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jerryking : peggy_noonan   43

Captaincy - Peggy Noonan's Blog - WSJ
Aug 4, 2014 |WSJ| Peggy Noonan

There are [underlying] reasons for [the existence of the weirdest] traditions and arrangements [--but you have to ask questions to uncover them]. Sometimes they are good and sometimes not, but they are reasons, explanations grounded in some sort of experience. I had a conversation about this a few years ago with a young senior at Harvard who on graduation would go to work for a great consulting firm that studies the internal systems of business clients to see if they can be bettered. He asked if I had any advice, which I did not. Then I popped out, with an amount of feeling that surprised me because I didn’t know I had been thinking about it, that he should probably approach clients with the knowledge that systems and ways of operating almost always exist for a reason. Maybe the reason is antiquated or not applicable to current circumstances, but there are reasons for structures, and if you can tease them out they will help you better construct variations or new approaches. I can’t remember why but this opened up a nice conversation about how consultants walk into new jobs with a bias toward change—the recommendation of change proves their worth and justifies their fees—but one should be aware of that bias and replace it with a bias for improvement, which is different.
Peggy_Noonan  traditions  advice  biases  bias_for_improvement  bias_toward_change  institutional_knowledge  internal_systems  Jason_Isaacs  management_consulting  institutional_memory 
april 2019 by jerryking
Can Trump Handle a Foreign Crisis?
Feb. 7, 2019 | WSJ | By Peggy Noonan.

He’ll face one eventually, and there’s good reason to worry the administration will be unprepared.

Someday this White House will face a sudden, immediate and severe foreign-policy crisis..... past and present officials of this administration are concerned on how the White House would handle a crisis......History resides in both the unexpected and the long-predicted. Russia moves against a U.S. ally, testing Washington’s commitment to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty; a coordinated cyber action by our adversaries takes down the American grid; China, experiencing political unrest within a background of a slowing economy, decides this is a good time to move on Taiwan; someone bombs Iran’s missile sites; Venezuela explodes in violence during a military crackdown; there’s an accidental launch somewhere..... historian Margaret MacMillan said ....“I think we should never underestimate the sheer role of accident.”....Everything depends on personnel, process and planning. The president and his top advisers have to work closely, with trust and confidence, quickly comprehending the shape of the challenge and its implications. There must be people around him with wisdom, judgment, experience. They must know their jobs and be able to execute them under pressure. Clear lines of communication are key between both individuals and agencies.....keep their eyes on the million moving pieces, military and diplomatic, that comprise a strategy.......During the Berlin airlift, thought at the time to be the height of the Cold War, Secretary of State George C. Marshall, who’d been Army chief of staff during World War II, was asked how worried he was. “I’ve seen worse,” he replied. He had. ......“No administration is ready for its first crisis,” says Richard Haass, who was a member of George H.W. Bush’s NSC and is author of “A World in Disarray.” “What you learn is that the machinery isn’t adequate, or people aren’t ready.” First crises trigger reforms of procedures so that second ones are better handled. ......There is no way, really, to simulate a crisis, because you don’t know what’s coming, and key people are busy doing their regular jobs. And all administrations, up until the point they’re tested, tend to be overconfident. What can they do to be readier? Think, study, talk and plan.....For a modern example of good process, personnel and management, there is the Cuban missile crisis. .....the stakes couldn’t have been higher.......It might be good to have regular situation-room meetings on what-ifs, and how to handle what-ifs, and to have deep contingency planning with intelligence, military and civilian leaders discussing scenarios. “Put yourself in a position,” says Mr. Haass, “where you’re less unread when a crisis does occur.”.......Margaret MacMillan again: People not only get used to peace and think it’s “the normal state of affairs,” they get used to the idea that any crisis can be weathered, because they have been in the past. But that’s no guarantee of anything, is it?
adversaries  chance  contingency_planning  crisis  Donald_Trump  U.S.foreign_policy  JFK  Margaret_MacMillan  overconfidence  Richard_Haass  security_&_intelligence  unexpected  White_House  unprepared  accidents  Cuban_Missile_Crisis  luck  Peggy_Noonan  preparation  readiness  George_Marshall  normality  unforeseen 
february 2019 by jerryking
Does Steve Bannon Have Something to Offer? - WSJ
By Peggy Noonan
April 13, 2017

Capitalists, he said, now must ask: “What is the purpose of whatever I’m doing with this wealth? What is the purpose of what I’m doing with the ability that God has given us . . . to actually be a creator of jobs and a creator of wealth?”

With both these strands, he says, the middle class loses ground. This has contributed to the “global revolt” of populism and nationalism. That revolt was fueled, too, by the financial crisis of 2008. None of those responsible on Wall Street were called to account: “No bonuses and none of their equity was taken.” The taxes of the middle class were used to bail them out.
Peggy_Noonan  Stephen_Bannon  capitalism 
april 2017 by jerryking
Dean Acheson Was a First-Rate Statesman
Feb. 17, 2017 | - WSJ| Jeffrey Salmon.

"The record shows that he had the rare ability to combine a grasp of the broad historical circumstances in which the U.S. found itself in the postwar period with a practical understanding of how to construct and implement long-term policy—that is to say, he was a statesman. Every grand strategy of the Cold War period—containment, NATO, the postwar economic order, the Marshall Plan and more—bore his mark."
letters_to_the_editor  Peggy_Noonan  Dean_Acheson  Henry_Kissinger  statesmen  Cold_War  containment  NATO  Marshall_Plan  post-WWII  APNSA 
february 2017 by jerryking
What Comes After Acheson’s Creation? - WSJ
Feb. 9, 2017

The U.S. military needs to know what the U.S. government seeks from it. The White House need to communicate an overarching plan because if there’s no higher plan they, in turn, can’t make plans to meet the tornado victims, those interested in foreign policy have been [shellshocked]—staring in shock at the wreckage of the post-War II international system.

But something has to be rebuilt. Everyone now has to be an architect, or a cement-pourer, or a master craftsman carpenter.

It’s been instructive the past week to reread a small classic of statecraft, “Present at the Creation” by Dean Acheson, published in 1969. As undersecretary and then secretary of state he was involved in the creation of the postwar order.

What is inspiring about Acheson’s first-rate second-rateness is that he’s like a lot of those we have developing foreign policy right now.

Acheson, though he did not present it this way, provides useful lessons for future diplomats in future crises.

• Everyone’s in the dark looking for the switch.
• Don’t mess things up at the beginning.
• Be able to see your work soberly. Keep notes so history will know what happened.
• Cheer up. Good things can come of bad times, great things from fiercely imperfect individuals.
• Even though you’ll wind up disappointed. All diplomats in the end feel frustrated over missed opportunities and achievements that slipped away. “Alas, that is life. We cannot live our dreams.”

Still to be answered: What is America’s strategy now—our overarching vision, our big theme and intent? What are the priorities? How, now, to navigate the world?

That soldier needs an answer to his question: What do you need from us? What’s the plan?
questions  U.S.foreign_policy  post-WWII  diplomacy  Dean_Acheson  Marshall_Plan  Peggy_Noonan  priorities  change  statecraft  books  Cold_War  international_system  rebuilding  dislocations  The_Establishment  crisis  crisis_management  Communicating_&_Connecting  grand_strategy  statesmen  imperfections  U.S._military  note_taking  missed_opportunities 
february 2017 by jerryking
Choosing a Path in the World Ahead - WSJ
June 4, 2015 7

political scientist and global risk strategist Ian Bremmer, a foreign-affairs columnist at Time, has written a book asking Americans themselves to decide what our policy should be, and offering what he sees as three central options.

“America,” he writes, “will remain the world’s only superpower for the foreseeable future. But what sort of superpower should it be? What role should America play in the world? What role do you want America to play?”
Ian_Bremmer  Peggy_Noonan  strategic_thinking  superpowers 
june 2015 by jerryking
There are reasons for traditions and arrangements. Sometimes they are good and sometimes not, but they are reasons, explanations grounded in some sort of experience. I had a conversation about this a ...
advice  biases  bias_for_improvement  bias_toward_change  institutional_knowledge  internal_systems  Jason_Isaacs  management_consulting  Peggy_Noonan 
november 2014 by jerryking
A New Kind of Terrorist Threat - WSJ
Aug. 21, 2014 | WSJ| Peggy Noonan

The question "What should we do about ISIS?" is not the same as the question "Do we want to go back to Iraq?" One is about facing up to an extreme and immediate challenge, which we have to do. The other is about returning to an old experience, which almost no one wants to do....The U.S. cannot be certain of ISIS' immediate strategic plans. Perhaps they will concentrate on holding the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. It is possible they will widen their war. In an audio statement in January the ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, referred to America while speaking to ISIS fighters. "Soon we'll be in direct confrontation," he said. "So watch out for us, for we are with you, watching." Those associated with ISIS have promised to raise their black flag over the White House...Continue bombing ISIS where potentially efficacious, as heavily and for as long as needed. This week's bombing forced them to give up the dam they'd seized at Mosul, an act that left ISIS looking, for the first time in its history, reduced and stoppable. Go to Congress for authorization of force, showing the world we have gained at least some semblance of unity. Give the Kurds, our actual friends, every kind of help they need, from military to material. Use the threat of ISIS to forge new bonds with allies and possible allies, such as the leaders of nearby countries that are immediately threatened. Go to the U.N., pound the table, ask for the world's help. Let them humiliate themselves by doing nothing if that's what they choose. At least it will be clarifying.

And be prepared, to the degree possible, for a hit or hits on American soil or that of our longstanding allies. ISIS says it's coming. So far they've done pretty much everything they said they'd do.
Peggy_Noonan  ISIS  terrorism 
august 2014 by jerryking
Peggy Noonan: The Writing of a Great Address -
July 5, 2013, 7:08 p.m. ET

The Writing of a Great Address
Lincoln began forming his thoughts just after the Battle of Gettysburg.

Peggy_Noonan  speeches  Communicating_&_Connecting 
july 2013 by jerryking
A Statesman's Friendly Advice -
April 4, 2013 | WSJ | Peggy Noonan

Noonan: A Statesman's Friendly Advice, Singapore's Lee Kwan Yew on what makes America great—and what threatens its greatness. "Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States and the World," a gathering of Mr. Lee's interviews, speeches and writings.

Mr. Lee, of course, is the founder and inventor of modern Singapore. He made it a dynamo. He pushed it beyond its ethnic divisions and placed a bet that, though it is the smallest nation in southeast Asia has few natural resources, its people, if organized and unleashed within a system of economic incentive, would come to constitute the only resource that mattered. He was right. When he took office as prime minister, in 1959, per capita income was about $400 a year. Last year it was more than $50,000.

Peggy_Noonan  Singapore  America_in_Decline?  books  ethnic_divisions  competitiveness_of_nations  city-states  leaders  statesmen  Lee_Kuan_Yew 
april 2013 by jerryking
A Faith Unshaken but Unsettled -
February 14, 2013 | WSJ|

A Faith Unshaken but Unsettled
Catholics react to Pope Benedict's resignation.

Peggy_Noonan  Catholicism  succession  Christianity  Vatican  Catholic_Church 
february 2013 by jerryking
Noonan: A Remedial Communication Class -
July 19, 2012 | WSJ | By PEGGY NOONAN.

Noonan: A Remedial Communication Class
Lessons from three recent failures, at the Olympics and on the campaign trail.
Communicating_&_Connecting  Peggy_Noonan 
july 2012 by jerryking
Show the Proof, Mr. President -
MAY 5, 2011, 9:12 P.M. ET

Show the Proof, Mr. President
Americans don't want to 'spike the ball.' They want to show they crossed the goal line.

Peggy_Noonan  Obama  OBL 
may 2011 by jerryking
Noonan: What the World Sees in America -
APRIL 23, 2011

What the World Sees in America
It's not all something to be proud of.

America_in_Decline?  Peggy_Noonan 
april 2011 by jerryking
Instant Communication Can Have Bad Consequences — Letters to the editor -
APRIL 9, 2011.
During the American Civil War, Charles Wilkes, a Union naval officer,
broke international law by capturing two Confederate diplomats en route
to Europe on a neutral British ship, the Trent. Adams observed: "When we
so pride ourselves on what we consider the self-evident value of modern
inventions, we may be given pause when we realize that, had there been a
submarine cable in 1861, it is almost certain that England and the
North would have been at war that December. As it was, the slowness of
communication gave both sides time to think, and allowed [Secretary of
State William H.] Seward in America and [Lords] Palmerston and Russell
in England . . . to guide the situation."

"The slowness of communication" is a phrase to savor. Today it is
assumed that speed of communication is an absolute virtue. Combining
speed with a lack of context, electronic media radically undermine
reflection and criticism. We live in a sea of thoughtlessness, informing
ourselves to death.
Communicating_&_Connecting  Peggy_Noonan  power_of_the_pause  letters_to_the_editor  Civil_War  reflections  immediacy  contextual  timeouts  real-time  latency  unintended_consequences  revenge_effects  thinking_deliberatively 
april 2011 by jerryking
From Disraeli to 'the Bang-Bang' -
APRIL 1, 2011

From Disraeli to 'the Bang-Bang'
TV needs action and drama. Foreign policy needs less of both.

Peggy_Noonan  Benjamin_Disraeli  foreign_policy  United_Kingdom  leadership  reflections 
april 2011 by jerryking
Ronald Reagan at 100 -
* FEBRUARY 3, 2011, 9:40 P.M. ET

Ronald Reagan at 100
Being a good man helped him become a great one.

Ronald_Reagan  Peggy_Noonan  anniversaries  commemoration 
february 2011 by jerryking
The Captain and the King -
* JANUARY 7, 2011

The Captain and the King
Why Owen Honors had to go, and why a stammering monarch is a movie hero.

Peggy_Noonan  leadership  public_decorum 
january 2011 by jerryking
Peggy Noonan: America Is at Risk of Boiling Over -
AUGUST 6, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By PEGGY NOONAN. And out-of-touch leaders don't see the need to cool things off.
America  Peggy_Noonan 
august 2010 by jerryking
Peggy Noonan: The Power of Redemption -
JULY 22, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By PEGGY NOONAN. Shirley Sherrod's speech, and her story, has lessons for us all.
race_relations  politics  NAACP  Peggy_Noonan  inspiration  obama 
july 2010 by jerryking
A Cold Man's Warm Words -
JULY 2, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By PEGGY NOONAN A Cold
Man's Warm Words. Jefferson's tender lament didn't make it into the
Peggy_Noonan  inspiration  Founding_Fathers 
july 2010 by jerryking
Peggy Noonan: McChrystal Forces Us to Focus
JUNE 25, 2010 - By PEGGY NOONAN. McChrystal Forces
Us to Focus. Now Petraeus owes us a candid assessment of the Afghan
Peggy_Noonan  Afghanistan  David_Petraeus 
june 2010 by jerryking
Peggy Noonan: He Was Supposed to Be Competent
MAY 29, 2010 | - | By PEGGY NOONAN He Was Supposed to
Be Competent. The spill is a disaster for the president and his
political philosophy.
Peggy_Noonan  Obama  oil_spills  BP 
may 2010 by jerryking
Peggy Noonan: The Catholic Church's Catastrophe -
APRIL 2, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | by PEGGY NOONAN. The Catholic Church's Catastrophe
The press and the pope deserve credit for confronting scandal.

Catholicism  Peggy_Noonan  scandals 
april 2010 by jerryking
A Farewell to Harms
JULY 10, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by PEGGY NOONAN
Peggy_Noonan  Sarah_Palin  GOP 
july 2009 by jerryking
The Only Statue That Is Smiling -
* JUNE 5, 2009

The Only Statue That Is Smiling
Ronald Reagan, cast in bronze, arrives at the Rotunda.

Peggy_Noonan  Ronald_Reagan  tributes  commemoration 
june 2009 by jerryking
Those Who Make Us Say 'Oh!' -
* MAY 23, 2009

Those Who Make Us Say 'Oh!'
A tribute to America's war heroes, past and present.
heroes  Peggy_Noonan  tributes  veterans 
may 2009 by jerryking
Open Your Eyes
Friday, May 24, 2002 12:01 A.M. EDT| Wall Street Journal | PEGGY NOONAN

Bush's message in Berlin.

Every big speech has a text and a subtext.
Peggy_Noonan  Communicating_&_Connecting  speeches  Ronald_Reagan 
april 2009 by jerryking
Peggy Noonan: Dynamism Isn't Dead -
FEBRUARY 20, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by PEGGY NOONAN

Remembering the Dawn of the Age of Abundance: Times are hard, but dynamism isn't dead.
local  crisis  innovation  entrepreneurship  future  hard_times  inspiration  collapse-anxiety  cultural_change  regeneration_&_recovery  Peggy_Noonan  economic_dynamism 
february 2009 by jerryking

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