Tuesday, July 13, 2010

War, What is it good for?

According to Elaine Benes of Seinfeld, Tolstoy would name his most famous work War, What is it Good For?, when his better half intervened and convinced him for War and Peace instead.

I am not in for a philosophical treatise for the merits of war, although I did compete in an international philosophy olympiad almost two decades ago.  But thanks to a post in Turkfinans, a yahoo group I am a member of, I became aware of a recent paper that goes over the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The paper led me to think about the costs of Turkey's more than two decades of fighting against the PKK. When I asked the same group if anyone was aware of such a study, I was sent an article that refers to an academic study (unfortunately in Turkish).

Since I could not find the mentioned study on the web, I can not provide a critique. I can, however, emphasize that the noted study does not mention the loss of lives or the cost of the injured at all. If you are interested, there is a huge Economics literature on valuing a human life.
Anyway, if you are aware of a study/article that tries to estimates the costs of the war on terror a la Turca, please let me know.

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