Friday, September 30, 2011

Sunk cost fallacy

John Key's response to a third combat death in Afghanistan? We must stay the course to honour the dead.

This is the excuse used by every politician who has sent people to die in failed war, and its a perfect example of the sunk cost fallacy. The dead are dead. Nothing can bring them back. We've wasted their lives and they're now irrelevant to the equation. The only questions that matter on the question of whether we should be staying in Afghanistan is whether we think the deployment is worthwhile in the first place, and, if so, whether our help will make a meaningful difference. And the answer to both of those questions is "no". Contrary to the government's spin, we are not fighting for democracy in Afghanistan. All we are doing is propping up a corrupt theocracy which legalises spousal rape and practices unfair trials and the death penalty. It doesn't matter how many people have died so Afghan husbands can starve their wives to death to coerce sex; it was never worth fighting for, and we should come home.