“Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick tempered displays folly.” — Proverbs 14:29

On April 17, Vice President Mike Pence issued a warning to North Korea that the “era of strategic patience” was over. Pence warned that all options were on the table without specifying the options and how they could be expected to play out. The options available to President Donald Trump are the same options that were available to previous American presidents. The best option is still diplomacy, i.e., “strategic patience.”

There is no doubt that the U.S. military could inflict devastation upon North Korea and take out the current regime. But within minutes of the commencement of any military strike, North Korea would unleash thousands of artillery shells and short range missiles toward our major Asian allies South Korea and Japan. Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is home to 10 million people and lies less than 40 miles from the heavily militarized border with North Korea.

Even conventional warheads would inflict tens of thousands of casualties and lead to millions of refugees. If the North Korean regime felt its downfall was imminent and that it had nothing left to lose, it is very likely that it would exercise its nuclear option. The Korean Peninsula, and perhaps parts of Japan and China too, would become wastelands and a humanitarian refugee crisis would unfold, the likes of which the world hasn’t seen since World War II. The economies of South Korea, Japan and China would be severely disrupted, which would then disrupt the American economy and spread beyond. A war with North Korea also has the potential to spiral out of control and lead to military entanglements with China and Russia.

On April 19, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, proclaimed that America had also lost its strategic patience with Iran. He issued his warning even though the Trump administration has confirmed that Iran is in substantial compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal. Tillerson cited Iran’s support for the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria as its justification. A war with Iran would bring chaos and instability to the entire Middle East and to the international oil markets, not to mention the enormous cost to human lives. It’s puzzling how President Trump has yet to lose his strategic patience with Vladimir Putin’s Russia despite its strong support for the Assad regime, its invasion of Ukraine and the Crimea, and its recent intelligence operations to disrupt and interfere with the American presidential election and elections throughout Western Europe.

The Trump administration seems itching for a fight and is displaying the sort of bravado and foolish quick temper Proverbs 14:29 counseled us about. This folly was on full display with their warning that an American naval armada was heading toward North Korea when in reality it was 3,000 miles away sailing in the opposite direction. If this is what the end of the era of strategic patience looks like, God help us all.

Roberto Torres is an attorney at law in Galveston and writes columns from a progressive perspective.

(28) comments

Jarvis Buckley

When we hit NK it will be over. Military loyalty will end for that tyran.
As the dust settles the world will be a better place.🇺🇸

Carlos Ponce

Roberto misses the roll over like a wimpy dog strategy of the previous administration. Just kick it down the road, Roberto? That doesn't show leadership. It shows weakness.
However, President Trump has taken the proper rote in seeking the cooperation of the Chinese. But as Pence says if the Chinese won't, the United States will.

Doyle Beard

This article is the epitome of HYPOCRISY

Bill Broussard

Posted by Bill Broussard & Nate Rosenberg on 14 Jun 2016 / 0 Comment

It all started with Tulips in 1593. At least, that’s the first time history recorded a herd mentality event followed by a crash.

Tulips were so popular (thanks to a virus that produced multi-colored flowers) that people pledged their homes as security for loans to buy- then sell- a single bulb; it was a bulb-bull market.

The only people who did well in the 1593 crash were those who did nothing during the run-up. Those still owning a home garden to plant now cheap bulbs in were those who ended up satisfied.

The stock market or tulip trading markets are not the only sound argument for doing nothing. The discipline of strategy considers doing nothing a valid and sound alternative to doing something and should always be considered as a possible path. There is even good reason to suspect that doing nothing is a powerful career advancement tool.

A friend of mine once remarked that the James Clavell novel, Shogun, was one of the best books on strategy available. If you recall, Toranaga essentially did nothing until the closing page of an 1152 page masterpiece. Most noteworthy is that Toranaga was based on a real historical character, Tokugawa Ieyasu, a Shogun that history finds memorable for his inaction.

The deployment of a do nothing strategy is often called a “following strategy” since saying a company is guided by doing nothing never sits well with capital markets. Used routinely by chip-makers, automotive companies and technology firms- not to mention entire nations-doing nothing until what to do becomes history and fact is conservative, resource preserving and requires a special kind of transformation in its execution.

At Insigniam, we believe in the power of innovation. In fact, we have dedicated an entire practice area to strategy innovation. Becoming a market leader through innovation is certainly not doing nothing.

We also believe in the ability of any organization to transform and re-invent itself so that their unique strategy is successful. The elements of a corporate culture capable of a do nothing strategy are:

1. A culture of heightened collaboration at every level
2. A flexibility to move fast in unison or to deploy its internal resources to improve quality and cost when in a holding position.
3. Increased employee tenure and decreased turnover
4. Wisdom and experience valued over activity.
5. Longer deliberation times; shorter execution times.
6. Lessened scrap inventories and increased safety results.

Perhaps most noteworthy is that it seems organizations that do not wish to transform or re-invent are bound to a particular style during strategy execution. Fixed styles come in three forms: invention, activity and dissolution and can all be either successful or limiting.

Classic examples of fixed styles are Bell Laboratories for invention, Ford Motor Company for activity until it’s 1986 transformation and McMillan Bloedel for dissolution in favor of shareholder value.

We think a do nothing strategy requires practice and strength in all three styles and an acquired ability to work in each phase when necessary. The flexibility of making the wise choice at the right time is critical to the art of doing nothing and requires a transformation in culture for many.

At Insigniam, we have something to say and offer to cultures that want to leverage the power of doing nothing.

Bill Broussard and Nate Rosenberg are both consultants for Insigniam, an international management consulting firm.

Diane Turski

It's usually considered wise advice to "know your enemy", yet Trump has proven that he often doesn't even know their names....

Doyle Beard

Hillary said we should love our enemy

Jim Forsythe

Unless Hillary was alive in 6th century BCE ,she was not the first to use, "know the enemy".
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
― Sun Tzu, The Art of War   

Doyle may have been thinking of the song by  Rage Against the Machine. Saw them at the woodlands a few years ago. Most bands do not like to follow them , because they tend to blow out speakers, as they play at the sound level of jet planes taking off.
Know Your Enemy" is a song by the American rap metal band Rage Against the Machine.
Come on!
Yes, I know my enemies!
They're the teachers who taught me to fight me!
Compromise! Conformity! Assimilation! Submission!
Ignorance! Hypocrisy! Brutality! The elite!
All of which are American dreams!
All of which are American dreams!
All of which are American dreams!
All of which are American dreams!

All of which are American dreams!
All of which are American dreams!
All of which are American dreams!
All of which are American dreams!

Carlos Ponce

No one posted that Hillary said "know the enemy."
What she did say women should push America to “respect” and “empathize with” its enemies at a Georgetown University event promoting female leadership in foreign conflicts and international relations in 2014.
So Jim listens to loud metal rap. Fitting.

Jim Forsythe

"So Jim listens to loud metal rap. Fitting".
No ,  What is fitting, is that Jim takes cares of his kids. If its wrong to make sure your kids are safe , so be it. This was not a group my sons even listened to. Rage Against the Machine were on a side stage, while another group was on the main stage .   They were one group out of  about 16.

Carlos Ponce

You didn't listen to it? You must have had a darn good set of earplugs. But you remembered the name of the song. Hmmmm.

Jim Forsythe

  I guess you have never been to a large concert, at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion ,were multiple bands are playing. To make this statement "You must have had a darn good set of earplugs" shows this.
"But you remembered the name of the song" no, I looked it up.
The only reason I was at this event , was the safety of my boys

Carlos Ponce

Can't say I ever was at "a large concert, at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion" . I do sit next to the Hitchcock High School band at football games and march with them at parades and that's loud enough for me. Good music, great sound,
"The members of Rage Against the Machine are well known for their leftist and revolutionary political views, and almost all of the band's songs focus on these views." That's why I posted "Fitting."

Jim Forsythe

School Bands is not the normal fair at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. but some that you may like that are playing this year.
Houston Symphony: Bond and Beyond
John Legend , Lady Antebellum,Houston Symphony: Lucas Waldin - Hocus Pocus Pops
The following is the one I hope to see!
Straight No Chaser ( Straight No Chaser is a professional a cappella group)  & Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox - (Postmodern Jukebox,,  PMJ is known for reworking popular modern music into different vintage genres, especially early 20th century forms such as swing and jazz)

Carlos Ponce

In a recent Washington Post poll if the Presidential election were held today Trump beats Hillary in the popular and electoral vote.
"The new survey finds 46 percent saying they voted for Clinton and 43 percent for Trump, similar to her two-point national vote margin. Asked how they would vote if the election were held today, 43 say they would support Trump and 40 percent say Clinton."
I guess they don't poll non-citizens.[beam]

Jim Forsythe

Trump beats Hillary is not news, as Trump is the President. Unless we are going to vote again , it does not matter.
A long range poll shows the President would not fair well against the Democrat's candidates, that might run in 2020.
"Sen. Al Franken was one of the possible Democratic presidential candidates that was tested up against incumbent President Donald Trump – and found that they are tied equally at 43 percent of voters.
This puts him behind Joe Biden (who polled 54/40 vs. Trump), Sen. Bernie Sanders (50/41) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (46/42)."

"43% say they would support Trump" almost all polls shows Trump support at 43% or less. Most, if not all President lose % points after the first 100 days. It is hard to see how he is going to gain enough support  to run against someone beside Hillary. Things will change  in the next 3 years , and who knows what will happen, which could  include the Republicans running someone else..
2020 could be the year a Independent candidate wins.

Carlos Ponce

Al Franken???? Go right ahead.
Considering they OVER POLL Democrats on these polls, 43% is not bad.
"In a cautionary note to her party, Clinton’s 6-point drop in a hypothetical mulligan election relates to views of whether or not the Democratic Party is in touch with peoples’ concerns."
The Washington Post - ABC News poll showed:
Trump: In touch 38% Out of Touch 58%
Republican Party In touch: 32% Out of Touch 62% No Opinion 7%
Democratic Party: In touch 28% Out of Touch 67% No Opinion 6%

Jim Forsythe

If one can not out poll Al Franken, he has a problem.
The same groups that did the polls on Trump, also did the polls for Obama , Bush, Clinton, Bush ,and so on.
Presidential Job Approval Ratings Following the First 100 Days
    Eisenhower - Trump
                                       Approval %
Dwight D. Eisenhower     73
John Kennedy                  83
Richard Nixon                   62
Jimmy Carter                    63
Ronald Reagan                68
George Bush                    56
William J. Clinton              55
George W. Bush               62
Barack Obama                 65

Carlos Ponce

"If one can not out poll Al Franken, he has a problem."
Given the parameters and demographics of the poll, NO Republican would fare well.
And given the constant onslaught of negative press it's amazing Trumps ratings are even that high. "As first 100 days in office approaches, media coverage of Trump is 89% negative: Study"
Are the negative news stories deserved? Only a few are. Most are designed to make Trump look bad and show Liberal media bias. But the low information voter will accept it as factual. So sad.
MSNBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Huffington, etc gives you only the news THEY want you to know and with THEIR interpretation of events. Don't be gullible, question every news source, even FOX. But if you see FOX covering a story no one else is covering, you should ask yourself why the Liberal news wants to keep you IGNORANT. Liberals see no accomplishments from the Trump administration. Why? Because their news sources refuse to carry them. And his accomplishments are plentiful.

Jim Forsythe

If over 70% of the USA is not Liberal , how come  some people still think Liberals run all media. Just because it's not reported the way some think , does not mean it's wrong.

Depends were you look ,Liberals number between 21to 26%. They must be very powerful as they are the only ones that  run polls.
They are the only ones that run newspapers, TV networks. how did this happen? Breitbart News is run by Liberals ? Fox news is run by Liberals ? Rush is Liberal and so is Bill O'Reilly and Hannity? Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll is Liberal?

" 41% of the country self-identifies as “conservative,” 34% as “moderate,” and only 21% as “liberal.” Further, 14% consider themselves “strong conservatives” vice only 6% “strong liberals.” So, not only are there twice as many who consider themselves “conservatives” as “liberals,” but two thirds as many “strong conservatives” as “liberals,” period."

Carlos Ponce

Jim, ask the media. They contribute to Democrat/ Liberal candidates (mostly), their reporting is biased to pro-Liberal causes, anti-Conservative.
"Conservatives Are Right: The Media Is Very Liberal -Chris Matthews"
"Liberal News Media Bias Has a Serious Effect"
"Campaign donations made by media companies and the bigwigs who run them were primarily funneled to Democratic campaigns and organizations."
"Journalist Who Wrote Political Checks"
Some were made to Republicans but most went to Democrats.

Carlos Ponce

"Survey: 7 percent of reporters identify as Republican"
28.1% identified as Democrat
50.2% identified as "independent" - Yeah, right.

Jim Forsythe

Are you only talking about Liberals only? Are you also including Democrats, Independents , some Republicans?
The above poll shows the Republican doing very well. (Jim Forsythe Apr 24, 2017 9:32pm )
Must have missed the memo that all polls are Liberal only. Is it ,that when the polls are low, the easiest thing is to say is ,they are fixed.

The President just announced  "The Trump administration announced it will impose a 20 percent tariff on imported softwood lumber from Canada" add this to it's the best thing for the USA? Tariff wars never end with a good result.

Tomorrows meeting with the Senate, may be the start  of us using the brute force approach, with North Korea. This will be added to the long list of conflicts we are in, around the world.

Carlos Ponce

Check the poll demographics. It's an eye opener - unless you refuse to see.

Carlos Ponce

",,, 20 percent tariff on imported softwood lumber from Canada" add this to it's the best thing for the USA?" Yes, yes it is.
Canadian Lumber is SUBSIDIZED by the Canadian Government so they can sell their lumber at a cheaper price in this country. Is that fair? I worked at a a lumber yard in Texas City in my youth (Hoffman) and lumber was from East Texas. I would rather have East Texas Yellow Pine than Government subsidized FOREIGN lumber. But that's me.

Jim Forsythe

China has become larger importer of Canadian softwood lumber,and in 2011 China  accounted for 21% of Canadians exports and the USA.accounted for 69% of Canadian exports.
"Canadian ownership of US sawmills stands at 40 and climbing.Canadian ownership of US mills is driven by the potential for a lumber trade conflict, by timber availability and lower labor costs in the US .Amid the Mountain Pine Beetle infestation in Western  Canadian,   lumber firms' ability to growth is severally diminished without looking outside of Canada"
Canadian will increase cost of the limber 20% to the USA. This will increase the cost of houses, and may lead to a slow down in housing market.
We can not keep up with our demand.
"As the largest market, the U.S. is heavily dependent on Canada's lumber. The needs of the country outweigh the domestic supply. With the housing market on a rebound, this demand is growing. "

Then, we have to deal with the courts.
"In March 2006, a NAFTA panel ruled in Canada's favor, finding that the subsidy to the Canadian lumber industry was de minimis, i.e., a subsidy of less than one percent. Under U.S. trade remedy law, countervailing duty tariffs are not imposed for de minimis subsidies. A tentative deal was reached in July 2006, in which Canada got $4 billion of the $5.3 billion it lost because of the penalties with no additional tariffs to be imposed.the deal. "

Carlos Ponce

The facts as you discovered state that Canada subsidizes its lumber industry. "The heart of the dispute is the claim that the Canadian lumber industry is unfairly subsidized by federal AND provincial governments, as most timber in Canada is owned by the provincial governments."
"On March 4, 2008, the London Court of International Arbitration ruled (in the first arbitration initiated in August 2007) that Canada was in violation of the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement in its eastern provinces, but not in its western provinces. The panel had been made up of a Belgian arbitrator nominated by Canada, a British arbitrator named by the U.S., and a panel president from Germany.
On February 26, 2009, the London Court of International Arbitration announced its ruling (in the second arbitration initiated in January 2008) that Canada was in breach of the softwood lumber agreement as a result of its failure to calculate quotas properly during January–June 2007. The arbitration body ordered that sawmills in the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan must pay an additional 10 per cent export charge (up to $68.26 million). The tribunal imposed a 30-day deadline to rectify the breach."

Jim Forsythe

"The Canada – United States Free Trade Agreement (FTA) of 1988 eliminated tariffs between the two countries, while the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) expanded the free-trade zone to include Mexico in 1994. "

Under President Reagan
"As stated in the agreement, the main purposes of the Canadian-United States Free Trade Agreement were:
Eliminate barriers to trade in goods and services between Canada and the United States
Facilitate conditions of fair competition within the free-trade area established by the Agreement
Significantly liberalize conditions for investment within that free-trade area
Establish effective procedures for the joint administration of the Agreement and the resolution of disputes
Lay the foundation for further bilateral and multilateral cooperation to expand and enhance the benefits of the Agreement"

The USA is saying we will impose a  tariff on Canadian lumber because the industry is unfairly subsidized by  federal provincial governments will land us in a tariff war. We , the USA provide subsidies ,  Farm Subsidies ,Oil Subsidies ,Ethanol Subsidies ,Housing Subsidies and then we want to tell Canada, we do not like it when you do it, but it is ok when we do. We need Canadian goods just like they need ours. The amount we export to them is about the same as the amount we  import from them. This is just another tax that the federal government can collect and we the people ,will pay for with higher cost of goods..

Jim Forsythe

"So Jim listens to loud metal rap. Fitting".
No ,  What is fitting, is that Jim takes cares of his kids. If its wrong to make sure your kids are safe , so be it. This was not a group my sons even listened to. Rage Against the Machine were on a side stage, while another group was on the main stage .   They were one group out of  about 16 groups.

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