Monday, August 29, 2005

Adjusting

The ninth principle in the MAXIMIZERS acrostic is "Realign Rigorously." That means we need to adapt to changing circumstances. Take the situation that has come at us and plan a strategy based on our overarching purpose, moral principles, strengths and weaknesses, and priorities. Stay focused on the task at hand. Brainstorm ideas, and be open to suggestions from others. Put the plan into action, and note the results. If mistakes are made in the process, we need to ask ourselves how we can learn from them.

The war in Iraq and the battle against terrorism shows adaptation as a key principle to success. Both sides are continually adapting to the other as new information is garnished about combatant positions, what weapons systems each has, and the like. Our overarching purpose seems to be to establish a democratic system of government in Iraq to help create stability in the region, and to make terrorism a much less likely scenario in the future. Our moral principles are to show love and compassion for the unfortunates caught in the midst of the battles, and to ultimately help more people live lives free from oppression. I would hope that our military is utilitizing its personnel to the best of their ability, and training rigorously where there is lack in ability. Finally, our priorities are to protect the law abiding citizens and to capture or destroy those bent on our destruction, and to do so in a way that is honorable before God.

Focus is hard in this day of instant gratification. We had troops in Japan and Germany for many years after WWII ended, but in far less time cries calling for our withdrawal have gone up. Many more have died in former wars in far less time than have died in Iraq since this war started (not to make light of those who have died in Iraq by any means), but it seems that it takes far fewer deaths in war these days to take the focus off the destruction of terrorism and put it on the deaths of our troops. I believe we need to focus more on the successes we've had, such as enemy combatants killed or captured and/or information we've gotten from them, infrastructure rebuilt, government officials established in the region, people saved from persecution, etc. Tell also of the wrong things we do--but tell all, good and bad. Then maybe we'll be able to focus on what needs to be changed, rather than changing things that aren't really so wrong after all.

Some leaders have, sadly, tried to find ways to negotiate with the terrorists. I'm reminded of a scene in Independence Day where the president is talking with an alien creature who has come back to life and is holding a scientist hostage. The president asks what he and the nation can do to come to some sort of agreement. The alien says, "Die!"

That's the terrorists' way of negotiating. They want us to die. For us to attempt to compromise with them is suicide. We must learn to adapt to needs properly, not foolishly. The terrorists' have shown they are not willing to be reasonable. The leaders of England and France tried adapting to Hitler's demands, and look what it got them.

Again, the principle is Realign Rigorously. It is indeed important to be rigorous in the fast-moving world. To fall even a step behind in awareness of key enemy combatants' abilities and positions is to court disaster. I'm not sure if it's true, but I read somewhere that we are way behind in translating and deciphering enemy communications. If this is the case, I pray that we adjust and do some catching up, lest we miss something that could be tragic to us.

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