Yahoo News is saying that soldiers in Iraq are rejecting new body armor. Too heavy, they say. The words of one soldier: "I understand the more armor, the safer you are. But it makes you slower. People don't understand that this is combat and people are going to die."
Well, they embarrassed Mr. Rumsfeld over this, but the fact is that there are diminishing returns associated with every resource invested in winning a war. Tradeoffs. People think that the protection of our soldiers is an obvious first priority. It certainly is, at least until 1) you have protected them enough, or 2) you jeopardize the mission, or 3) no significant additional benefit is being contributed.
Everything you do costs money and effort. Everything that is invested in one deliverable must come from, be subtracted from, some other potential deliverable. Yes, you can increase the overall level of spending, but once you do that, guess what! You now must allocate your larger resources among potential deliverables and something will have to be neglected. Another annoying fact of life is that each additional dollar allocated for the overall effort will have less impact than the previous dollar. It is true that resource allocations are often faulty, not as effective as they might be. Can you tell me what it takes to allocate resources more effectively?
Tanstaafl is more than a Danish pastry.
3/27/2006 12:57 AM