If you are going to throw the idea of cost/benefit analysis out there first know what it is. It is a highly integrated set of government policies for economic growth.
You just can not see that the term “cost benefit” is used in more ways than your economic growth polices. Here is an academic study of how it is used for war.
“Cost benefit analysis of war”
Faculty of Sciences, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway
Purpose – Among the many perspectives to analyze war, such as rational actor, organizational process, governmental politics and ethics, the perspective that actually incorporates the costs andbene?ts into a systematic theoretical structure has hardly been analyzed. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the costs and benefits perspective.
Design/methodology/approach – Three kinds of value are distinguished, i.e. human, economic and influence. Different actors (politicians, populations, stakeholders, etc.) assign different weights to the three kinds of value. Six gradually more complicated models are developed. The first subtracts losses from gains for the three kinds of value. Thereafter, the paper accounts for multiple periods, time discounting, attitude towards risk, multiple stakeholders, subcategories for the three kinds of value, sequential decision-making and game theory.
Findings – The rich theoretical structure enables assessing costs and benefits more systematically and illuminatingly. The cost benefit analysis is illustrated with the 2003-2011 Iraq War. The paper estimates gained and lost value of human lives, economic value and influence value, and show how different weights impact the decision of whether to initiate war differently. Originality/value – The paper provides scientists and policy makers with a theoretical structure within which to evaluate the costs and bene?ts of war, accounting for how different actors estimate weights, the future, risk and a variety of parameter values differently.
Wars are started for all kinds of reasons and sometimes apparently without reasons. This paper seeks to establish cost benefit reasoning for starting wars. That which makes war costlier or less beneficial will reduce its likelihood.