Strategic Sufficiency vs. Restraint

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Matt Stone takes a Stephen Walt idea and runs with it, coming up with what he calls “strategic sufficiency”: [O]nce we agree on an operationalprinciple or principles . . . wemust do exactly the minimum necessary to achieve a strategicallysufficient outcome; any outlay beyond the minimum necessary will onlyrob resources from other theaters where those resources could beemployed with a better marginal return on investment. This is an economist’s way of thinking about foreign policy: resourcesare scarce; therefore maximize the return on any resources we employ.”Resources” can be thought of as troops on the ground, brains in theWhite House, the […]

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