home everyone now. The Iraqi troops are learning what to do, and if we stay with things 'til they are done, we will be a lot better off. I think that if troops were to be taken out right now that terrorists would just overrun what we have established and we would be back where we started.


maddy said...

I can't imagine just ending the war today and telling everyone that we are bring all of the troops home. This cannot be a good solution and cannot have a positive outcome. I think that many just don't want to hear about it anymore. Many people, including those polled are uninformed and do not understand the implications of calling it quits now. I must include myself by saying that I don't think that at this moment if I were asked I could voice my opinion strongly one way or another. I need more information and so does the public upon whom the polls rely.

Dr. Tufte said...


One of the features of optimal decision making is that you should ignore fixed costs. Yet, using the reason that we've already started this so it needs to be finished is precisely of this sort.

This is not an opinion about the whole Iraq situation, just a comment about that particular line of reasoning.

Having said that this sort of situation is an example of the repeated games we saw in the text. As you've seen it isn't always easy to get the best outcome in those games.