What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Costs and benefits

Just a short message from your unusually busy, apologetic host at this site.
It goes like this. I recently spoke at a conference where mission tasks from a cost/benefit perspective were on the menu. One of the co-organisers of the international event happened to be the German Gesellschaft für Militärökonomie, so I considered the event an important opportunity to make several basic points in critically considering, and resisting to a degree, any kind of cost/benefit perspective on the Afghanistan mission. One of these points was that costs and benefits have to be expected, not merely counted as they are at present.
Pretty basic.
Still I find it important that a high-ranking German general from ISAF now makes this point himself, too. Quote:
" "We are talking about a total of 5,000, 6,000 soldiers," Ramms said. "We need these soldiers now, very soon, because we need to hold specific areas, we need to win over Afghanistan's citizens and because at some point, in 2010, 2011 or 2012 we will want to hand over responsibility to Afghan forces."
(...)
"The troops that I don't have now could lead to delays in the withdrawal of NATO and ISAF," Ramms said. "In other words, the costs that are not being paid now will have a negative impact on the bottom line at some point." "
I make many more such points in an upcoming background paper I'm writing about cost/benefit considerations concerning missions like the one in Afghanistan.
End of self-promotion, retreating to work and oblivion.

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