A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.

Gen. George Patton

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Amid the rumbling, stumbling, bumbling process of responding to the threat we face it might be wise to think of the value of expeditious use of power and force. Sad as it is, evil may require a prompt response.

We need only think of Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince to clear our head and comprehend what General Patton was saying in the above quote.

Here are just a sample of the real world wisdom and practical advice that Machiavelli provides. You might see its ageless wisdom.

On presence in a foreign land: when the Romans had a presence in foreign territories they worked with the less powerful groups rather than the most powerful group in order to gain stability by keeping two competing groups occupied with one another.

On prospective discord of groups in the lands they occupied: the Romans were vigilant and faced prospective adversaries immediately, recognizing that delay made a manageable problem far less so.

On foreign problems: when evil is brewing it is more easily cured than when it is in full blossom.

On avoiding war: attending to disorders as they begin to form avoids war at a later point.

On ignoring disorders that are adverse to your interest and security: to defer is always to the advantage of the adversary, and to your own disadvantage.

On war when it must be waged: it is better to fight on another’s territory than your own.

No one wishes to fight.  It is not our finest activity.  Yet, history tells us that from time to time we will do just that.

There is in matters of security, as there is in many things we face, a real value to NOT “kicking the can down the road.”  Indecision and deferral are not helpful. Deciding what must be done and doing it decisively and with intent and speed is to be preferred.

Sadly, we find ourselves at times engaged in the most regrettable situations. The world requires our attention, and life and the world always requires our prayers.

How wonderful it might be that we encounter only what is good.  Alas that is not the case.  Rather, Western Civilization and our faith are the target of those who wish us ill and show this in their conduct.  We have every right to expect that those who claim to lead us will respond competently, quickly and completely in the face of those who desire to destroy us.

May we find those among us who lead wisely.  May we engage in building bridges when and where we can.

Shalom.

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