Re: Human lives: Do the math (was: Impact on history)

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Tue Sep 18 2001 - 02:49:31 MDT

"Zero Powers" <> writes:

> >From: "John Clark" <>
> >Eliezer S. Yudkowsky <> Wrote:
> > >Killing twenty thousand Afghani as *revenge*
> >
> >Nobody knows for sure of course but I doubt it will be that high,
> >I'll bet this will turn out to be the first war where the American
> >deaths were higher than the enemy's.
> I think killing 20,000 people (of any nationality) would be overkill
> and would cast us as the "bad guys" in this thing in the eyes of the
> world. I'm with you John. I don't see us killing any more than a few
> thousand people, even if this "war" drags on a few years. Regardless
> of all the rhetoric I think we're likely to see a lot more of the
> surgical types of strikes we saw in Desert Storm. They may not be
> *quite* as surgical as we were 10 years ago, but you're fooling
> yourself if you expect to see any sort of "carpet bombing" campaign.

This is really wishful thinking. If it drags on for a few years it
will be because we met substantial armed resistance along the way.
This directly implies a mounting death toll on all sides. I am no
warrior but some of the stuff posted lately strikes me as people just
not thinking through the situation at all.

Surgical airstrikes don't work when you are dealing with guerillas that
fade into the general population. These airstrikes will take out some
major encampments perhaps but the lion's share will not be so easy.

Carpet bombing vs. surgical air strikes is a false dichotomy. The hard
and casualty-ridden work will be done on the ground largely.

- samantha

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