Friday, September 5, 2014

Speed isnít leadership


For hunters, a winning strategy involves being able to identify exactly what they are shooting at before they pull the trigger. Even so, some members of Congress are calling on President Obama to just start shooting, whether or not he knows what the target is.
    The president is being accused of a serious lack of leadership for refusing to immediately pursue the terrorist group that calls itself the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which just beheaded two journalists. Opponents are deriding his insistence on having a strategy—not just any strategy, but a winning strategy.
    Americans have had a bellyful of experience with taking action before planning. Wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan were easy to get into and nearly impossible to get out of with long-term success or dignity. Sadly, there seems to be no shortage of those who are ready to do it this way again.
    A losing strategy is easy: Send American troops, even though we have too little understanding of the issues or the enemies they will face. It’s a strategy fueled by rage at the depravity and cruelty of enemies who kill and torture innocents. It may feel right and righteous, but it lacks the cool calculation necessary for success.
    U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, suggests that Obama is foolish to begin foreign-policy thinking with the caution, “Don’t do something stupid.” Democratic leaders in Congress are also calling on Obama to take some kind of action, apparently believing doing something, even if it is stupid and wrong, is better than doing nothing.
    It is neither cowardly nor confused to insist on a clear plan and an ultimate goal worth the risks before putting military boots on the ground or planes in the air.
    So far, finding a winning strategy that involves Iraq or Syria has eluded us. The danger is that anger and frustration over continuing conflict in areas where America already has spent too many lives and too much treasure will make us act before we know what actions we should take and what results we can expect.
    ISIS and other terrorist groups win when they provoke foolish reactions. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman warned this week that when Americans are in too big a hurry, we risk ignoring cultural complexities that come back to haunt us
    Before Congress and President Obama put American men and women in combat again, they should take all the time necessary to determine exactly what the end game will be, and whether that end is worth the cost.
    That will be true leadership.




About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of mtexpress.com and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads



 Local Weather 
Search archives:


Copyright © 2020 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.