That terrible people do terrible things does not mean that good people can stop them without ultimately making matters worse. I think Bryan’s “Common-Sense Case for Pacifism” is relevant to the President’s claim that we will “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS leaders (here’s coverage from the local paper).

War is an occasion for bluster, bravado, and cheap talk. Bravado can be fun when we’re explaining how you will suffer humiliation when the sports team from my area defeats the sports team from your area. It is something else entirely when lives are in the balance; borrowing from Alex Tabarrok, we should tax it by expecting people to bet.

Hence, I wonder: what bets would EconLog readers propose? From the article:

“This counterterrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground,” Obama said.

The change could mean the addition of Syrian territory into the targets for U.S. airstrikes.

The president maintains no U.S. ground forces will be utilized.

“I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Obama said. “It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil.”

1. What are the odds that our “partner forces” produce terrorist elements and become targets of our air strikes within ten years?

2. What are the odds that we have American troops on the ground by the end of 2015 (thanks to Daniel Klein for pointing out a typo, which I’ve fixed)?