Leadership Capstone War on Drugs and the War on Terrorism, Capstone Project Example

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Words: 6790

Capstone Project

Abstract

The leadership of both the Global War on Terror and the war on drugs are corollary in a multitude of aspects ranging from the necessity to remain proactive and agile in their guidance and direction to fight against the opposing forces that are not centrally massed together and do not have the same hierarchy or structure as the organizational makeup of the United States.  Opposing a force that is not centrally commanded nor centrally executed creates a specific leadership need.  Agility, intelligence, heightened awareness and strategic foresight are the tools needed to garner the competitive advantage against the opposing forces.  There are three specific challenges that leadership faces within the global war on terrorism and the war on drugs: (1) Leadership styles that are focused on meeting objectives, (2) coordination and control of the people to include all of the different catalysts and composition of the teams they lead and (3) evolving the leadership to continually improve and become better with every experience.  The area of concern regarding the paradigm shift in leadership is transforming the leadership styles from the objective of commanding and controlling the actions of others through all available resources and not just through the use of force centrally focused on one entity.

Introduction

On September 11, 2001, the United States entered into a new realm of sacrifice and opportunities for the leaders of the free world.  The terrorist attacks on the home front of America awoke the lion.  Not since the attacks on Pearl Harbor did an attack on the United States spark such a visceral and pungent attack against an enemy.  The motive, whether in revenge or justification, military force and economic backing was in place to right the wrongs to those that were harmed against the enemy which brought tragedy and sorrow to America’s backyard.  The problem with garnering the exacting restitution to the harm and pain felt by the American citizens was that there was not a single point of contention, no country to invade or dictator to force out of power.

The war to bring justice did not have a singular nor distinctive entity to oppose.  The strategic minds on the U.S. government knew that terroristic attacks both foreign and domestic were not going to be handled lightly nor without ramifications.  The global war on terror initiated the international military campaign to end terrorism at its core and bring safety to the citizens.  The correlations between the global war on terrorism and that of the war on drugs are bountiful but one in particular forms the epicenter of the similarities.  The global war on terrorism and the war on drugs do not have specific large targets to precisely and accurately demonstrate force against.  The opposing forces are dispersed, highly trained and extremely hard to impose restrictive force against in order to stop the negative and harmful actions they are taking.

Leadership in both wars is encountering significant challenges.  In order for the leadership to lead, they need to see the vision on the horizon so that they can drive, motivate and set the correct expectations for their tactical, operational and strategic based teams.  The foundation of the leadership types in both realms of terrorism and drugs require an agile and flexible leadership style that can make decisions based on only the available information and make that decision with confidence and a touch of bravado.  There are both strengths and weaknesses to the dashing and agile approach to leadership based on the core decision process that occurs in an area where a single decision can and will result in the gains and losses of life and freedom by either the forces drawing down on terrorism and drug wars or the opposing forces.

In order to fully establish the opposing forces for both terrorism and illegal drugs it is important to have highly skilled and capable leadership in the key roles throughout the organizations.  The key to leadership in these roles involves the ability to see around corners, expect the unexpected and remain proactive in all situations.  These attributes are daunting and may never be fully realized but in order to fight off global organizations with decentralized command and decentralized execution it is imperative that the best and brightest leadership are in place to make the hard decisions under strenuous circumstances.  To understand the complexity of leadership and the critical blend of artistic interpretation and scientific methodology of honing leadership traits for these specific roles in the global war on terror and the war on drugs it is a must to understand the critical needs in both instances while also understanding the correlation between them.  The war on drugs has been an established force for nearly forty plus years and there are many lessons learned that benefit the newly established global war on terror.

The perceptions of both the global war on terror and the war on drugs differ slightly due to the fact that although the sacrifices held by the men and women that face the challenges on both fronts are equivocal the milestones and achievements that are celebrated by both sides are not received by the public in the same verbose and cheerful manner.  This may be due to the fact that the war on drugs is an old and established action and the achievements have become an expected result of the hard work and dedication inputted into the war on drug equation to obtain those results.  The global war on terror has sexier objectives and globally impacting results when formidable and known terrorists are either killed or captured no matter now long or drawn out the process is to bring them to justice.  Lessons can be taken on both sides to either understand how to ensure the world does not become complacent with either war or how objectives and successes are fully celebrated and noted to the public.  This is a leadership trait that sometimes falls short.  It is leadership’s responsibility to voice the efforts and hard work that goes into the global war on terrorism as well as efforts needed to keep drugs off the streets and away from America’s future.

With the global war on terror and the war on drugs, leadership is in a constant state of change and progression.  Continual improvement and development of the leadership on both fronts allow a competitive advantage against the opposing forces.  There is more than training and education needed to keep key leadership up to the task, it is also important to make sure the right people are in the right place at the right time to make the right decisions.  This means a multitude of cross-functional and a blending of leadership makeup is necessary.  Genders, cultures, backgrounds, heritage, creeds, sexual orientation and a plethora of other catalytic factors go into comprising the leadership of both America’s leadership and the coalition forces that support the global war on terrorism and war on drugs.  Cultural awareness, sensitivity training, emersion and other tactics are necessary to broaden the scope and vision of the leadership to ensure a synergistic approach to problem solving and getting the end-state objectives achieved with little or no collateral or force damage as possible.

 Global War on Terrorism

The Global War on Terror’s foundation is based on bringing together the entities across to globe to show once force against terrorist and those who support terrorists.  Leadership ranging from the president of the United States to the 2nd lieutenant leading is expeditionary force into the homeland of the terrorist cells have been focused on defeating the terrorists through military might and through the physical offensive destruction of key military objectives.  The military doctrine that has proven elegant and impacting in the traditional wars of the past does not meet the demand and alternative tactics needed for the war on terror.  National security is at risk every waking moment of the day and night against those who want to bring harm and devastation to our land and our people.

The offensive strategy by the Bush administration focused heavily on an offensive campaign against the al Qaeda abroad but neglected to focus on the other three areas needed to remain successful in the war on terror (Van Evera 2011).  In a traditional war, the battle was best taken to the opposing force which meant that the casualties and damage hit the home of the opposing forces.  The results of the attack were more than destroying just infrastructure and troops.  The results also put the pressure on the inhabitants of the invaded country.  This put the burden of the war on the opposing forces and allowed the civilians on the U.S. home front to go about their daily lives and support the troops from the rear with encouragement and heart.

There are three other areas that were needed to be addressed by leadership.  These areas include fortifying homeland security and defense, command and control of weapons of mass destruction and continual improvement of our leadership on the field and the tools to win the war.  Although this is not a critique of the leadership decisions made during the George Bush Sr.’s administration. it is important to understand the transition between the traditional wars fought in years past to the non-traditional or guerrilla combat fought abroad in conjunction with shoring up the foundation at home to secure the safety and freedom of the U.S. citizens.  The types of battles fought by today’s military involve unclear objectives which could potentially lead to less than desirable effects such as loss of lives, battles and even the war.

To win the war on terrorism leadership must understand the tools that are available to the enemy.  Crashing airliners into buildings and mailing anthrax laced boxes to federal buildings are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to readily available tools for the opposing forces.  The leadership’s mindset needs to change from matching weapons, tanks, air dominance and troop size to understanding how to mitigate the root cause of the issues.  When forces are moved to overseas locations monetary funds are flowing out of the budgets of defense and security into logistics and support functions.  The battles in Afghanistan and Iraq had many positive aspects but also provided battles won in the war for the terrorist.  Every dollar misappropriated to non-support of the global war on terror provides a little more room for a terrorist to attack.

In 2001 and into 2002 the United States provided the necessary support and forces to oust the Taliban government in hopes to separate the head of the serpent from the body.  Al Qaeda had its leadership removed from its operational force and this victory was perceived as a great success in the United States view (Van Evera 2011).  The problem associated with this perception is that although there was a separation and decentralization of leadership the forces attached to the prior leadership were still potent and able to cause great destruction and harm through terroristic methods.  Separating the leadership from the troops following him or her would bring down traditional governments or crumble the country’s infrastructure.  The United States would need to change their direction and utilize a different leadership style that includes an agile approach.

Preventing an attack against our homeland or the citizens abroad is easier said than done.  Great destruction and harm to any potential target are the objectives of terrorists.  The one-dimensional war waged against these terroristic threats falls short of providing the necessary prevention or debilitating affects necessary to render the terrorist threats incapacitated.  For example, throughout history, al Qaeda has lived under the burden and oppression with only the tool available to make change is terrorism.  Terrorism is the primary catalyst for change unless another country comes to their aid to fight a traditional war.  The challenges faced regarding the war on terrorism are that there is not a centralized focus for resources and there is an element of unpredictability around the actions the terrorists take.

Timothy McVeigh was a terrorist.  Osama bin Laden was a terrorist.  The Boston Tea Party was an act of terrorism.  The attempt to destroy the English parliament in 1605 was a terroristic act.  John Brown was an abolitionist which led multiple terrorist attacks against the armory at Harpers Ferry which at the time was called treason.  All of these people and acts are viewed in different ways depending on which side of history the person reading about these events fall.  The main focus is on the leadership interpretation and how a reactionary action needs to translate into a proactive act.  The results from the actions performed were unable to be defended against due to the unconventional methods which the acts were carried out.

The global war on terrorism is a war fought with unconventional methods in an asymmetrical battle.  Asymmetrical is a term used to define the imbalance of forces.  The balance can be economic, population or other aspect that can impact the war.  The military strengths of both sides differ greatly in size, technology, resources and training but their differences produce vastly different strategies and tactics to accomplish their respective goals and objectives.  In the views from both perspectives the communication of whether the forces are terrorists or part of a non-traditional military force are varied.  Regarding asymmetrical warfare and terrorism there are traditionally two views on how they relate. In the modern context, asymmetric warfare is increasingly considered a component of fourth generation warfare. When practiced outside the laws of war, it is often defined as terrorism, though rarely by its practitioners or their supporters (Corbin 2001).  The larger side of the asymmetrical battle will communicate that the smaller side as terrorist cells and try to use the negative meaning of the term as a motivator for support.  The side on the perceived smaller end of the war will voice the oppression of the larger side and spin the propaganda in favor of the resistance of the larger group.

Prior to the attacks on the World Trade Centers in the United States the al Qaeda operational lineage can be traced back to the war with the Soviet Union beginning in 1979 (Giustozzi 2000).  The relationship between the United States and Afghanistan dates back to 1921 when the Treaty of Rawalpindi was signed between the colonial British India and Afghanistan (The British Library Board 2012).  This was the first bridge between the U.S. and Afghanistan that allowed the foundation to be built for a diplomatic relationship.  The foundation was in place but a proactive approach to furthering the relationship did not take start to take hold until policy makers in congress took on a new view on helping developing nations increase their standard of living.  The prior relationship between Afghanistan and the U.S. helped raise the awareness of their socio-economical needs which put Afghanistan’s needs to the forefront of other deserving nations.

Although progress was slow, multiple steps were taken to advance the relationship.  Some of the things done were the assignment of multiple advisors and foreign relations officers were appointed in which many U.S. diplomats were permanently stationed in Afghanistan.  This was to increase the visibility of the effort to increase their presence in Afghanistan to the rest of the world.

The world was recovering from World War II in the 1950’s and although Afghanistan did take sides during the war it did request assistance from the United States.  The request was for their defense spending.  The initial request was denied due to the fact that the country did not support the U.S. war efforts and providing defense to a country that was not fully committed to the United States objectives did not seem like a politically friendly road to take.  In lieu of the defense support, an extension in the form of economic assistance for roads, dams, power generation and other forms for the country’s infrastructure was provided (Giustozzi, 2000).

In terms of a leadership perspective it was a good step forward in providing assistance to a flailing country.  Through hindsight the United States provided just enough assistance to bring the standard of living up to a livable status but did not become fully committed to the country in terms of regulatory imposition.  The increased presence was not able to deter activities not in coordination with U.S. policies or objective or receive anything in return to hold Afghanistan accountable for their actions.

Afghanistan benefited greatly from the neutral position it held during WWII and later its position during the Cold War in which it did not align with either the United States or Soviet Union.  As the competition between the United States and the Soviet Union escalated in the arms race, scientific breakthroughs, the space race and any other possible measurable aspect of humanity, Afghanistan was not left out of those equations.  The needs of Afghanistan remained the same but the support provided was negated by the needs of Cold War.  The Afghans were taking a strategic stance that would become their country’s core tenant of survival by not aligning themselves with any singular entity but by vying support from whoever would provide it. Both the United States and the Soviet Union competed by building more infrastructure and providing funding for technical assistance development in order to build the skills necessary for a modern economy. Through self-satisfying methods Afghanistan played both sides of the field and benefited from the influx of funding and effort provided by the opposing countries.

This type of competition between the United States and the Soviet Union did not last the entire Cold War due to the increased reparations for support that each country wanted in return for their continued support.  As the Cold War progressed, the tensions between Afghanistan and the Soviet Union increased due to the increased military and strategic interest in the control of Afghanistan’s resources.  The United States did not want a communist regime to take control of Afghanistan as it was the United States core philosophy to stop the spread of communism.  In many regards the stop of communism can be equated to the stop of terrorism in today’s globalization philosophy of the United States core values.  Initially, Afghanistan had a treaty with the Soviets regarding military assistance in times of need.  This time of need arose when the Mujahedeen rebels continued attacks against Afghani high impact targets (Giustozzi, 2000).  As the increased support from the Soviet Union flooded into the Afghan region the United States took notice and saw this as a spread of communistic ideas and a threat to democracy which at the time had a direct impact on the goals and objectives of the United States (Giustozzi, 2000).

The United States has a long and tumultuous relationship with Afghanistan which relates directly to how leadership the United States relates to terrorism and the war on terrorism.  In the U.S.’s efforts to thwart the spread of communism they provided a breeding ground for guerrilla forces and asymmetrical war fighting techniques.  The leadership’s responsibility to understand the ramifications of their short term solutions in relation to long term impact is vital when facing a decentralized and multi-country opponent which does not necessarily have a single focal point or a distinguishable face to provide a force against.

This historical significance of the global war on terror and how it was first initiated plays a crucial role in how the successes and achievements are experienced by those supporting and fighting in the war.  The sustainment of surge level forces is not realistic in any war and the negative side effects of war such of waning support, protest and even troop disengagement are even greater in a war without a clear and decisive end point.  This is a challenge for leadership to fully understand the issues and remedy the situations to the best of their ability.  The war of attrition is being fought on both sides of the battlefield and when the public does not show support for the government’s effort it remains a difficult situation for the troops to maintain a positive and insatiable desire that is needed for victory.

War on Drugs

The war on drugs is an undertaking with even a greater ambiguity than the war on terrorism in regard to strategic intent and potential for mission success.  Going into the war on drugs it should be known that the war is in perpetual motion and the objective is to mitigate the risks of drugs coming into the United States and impacting the citizens.  The primary objective, simplistic terms, of the war on drugs is to reduce the illegal drug trade.  President Richard Nixon first used the term “War on Drugs” in 1971(NPR 2012) and declared drug abuse as public enemy number 1.  With this declaration came the increased presence and size of the federal drug control agencies.  There was also a shift in the categorization of certain drugs to increase to repercussions for use and distributions of certain drugs.  Leadership determined at the time that it would need a bigger stick to hammer down consequences upon offenders so that when infractions happened the punishments were harsh and made an example out of those who committed the drug related infractions.  One such move included moving marijuana up the schedule to Schedule One which is the most restrictive category on drugs (Gerber 2004).

In addition to the increased might and force size the Nixon administration pulled out all the stops and determined that communication to the people about the negative side effects and life altering repercussions associated with illegal drug use was needed to further the efforts within the war on drugs.  The Drug Enforcement Administration was created to replace the substandard and micro-impactful Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.  After Nixon’s initial wave of support through the establishment of different organizational entities, public communication about the hazards of drug use and providing the appropriate legislation to uphold justice the next wave of influence occurring under President Bush’s administration in the 1980’s.

The biggest impact President Bush’s administration had on the war on drugs included the involvement of military forces and the Central Intelligence Agency.  This included the incorporation of the drug interdiction efforts into their core mission objectives.  Now the government was supposedly fully committed to the eradication of illegal drug activity within the United States by showing full commitment by putting the appropriate forces behind the cause.

In retrospect, the war on drugs started in the 1970’s with the establishment of a core focus with a common mission to eliminate illegal drug activity throughout the United States.  President Nixon increased the front line troops and established a hierarchy within the DEA to lead the war against drugs.  There was also a communication plan detailing the perils of drug use and abuse as well as the negative ramifications if a person took part in the illegal drug trade.  When that was not enough, the same administration increased the punishments on certain drug infractions so that the front line forces had larger impacts to the criminals.  In coordination of all of this additional resources and additional support from the government’s chain of command were pushed into the battle.  On paper the elements to win a war was in place but wars are not fought on paper and the war on drugs was not a traditional war in any regard.

The war on drugs is just as asymmetrical as any type of war can be.  Greed and profitability push the soldiers and leaders of the opposing forces to maneuver and outthink the established and archaic processes established by the presidential administrations.  The way we need to fight the war on drugs today is how the drug cartels and traffickers established their presence early in the war.  They remained flexible with only the end state in mind and not necessarily every step to get there.  As a result of the hierarchical rigor of the United States the war on drugs was deemed a failure by the United Nations in June 2011 (ONDCP 2011).  The announcement that the war on drugs has failed should not come to anyone’s surprise because after forty plus years the war on drugs is still raging and in many regards is more intense with greater negative aspects of drugs grip on America present.

Through a leadership perspective, the entire scope of the war on drugs was too vast a task to undertake without properly scoping out the objectives and properly pare down what objectives are achievable and when they are achievable.  A blanket statement of fighting an all-encompassing war against an unknown enemy with unknown resources in disparate locations is setting the government up for failure from the very beginning.  The resources were thrown at a problem without the proper concentration, prioritization or allocation toward specific and measurable objectives.  The government’s hands were bound to perform certain activities and there was a gap between what was occurring on the streets and abroad with the decisions that were being made in Washington.  Centralized command was apparent but delegation of authority and clear communication lead to the government living in a reactive response state.  This opposes the leadership methodology which was being strived for which focuses on a proactive and authoritative demeanor that would be needed to smother out the illegal drug activities at the source.

Leadership should maintain command and control while remaining agile in its decision making.  The communications channels need to remain open both vertically and horizontally to ensure a clear and concise message is presented throughout the organization.  Also, clear and measurable objectives are needed to measure success and also provide a timeline and process for future improvement.

 Continual Leadership Improvement Plan

There are continual challenges for leadership in both the global war on terrorism and the war on drugs but looking back at both of these monumental undertakings to end terrorism and stop the illegal use, sale and distribution of drugs there are core leadership aspects that must remain in focus.  At the operational level there will always be a need to achieve operational objectives and task that should fall in line with the chain of commands operational goals and objectives ultimately filtering its way up to the strategic intent of the entire organization.  At the very core of operations there is a tool that can be used to shape the operational level in such a way that agility is still vital and utilizing newly acquired information would better permit leadership to make informed decisions.

Colonel John Boyd created what is now known as the OODA loop.  The acronym described represents observer, orient, decide and act (Kotnour 2000).  As a military strategist Colonel Boyd knew it was necessary to continue through a loop in the problem solving and decision making process to further hone and process newly introduced information.  Colonel Boyd’s observation of this type of operation occurred to him while fighting a traditional war over the Korean skies (Baner 1999).  He was the pilot of the Air Force’s F-86.  He noticed that the maneuverability of the F-86 was much greater due to the technological advancements in the hydraulic systems that that of his opponents in the Mig-15s.  This competitive advantage allowed the U.S. fighter pilots to put the Mig-15s into compromising situations which lead to the air superiority over the Korean skies.

The core functionality of this tactic led to the development of the OODA loop which allowed continual improvement on previous decisions with new input while also executing decisions along the way.  This OODA loop also provided a framework for reference in regard gaining insight into what the opposing enemy forces were doing and how they were going to achieve their objectives.  By getting inside the enemies OODA loop leadership could better predict or anticipate the next move and put in precautionary measures to mitigate potential loss from the attack.

The foundations of leadership in relation to the global war on terrorism and the war on drugs are closely associated with the United States Air Force tenants of aerospace power.  These tenants provide a distinct type of leadership principles that help guide and illuminate the way to a somewhat unclear objective such as fighting terrorism as a whole or fighting a war on drugs that reaches every nook and cranny of the global society as a whole.

These tenants are:

  • Centralized Control and Decentralized Execution
  • Flexibility and Versatility
  • Synergistic Effects
  • Persistence
  • Concentration
  • Priority
  • Balance

Each one of these tenants provides leadership the key areas which to focus and support an ever changing mission.  The problem with fighting an ever evolving and changing opponent is that winning almost always involves change, reorganization, revamping and communication of those changes vertically and horizontally throughout the organization.  Centralized control and decentralized execution puts the leadership power in the hands of a core group of leaders.  This allows facilitation of the communication of the goals and objectives to the field and in the same toke empowers the front line leadership to execute their mission.  This results in delegation of authority to the level in which decisions can be made and where the information is new and fresh to the front line commanders.  This leadership tenant allows situational awareness and response while also remaining flexible in tactical and operational activities.

The flexibility and versatility remains a key ingredient to fighting the war on terror and on drugs.  With the opposing forces always moving and planning, leadership’s vigilance and flexibility allow the exploitation of the opponent’s weaknesses.  Exercising leadership trait of flexibility is more than just reacting to the opposing forces actions but taking in the entire scope of situation into consideration and molding the available resources into the necessary responses.  While remaining flexible, leadership must also understand that all resources have a finite use and not every objective can be met with all the available resources.  The prioritization of resources by leadership puts the right tools in place to solve certain issues.  With limited resources, the prioritization of objectives allows the focus for the primary and most mission critical objectives are met while keeping the minutia of the secondary and tertiary objectives within the scope but not pulling critical resources away for meeting the goals and objectives of leadership.

When fighting in a global conflict there are multiple opportunities to bring in resources from different units and countries.  Utilizing cross-functional joint force opportunities to solve the problems in both the global war on terror and the war on drugs create a synergistic approach to war fighting.  Utilizing resources in a synergistic way and coordinating units in a way to utilize the strengths of one unit to compliment the weaknesses of another create a cohesive unit that has the potential to create a disproportionate pressure on those fighting the war on drugs and terror cells globally.

Leadership has the responsibility and accountability of managing the war.  The balance of the war lies upon the shoulders of the leadership.  Balance refers to the careful coordination of opportunities, necessities, effectiveness, efficiency and overall impact of accomplishing the goals and objectives with the inherent risk involved in the mission.  The risk/benefit analysis puts the accountability of overall success into a visualization that the leadership must make a determination on whether or not the inputs of people, effort and time for success outweighs the potential loss that could occur.  Training and education can provide the tools necessary to make the decision but experience and foresight are crucial to making the right decisions.

The amount of resources and focus of those resources refers to the concentration of force.  Knowing how much pressure is enough to be fully successful without overextending the troops but without falling slightly short of mission success is an art form that the leadership must understand and practice on a daily basis.  Each critical objective may be able to be accomplished if every troop marches into every terror cell or if every DEA agent stormed the front doors of the drug kingpin’s home but that amount of surge in force is not sustainable nor is it economically feasible to accomplish each time.  The amount of concentration of force is vital in winning the war and not just the battle.

When times get tough the tough stick it out.  Persistence in military and drug enforcement actions separate short term setbacks into established and long term changes in the war efforts.  Strategically destroy targets, severed supply chains and drug communication channels can be destroyed one day and rebuilt the next.  Persistence of force separates winning the war and seceding into defeat.  Leadership must understand that persistence and perseverance will win throughout and if all the other tenants are followed and the leadership is in place to make the right decisions and lead with integrity and a “service before self” mentality the wars can endure with the intestinal fortitude needed to be a success.

Conclusion/Recommendation

To follow through the entire life cycle of both the war on terrorism and the war on drugs it is evident that there are many similarities between the two.  The lessons learned from both fronts include, as a top priority, clear and measureable strategic objectives with properly aligned operational goals and objectives.  These objectives needs to be heard, understand and acknowledged at each level of the organization for full support in the overall mission.  In order to solve the problem of ambiguity between success and failure, the goals and objectives need to be measurable to prevent the uncertainty.  There also needs to have an evaluation regarding feasibility of the entire war and what success actually looks like.  Scenario planning, war games, resource planning, schedule determination, current obligations and long term impacts are just a few of the areas of concern that need to be addressed when assigning prioritization and resources to the objectives.

Following the tenants of centralized control decentralize execution, flexibility, versatility, synergistic effects, persistence, concentration, priority and balance provides the framework and best practices approach to the establishment of a successful leadership plan in taking on non-traditional wars through agile and proactive strategies. The lessons learned from the war on terrorism and the war on drugs will help leadership make better decisions.  Leadership throughout the organization needs to provide clear communication regarding the data, impact, obstacles and ultimately the recommendations they are facing on both fronts.

The impacts of these wars include long term detriments to the American way of life and put our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness at risk.  All of which form the keystone in which our country was founded.  These inalienable rights outlined in the Constitution of the United States must be protected.  With disproportionate reactions and misguided efforts, the forces that oppose our freedom could eventually achieve the upper hand and control that which is our freedom.

The obstacles keeping the United States from achieving success in both the war on terrorism and the war on drugs is leaderships ability to clearly define what success looks like and then take that picture and instill the objectives and goals throughout the organization so that we are all fighting toward a common and achievable goal.  Utilizing our limited resources to the best of our ability and garnering the greatest return on our investment as possible allows the greatest impact to be made toward our goals and objectives.  There is also the obstacle of clear and concise communication between leadership and their troops, both up and down the chain of command, as well as communication between those fighting the war and those that are impacted by the current battles and the results of those battles.  Complacency is the enemy when it comes to fighting a war and key communication that informs and raises awareness to key interactions and milestones provide the ability to keep key stakeholders informed but not dulling their awareness by over inundating them with information.

The recommendation to provide key objectives that further the mission toward overall success, clearly defined resource allocation and a clear and timely communication plan will ensure the success of both the global war on terror and the war on drugs.  These key elements of leadership preparation and execution will fill the key voids in the asymmetrical wars that are being fought on multiple fronts across the globe.  The best course of action is to rely on the prioritization of leadership in conjunction with the strategic alignment of the goals and objectives.  This includes the activities from the men and women on the front lines to the president of the United States and his strategic intent for the country.  Agility, perseverance and clearly defined and achievable goals will allow continual progress toward the greater share of success.  Leadership leads the way in doing the right things with integrity, honor and fortitude.

Appendix A.  Biographical Statement

James A. Lea

James A. Lea was born in Wiesbaden Germany.  He graduated from Kaiserslautern American High School in 1987 and entered the military on May 5, 1988. He completed Basic and Individual One Station Unit Training (OSUT) at Fort McClellan, Alabama as a military policeman.  In 1992, James voluntarily reclassified as a military correctional specialist and served in numerous leadership positions including Team Leader, Squad Leader, Platoon Sergeant, First Sergeant, Department of the Army Assignment Manager and Facility Sergeant Major.  He has served two combat tours in Iraqi and one in Afghanistan.  James’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Service Medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal (3 awards), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (8 awards), and the Army Achievement Medal (6 awards).   James’s military education includes Primary Leadership Development Course, Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course, Advance Noncommissioned Officer Course, First Sergeants Course, Battle Staff Course, Anti-Terrorism Force Protection Instructor Course and a graduate of the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy.

James’s civilian education includes an Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice from Kansas City Kansas Community College, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Administration from Upper Iowa University.  He is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Leadership Studies with University of Texas at El Paso.  James is married to the former Davis, Vickie.  He has three children, Kanisha S. Lea-Martin (daughter), KaDedra A. Lea (daughter), and Josette M. Lea (daughter).

Appendix B.  Leadership Statement

Leadership

Leadership if providing the direction and motivation to get people to do something they would not otherwise undertake under the same circumstances.  My leadership style reflects that of a servant leader in which I put my people into the forefront of my leadership vision.  As a servant leader I use my listening skills and problem solving skills to fully understand what my people need.  I am a facilitator and communicator to get the right parties into the right place so that miscommunications and misinterpretations are held to a minimum.  I also use my foresight to understand the impacts and ramifications of certain situations before they occur so that I can ensure my people have the right tools to do their jobs and have clear expectations of what I need from them.

The growth of the team comes from within and this is more than just growing in size.  Each individual contributor has an important role in the overall strategic intent of my organization.  If they were not vital to the organization they would not hold a spot on the team. I see things with long term solutions in mind and in order to reach the horizon I need to build and fully understand the team that will meet those objectives.  I also believe in empowering those that deserve and have the capability of being empowered.  The philosophy of empowering everyone does not sit well with me due to the fact that if you empower everyone to make a decision you have effectively negated all the hierarchical leadership roles and misplaced the power into potentially the wrong hands.  The empowerment and authority should be delegated to the lowest capable level.  I also believe that a person who delegates actions and tasks should do so out of a need for the overall mission and not because the task is laborious and difficult.  I would not ask anyone to do something in the same situation that I would not do myself.

References

Baner, C. (1999). Defining Aerospace Power. Air & Space Power Journal. Retrieved from http://www.airpower.au.af.mil/airchronicles/cc/baner.html

Corbin, M. (2001). Reshaping the military for asymmetric warfare. Retrived from http://www.cdi.org/terrorism/asymmetric.cfm

Gerber, R. (2004) Legalizing marijuana: drug policy reform and prohibition politics. Greenwood publishing group.

Giustozzi, A. (2000). War, politics and society in afghanistan, 1978-1992. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers.

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