Learning the Hard Way (Or Not Learning at All)

Throughout the presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly called out the Obama administration and US military for announcing their plans to target an area. Tipping off the enemy, he said. No reason for it, he said. All manner of politicians, military strategists, and people who bothered to think about it for a few minutes explained the rational — there are a LOT of civilians in the area we will be targeting. We would rather not incur civilian casualties as part of our military campaigns — if for no other reason, it’s bad PR. Either the advanced warning drives them out of the area or they are still there to be hit. Driving them out of the area still disrupts their operations.

So now Trump is in charge – I am sure we’ve stopped advertising where military strikes will occur. And non-combatant civilian deaths have skyrocketed. Something like 1,000 reported in March — I’m sure there’s inflation involved in this reporting. The old Soviet instantaneous statistic modification was half anything good, double anything bad, which would still be 500 civilians killed in a month that is not yet over. Gee, if only there was some way we could let these civilians know ahead of time.

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