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I’ll see your destruction and raise you some death

“It is the nature of escalation that each move passes the option to the other side, while at the same time the party which seems to be losing will be tempted to keep raising the ante. To the extent that the response to a move can be controlled, that move is probably ineffective. If the move is effective it may not be possible to control or accurately anticipate the response. Once on the tiger’s back we cannot be sure of picking the place to dismount.” – U.S. Under Secretary of State George W. Ball, October 1964 (quoted by David Halberstam in The Best and the Brightest)

Published inDavid HalberstamThe Vietnam War

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