Mar 17th, 2003, 03:05 PM
IMO, that is not neccesarily accurate. There have been a series of events which have narrowed the choices down to military action. If a decision flow chart had been mapped out from the point of origin, which I believe was the genesis of Resolution 1441, and was chronicled to this point, I believe peace would have been ruled out long ago. At each critical point, where a certain decision was made, the probability for peace decrease, while the probability for military action increased.
Practical Probability Theory
Probability = number of times result has occured / number of trials performed
This theory can be used to trend responses and base future decisions on actual probability trends.
Here is a simple "Equally Likely Outcome" formula often used in probability calculations:
Probability of Result = number of outcomes yielding predicted result / total number of equally likely outcomes. Although quite a simple formula to understand, it is the basis of probability computations in most cases where multiple results can occur.
However, there are many variables which come into play when computing probability. Complex problems can often be solved by using the idea of combinations and permutations.
ABC BCA CAB ACB BAC CBA
There is only one combination of variables A,B, and C. No matter what order you place these in, they are the same three variables.
However, there are six permutations with each different order representing a different permutation.
Take the following example:
A = Iraq following original slated disarmament plans dictated in UN Resolution 1441
which would result in a peaceful resolution
B = Iraq violating original slated disarmament plans dictated in UN Resolution 1441
which would yield a negative result, and mandate use of military action to enforce said resolution
Although these were the only two outcomes originally available, political agendas, diplomacy, etc. added new variables - just a hypothetical (the number of variables will be incorrect, but the theory will stand)
C = Schedule extension
D = Permission for Saddam to restate his inventory
E = New inspections sites added
Ok.... here is how the probability of peace decreased and eventually forced this decision. Although other decisions can be made at this point, they would merely be adding unnecessary combinations, which would exponentially increase permutations, and, thus leave us in a permanent stagnant state of negotiations.
UN Resolution 1441
A --- A
In this scenario, A would yield a peaceful result
---- B ---- Military
---- C ---- This path repeats until new combination is created by removing a variable, namely C, or A is achieved, yielding peaceful resolution
---- D ---- This path repeats until new combination is created by removing a variable, namely C or D, or A is achieved, yielding peaceful resolution
---- E ---- This path repeats until new combination is created by removing a variable, namely C or E, or A is achieved, yielding peaceful resolution
As the combinations available are reduced to A and B again, the number of permutations are reduced to two potential outcomes, A or B
By using the Practical Probability theory, you must eliminate A as a valid variable, leaving only B.
In other words, peace has always been a viable alternative for Saddam. Each decision he made decreased permutations for an amicable solution, while diplomacy on the UN and US' part increased combinations and permutations.
Basically, you can comput possibilities very easily, particularly in binomial problems, using Pascal's Triangle.
So, I don't enjoy war at all. But, I do believe it is the only viable solution available at this point by using mathematics. The laws of Probability are proven. By exhausting all other routes, we have come down to the last.