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“Place your army in deadly peril, and it will survive; plunge it into desperate straits, and it will come off in safety.”

Sun Tzu
The Art of War

“For me, it's all about leadership. It's easy for armchair quarter backs and politicians not in power to simply say ‘you must do the right thing’. Figuring out what that ‘thing’ is can be only half the problem. Then you must decide if you are willing to pay the price for being right. One of the most essential factors for me was loyalty to the people I led. That loyalty was my moral compass. I could not operate any other way. I was strengthened by the knowledge that the loyalty worked both ways and time and again my fidelity to my people was repaid many fold by their incredible support for me. When you make difficult decisions you must do so with the hope, but not the expectation, that in the end your actions will be validated and vindicated. The easiest thing in the world is to make no tough decisions. I could have had a much more placid and profitable life in recent years if I had elected to make no tough choices. Those who ‘go along to get along’ rarely suffer negative consequences. After years of investigation and scrutiny I believe my actions are vindicated and, I must tell you, that judgement felt sweet. But there are no guarantees. A leader has choices to make. I chose to pursue hard measures. I have no regrets. I would do it all again because it was the right thing to do, vindicated or not.”

Jose A. Rodriguez
Hard Measures: How Agressive CIA Actions After 9-11 Saved American Lives

“[General Curtis] LeMay said, ‘If we'd lost the war, we'd all have been prosecuted as war criminals.’ And I think he's right. He, and I'd say I, were behaving as war criminals. LeMay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side had lost. But what makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win?”

Robert McNamara in The Fog of War, 2003