Operating under the assumption that a.) you have a choice (i.e. it's not a race war or other division you fall into automatically), and b.) neither side is particularly more morally abhorrent than the other, then this kind of pragmatism makes a lot of sense. One thing that hasn't been mentioned about it, though, or maybe it's just been taken as so obvious a part of this equation that it needn't even be mentioned, is the question of, "Who looks more likely to win?"Doctorr Fabulous wrote:In the absence of clear moral guidelines, who's hiring and who pays better?
There are two cautionary tales here to consider, and unfortunately they both kind of make us Americans look like a bunch of dicks, but they happen to be the two examples that come to mind. The first possibility is that one will side with the people that look likely to win/offer the best deal, and have that group indeed win, only to then turn on you. E.g the "friendly" Native American tribes, who ended up getting the shaft as well as the hostiles.
The other possibility is that you'll support the apparently-winning side, only to have them lose unexpectedly, or get bored and disband or leave. E.g. the South Vietnamese and Hmong, the anti-Saddam rebels in 1991, and pro-American groups in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003 and 2001 respectively.