I read the book (a defacto requirement these days in business though I don't see the deep philosophic lessons for business others claim it has, but that's for another article) and I'd say the whole philosophy can be summarized in 4 points:
1. Know your enemy.
2. Know yourself.
3. Know your limitations.
4. You choose the time and place of combat.
It is point #4 this article addresses.
Like it or not (and I suspect the latter) the Bush Doctrine for the War on Terror follows #4 very well. By engaging the enemy (yes, they are the enemy!) on their home turf of the Middle East we are keeping them away from our shores.
Sitting back and waiting to defend against an attack brought to our door step is not a winning strategy. Nor is it a life saving strategy. Reacting after an attack has taken place does nothing to stop people from getting killed and/or property damaged (let's not forget that – nothing wrong in protecting the things you own!).
This is of particular importance since American interests are global these days. Attacks on Americans anywhere in the world should be considered the same as an Attack right here on Main Street, USA.
Taking the battle to the enemy is a proven winning strategy throughout history. Nazi Germany would never have been defeated if allied war plans where just to keep the Nazi's out of England and Russia. Imperial Japan would never have been defeated if American strategy was just to keep them away from Hawaii and the West Coast.
Sitting back and waiting for the enemy to make the move is never a good philosophy. Make the enemy react to you and not the other way around! Of course still mount a good local defense.
But as another well known philosophy goes: The best defense is a strong offense.
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