War vs. security

This column offers some interesting perspective on support for the war in the US and abroad.

It also offers some comments on the costs of the war:

Even ignoring the ‘imponderable costs’ mentioned in the last paragraph, what about the idea of using, say half of that minimum $100 billion to buy containment and homeland defense in the form of, say, embargo and weapons enforcement in Iraq and port, border, and aviation security around the US?

Could that protection be bought for that much? I believe it could.

Is the removal of one guy in one country really worth more than (twice as much as?) preventing him from being a threat plus protecting ourselves from other threats, to boot?

You don’t really ensure long term safety by “containing” or defending against an enemy. You take them out.

Otherwise, you take the risk that one day they will get lucky and breach your defenses.

By this argument, we have to ‘take out’ all the Muslims we’ll make terribly unhappy by invading Iraq.