It is irrelevant whether the response is proportional or not. Response must suffice to extinguish the offence. In personal relations, proportional response, an eye for an eye, works perfectly. Each person has limited number of eyes, and cares a lot about the likely proportional response. Not so between states. Ideological leaders care about their high goals, not the cannon fodder’s eyes; proportional response doesn’t end ideological conflicts. Leaders care about the supply of cannon fodder. That supply could be extinguished by ending the fodder itself or the popular will to supply it. Both ways, supportive masses should be killed – and killed a lot – to end the flow of recruits to insurgents. Incidentally, that means highly disproportional response.

efficient versus proportional response