About 18 minutes

Suggested by Samizdata who has this to say:

Tim Harford is speaking, in 2011, at some gathering of the clever and the smug, but it’s better than that. The name H. R. McMaster comes up several times, and this is, among other things, a very good quick way to learn why McMaster’s appointment by President Trump as his National Security Adviser might turn out to be such a very good one. It certainly explains why this appointment is already so very popular. You don’t have to believe that the USA rearranging matters in faraway countries is always or even ever a wise policy to get the points that Harford is making.

Harford also mentions, in passing, Hayek. From this, you may guess that this is a talk about decentralised decision making, and how on the spot knowledge, again and again, trumps the wisdom of the Central Committee or the High Command. If that is your guess, you would not be wrong.

The video also discusses the power of dissent in decision making process. General Patton also recognized that power. “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”

The video (in an oblique way) also points out the stupidity of the American pull out. Getting in the war was bad. It was in fact a con job, at least in some respects. But once we were there leaving was a worse idea. And repeating the stupidity in a number of other countries was even worse than that. At least from an American point of view.