Thursday, October 26, 2006

Heard It All Before

Excuse me for having no faith in General George Casey's prediction that Iraq will magically be all better in 12 to 18 months. I've heard it all before.

Feburary 7, 2003 - It is unknowable how long this conflict will last. ...I doubt six months. ~ Donald Rumsfeld
January, 2004 - we are about to enter into a very critical six months. ~ Tony Blair
August, 2005 - The next six months will be very critical ... whether the Iraqis are really going to be capable of defending themselves ~ Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NB)
June 7, 2006 - The next six months will be critical in terms of reining in the danger of civil war. ~ Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad
October 5, 2006 - The next six months will determine the future of Iraq. ~ General George Casey
October 24, 2006 - It is going to take another 12 to 18 months or so till ... the Iraqi security forces are completely capable of taking over responsibility for their own security that's still coupled with some level of support from us. ~ General George Casey

In Artificial Intelligence this is called the "Horizon Effect." If a computer is faced with an insurmountable problem, say in a chess position, it will plan so as to postpone the inevitable defeat beyond its ability to see ahead. If it can't see the defeat then it no longer exists.

The Administration and Pentagon have a similar cognitive disfunction. They always see perfection six months in the future. Things may be horrible now, but in six months.... It is a sign of how bad things are in Iraq today that General Casey thinks it will take two or three six months for things to become perfect. It is all a failure of critical thought combined with My Pink Pony wishes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In Artificial Intelligence this is called the "Horizon Effect."

That's an excellent observation. Of course everyone expects that Bush will leave this mess for the next administration.