As we start a new war, it’s worth considering the question now.
Many questions raised by this article. The premise is basically this: The US has an extremely low tolerance for damage by foreign forces, and a fear of foreign attack that is unhinged from the probability and observed occurrence of said attack. This lives kinda absurdly alongside the fact that we have an enormous tolerance for damage from indigenous sources (poorly managed guns, medical error, overconsumption of sugar as a business model), and undersized fear of this damage compared to the probability and observed occurrence of damage.
Further, because of our ability and willingness to project force around the globe, there is a direct relationship between our unwillingness to tolerate any damage from foreign sources, and the casual guarantee that other societies will suffer massive damage (i.e. it’s seen as legitimate that a thousand arab civilians might die to prevent one American civilian death).
All this leaves me wondering how people weigh threats. Is there a legitimate reason for a state to weigh outside threats on a completely different scale than inside ones? Is there a legitimate distinction to be made by individuals between attack and say corruption or malfeasance as damage inducers? Are national borders a legitimate weighting criteria? Is the intent of the damaging agents? Is this all just a cognitive hiccup of a brain evolved to parse threat through an in-group/out-group filter? Is the mark of a sophisticated, even compassionate, society the capacity to strategically not respond, to accept and absorb some damage?