Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty
There was an error with PayPalClick here to try again
CelebrateThank you for your business!You should be receiving an order confirmation from Paypal shortly.Exit Shopping Cart

CC&CD Journal

The Diminishing Marginal Utility of Chemical Weapons & Punitive Strikes

Posted on April 15, 2018 at 12:05 AM

The Diminishing Marginal Utility of Chemical Weapons & Punitive Strikes

Cory Newton


Despite the “immorality” of chemical weapons they are still used because the benefits of using them are greater than the costs of using them. If this was not true, then punitive strikes would not be necessary to increase the costs of using chemical weapons. The question then becomes, are the benefits of conducting punitive strikes greater than the costs of conducting them?

If 68% (71/103) of our missiles being knocked out of the sky is an accurate number, what does that say about the utility & effectiveness of that method of punitive strike compared to the barrels of chlorine rolled out of a helicopter in the initial attack we responded to?

If I were Assad I’d attack every one of the 1000-3000 remaining ISIS Army I could find with chemical weapons, essentially daring the U.K., French, U.S. coalition to sympathize with ISIS and attack higher risk for collateral damage, Syrian government chemical weapons targets that were not engaged last night.

Will the marginal utility of chemical weapons be diminished by punitive strikes?

Will the marginal utility of punitive strikes be diminished by the use of chemical weapons?

Is the Assad regime better off or worse off from their recent use of chemical weapons?

Is the United States better off or worse off from conducting our recent punitive attack?

Last night was the first time I tuned into television news in months. I watched the remarks of President Trump, Secretary Mattis, and General Dunford at 9 & 10pm respectively. What I heard was a moral, ethical, and values based Post WWII International Order maintenance rationale for conducting limited strikes to deter the localized use of chemical weapons.

Over the years I’ve evolved into my own version of a structural realist who has adopted a security, survival, Independence metric to judge interests. I’m thinking about dropping security because it is so easily manipulated. The concept of “linkage” has enabled the manipulation of “security” to the extent of absurdity. Syria is a shithole country and we should leave now.

Categories: Common Defense