So replies Becker, there are 3 options: 1) pre-emptive attack, 2) wait and retaliate, 3) accumulate information before decide. The most economic way today, says Becker, is the first one. Because, "deterrence is less powerful now as a tool against certain enemies than during the cold war when the adversary was a single major state..."
And Posner adds, "The case for preventive war must be debated on its merits rather than rejected outright on the ground that any war that is not defensive is aggressive and therefore "illegitimate.""
Again, Prof. Becker and Judge Posner: I can still use your arguments in favor of Iraqis and against Americans. Think about it. How would you define "irresponsible nations with powerful weapons"? What precludes it to be... the U.S., Professor? As for your assertion to merits: there you go. It has been going on forever, Judge.