The news rolls on. One of our Nation’s most wanted fugitive has been killed. Now, the media will twist the story around for the next days, weeks, months, etc until we get sick to death of it. Some will get it right; others will spin it to justify whatever. In the end, will it really matter?
My last job in the military involved a lot of battlefield assessments, observing the enemy to help determine a course of action, and providing lethal support to the main ground forces once we were committed to the battle. So, a vast amount of time staying hidden and reporting what I saw all around me. This mentality has really translated into what I do for a living now, as an advisor to the commander on management employee relations. It could not be more relevant to the current news story of the day.
I have sat in amazement as co-worker after co-worker has approached me today and asked about my feelings on the operation overseas. Some who know me very well have not had to ask at all. They know my philosophy of “watching the battlefield and gathering intelligence before acting decisively.” Yes, the ones who were given the task of executing this military operation have reason to celebrate their mission accomplishment. Yes, I am proud of my fellow troopers who lost no one on this surgical strike. But, it is early in the operation. Those who oppose us will undoubtedly retaliate. Now is not the time to throw a drunken frat party to celebrate the death of one man who lost his celebrated figure head years ago. Watch the battlefield. Gather intelligence. Act decisively. The question on my mind is, “Where is Ayman al-Zawahri?” Don’t know who that is? Then, you need to go back and re-read Sun Tzu. Know your enemy.
Our Nation will celebrate. The operators who were involved in the actual action will be de-briefed, take a day, then check the mission board to see what task is next. It is the warrior way. They know their enemy. We should too.