Watch out for objectives that are undefined, unachievable, and unrealistic
Report findings and recommendations routinely lack empirical standards or well-defined measures of success. By failing to define the terms of a military ‘victory,’ such reporting grants scope for endless war, mission creep, and military spending that are inefficient and ineffective.
What is the empirical basis of the findings?
Is the best-case outcome worth the probable costs?
Is the stated objective actually achievable?
Watch out for:
Findings or recommendations that promote security practices without acknowledging their cost or humanitarian consequences.
Open-ended or poorly defined objectives. Without meaningful metrics of success, military objectives such as ‘deterrence’ promote infinite war.
Lack of accountability. Any report that frames accountability and demands for empirical measures of progress as a challenge to ‘security’ is suspect. Worst-case threat scenarios should not be allowed to define persistent, long-term policies and practices.
Concrete, measurable objectives.
Policies in pursuit of well-defined and achievable military victory.