Michael Perelman’s Peace Plan For Iraq

I’m not much of a fan of Milton Friedman, but he once offered a very interesting suggestion to rid society of crime.

“The first and most obvious [way to reduce the amount of crime] is to reduce the range of activities that are designated as illegal. Surely, one reason for the growth in crime is that the number of activities that are classified as such, has multiplied in recent decades.”

Friedman, Milton. 1997. “Economics of Crime.”  The Journal of Economic Perspectives , Vol. 11, No. 2 (Spring): p. 194.

Following Friedman’s logic the Defense Department found a simple strategy for evacuating the cities.

“On a map of Baghdad, the US Army’s Forward Operating Base Falcon is clearly within city limits. Except that Iraqi and American military officials have decided it’s not. As the June 30 deadline for US soldiers to be out of Iraqi cities approaches, there are no plans to relocate the roughly 3,000 American troops who help maintain security in south Baghdad along what were the fault lines in the sectarian war. “We and the Iraqis decided it wasn’t in the city,” says a US military official. The base on the southern outskirts of Baghdad’s Rasheed district is an example of the fluidity of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) agreed to late last year, which orders all US combat forces out of Iraqi cities, towns, and villages by June 30.”

Arraf, Jane. 2009. “To Meet June Deadline, US and Iraqis Redraw City Borders.” Christian Science Monitor (19 May).

http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0519/p06s05-wome.html

Here is my suggestion: just redefine Iraq to be the Green Zone. Declare victory now that U.S. government has conquered the country. The rest could be disputed territory, such as Israel defines the West Bank. The United Nations, Iraq’s neighbors, or even the Iraqi people could sort out what to do with this disputed.

Republicans should be delighted to be able to claim that Bush’s policy is vindicated. Democrats could crow about how they achieved peace. And the Defense Department could find a less dangerous land to bomb.

2 comments so far

  1. Phil on

    The one health economics reform that can be implemented, and should be implemented, is legalization & decriminalization of drugs. Approximately half of all crime is directly and indirectly linked to the illegal drug trade. By doing so, a significant proportion of crime can be done away with, not just in definition.

    Tax and regulate policies would be best, modeled upon the Dutch method. Tax revenues can be garnered from consumers, consumers will know what is in the goods they purchase, over the long run it is likely consumption will actually fall, and a significant proportion of the police force, judiciary and law profession can be sacked, saving immense amounts of tax, let alone the $US30 billion spent on “the war against selected drugs”.

  2. Phil on

    The one health economics reform that can be implemented, and should be implemented, is legalization & decriminalization of drugs. Approximately half of all crime is directly and indirectly linked to the illegal drug trade. By doing so, a significant proportion of crime can be done away with, not just in definition.

    Tax and regulate policies would be best, modeled upon the Dutch method. Tax revenues can be garnered from consumers, consumers will know what is in the goods they purchase, over the long run it is likely consumption will actually fall, and a significant proportion of the police force, judiciary and law profession can be sacked, saving immense amounts of tax, let alone the $US30 billion spent on “the war against selected drugs”.
    Sorry, forgot to add great post! Can’t wait to see your next post!


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