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Tyler Cowen

How Fake News Would Affect a U.S.-Iran War

The attacks that matter most would be the ones the public knows about.

Not fake news.

Not fake news.

Photographer: Ali Mohammadi/Bloomberg

Just hours after Iran’s missile strike this week on U.S.-Iraqi bases in Iraq, the Iranian government made an incredible claim: The attack, it said, had killed 80 Americans and wounded about 200, all of whom were immediately removed from the site by helicopter. U.S. officials, meanwhile, said that there were no U.S. casualties.

My point is not that the U.S. authorities are correct, though they undoubtedly are (otherwise, to ask but one obvious question, where are the grieving families?). My point is that the two sides disagree — and what that says about how “fake news” could change foreign policy.