Acting on a precaution

The Carnegie Endow­ment for Inter­na­tion­al Peace has issued a detailed assess­ment of the case for war in Iraq. One of its “observations(link to report in Finan­cial Times)”: about deci­sion-mak­ing by the Bush admin­is­tra­tion seems to have much broad­er rel­e­vance. bq. The report says the White House approach to the war was based on what it called “worse case rea­son­ing”, assum­ing that what intel­li­gence agen­cies did not know was worse than what they did know. “Worst-case plan­ning is valid … [But] act­ing on worst-case assump­tions is an entire­ly dif­fer­ent matter.”

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