A More Dangerous Game

What with the Iranians having gotten ahold of one of our drones – we say it crashed, they say they hacked it and brought the sucker down – I’m wondering if, by constantly cooking up new weaponry, we’re doing ourselves any favors.

In poker it’s always possible to up your aggression across the board. So long as you stay reasonably balanced, this won’t necessarily make your strategy “objectively” better or worse. Rather, it will make the game more tense and dangerous for both players, as you force both you and your opponent to make more difficult decisions with marginal holdings. I previously wrote about this type of game, which was the preferred strategy of former chess world champion Mikhail Tal, as well as many of the best and most successful poker players.

I suspect this isn’t the kind of game the United States wants to play. The idea of developing new weapons is, of course, to stay ahead; but when our drones our going down in Iran, and our computers are getting hacked by Chinese operatives and random teenagers the world over, maybe that’s becoming less realistic. When choosing whether to develop a new weapon, maybe we shouldn’t be asking, “Do we want to have this?” but “Do we want everyone to have this?”

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