[eDebate] anothr take on 1% doctrine

Ross K. Smith smithr
Thu Jul 6 19:40:46 CDT 2006

The second point has to do with the "One Percent Doctrine" itself, the 
meaning of which is a little different than it seems at first glance. It 
originates with Dick Cheney, who explained early on that if a terrorist 
event had even a one percent chance of happening, "we have to treat it 
as a certainty in terms of our response." This is obviously a 
justification for taking a hawkish approach to terrorism, but Suskind 
says there's much more to it than that. After all, the Bush 
administration has obviously not reacted to every one-percent threat as 
if it were a certainty.

More than a broad rationalization of mere hawkishness, the One Percent 
Doctrine is actually a justification for ignoring unwanted analysis. 
After all, nearly anything has a one percent chance of happening, and if 
that's the threshold for action, it means we can take action anytime we 
want. Under the OPD, there is literally no reason to waste time with 
analysis or policy discussions.


Ross K. Smith
Debate Coach
Wake Forest University


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