Understanding Strategy and Leadership


Let’s look at the Ukraine crisis, will Putin’s or Biden’s strategy win? Before answering this question, we need to know the following: This is a power struggle in which moves carried out with a strategy implementation determined according to today’s conditions are effective. So what kind of analyzes do outsiders do? Can they know what will happen next?

Leaders, great commanders, even intelligence analysts think of putting themselves in their opponent’s shoes. Winning or losing depends on the success of such thinking methods. This actually shows how to be a real leader, commander or analyst. Most experts, on the other hand, do not have the capacity to put themselves in the shoes of a powerful person sitting on the opposite side or a decision-making body working as a group. He can’t do it even if he wanted to. He keeps talking: there is that too, this too… Maybe he can express the situation well. But he has no idea about one or more moves later. This is what matters, actually; The next step is to know what will happen in the future! I wanted to write to you about this issue due to its importance on the occasion of the Ukraine crisis.

We call it the dominant actor, the dominant country, the leader, the president, etc. Concretely speaking, the President of the United States of America Joe Biden on one side, the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and their teams. Questions come up: What will Russia or America do now, what will Putin or Biden say? Let’s look at experts whose competence has not been tested with the capacity I have stated; they can be aware of the situation, they can inform about past events, but they are not leaders, they have no chance and ability to be a decision maker, they can only describe the situation, not the future. In this case, they are of little use to see the side that is close to winning, which is the main question. So what are they talking about as experts? Do you have a past? However, the shaping of life depends on the struggle of the next steps. Ordinary experts do not contribute anything to be considered other than to note the experiences.

However, what countries and those who are assertive are looking for is about knowing the future. Today’s technology tries to find such need using simulations. Simulations are software in which data is put. If the data is available and correct, if the probabilities can be multiplied by comparison with a good mathematical operation, moves can be made accordingly. If you ask the computer to move next, it will tell you, just like programs that play chess. However, life is beyond simulation, human has a difference here, and human character affects decisions. Therefore, life is not a game of chess either; is real. Of course, approximate solutions can be found, but it is not exactly what is sought. If that were the case, we would ask the machine for every single decision, not the human. Maybe this will happen in the years to come. But then, if it comes to being in a certain environment, what would change? This is not at all in accordance with human nature. People want real life and struggle. People are deceiving, cheating, deceiving, luring, reinventing all kinds of ways to win, making a difference, making a surprise effect, making a raid, creating unexpected situations… Those who do this best are chosen, they become strong leaders or commanders, they go down in history. Strategy is the art of the soldier, and when it comes to art, it gets serious.

Putin, Biden, chess moves, simulation programs? Where is that expert who knows the answers? If there is no expert, who are the people who come out and talk, what do they say? Are they entertaining or deceiving us? Or are they harming society?

Strategy is the art of using time, space and force. Successful is the one who does it best. In the chaotic conditions, despite all that is known, you will surprise and win with a new step, and you will do this at once by creating a surprise effect, negating the opponent’s move and gaining the upper hand. If experts, consultants and decision-making bodies are not equipped, there is no chance of success. It doesn’t matter if they work hard or are loyal. In fact, everyone knows this, what I am trying to say here is about making the counter move, predicting the decision to be made beforehand, knowing the future and doing what is necessary accordingly. It’s not just about reading so many books. These are jobs with a skill that requires very different features. It is nothing out of the ordinary.

Now I would like to mention some characteristics of leaders. Courage is at the top of the leader’s traits. An analyst who will say what would I do if it were me should be able to think with that much courage. He needs to be able to evaluate all risks and the attitudes they may take to risks. Today, there is a distinct attitude in the mutual negotiations of the leaders. Leaders are knowledgeable, thorough, detailed, clear, constructive, and effective. If you listen to the parties, you will think that they are very right, you cannot separate them. Such impressive capacities are considered. The aim is to win, to achieve, and in the war of diplomacy, you will see that they put forward the moves that can do this in a timely manner. The points to be quoted can be understood if you pay close attention, they are somewhere in the details. The rhetoric of leaders should not mislead listeners. Leaders with strong rhetoric affect and activate the society more easily. But when leaders meet their peers, both are like boxers, they know that. Leaders are focused on winning or victory, and that is their mission.

The “what move would I make” approach is possible where there is equivalence of great leaders or commanders. A lightweight boxer can say very little about a heavyweight match. This is where the understanding that the analyst is gifted or mediocre comes in handy: He should be an expert who can take on the same role, if not the great leader. These are topics that cover perspectives on the work that will be done by reading books at university.

Biden’s strategy is to spread Western-style democracy and capitalism using all means wisely. Every parameter such as NATO, the Fed, soft and hard power elements, Europe’s security demands, the G7’s search for more growth serves Biden’s strategy.

Putin’s strategy, on the other hand, is to expand the spheres of influence as much as possible with the existing oligarchic capitalist system, to weaken the USA with the NATO threat, and finally to unite with Europe politically and economically.

Are Biden and Putin advancing in these two strategies? Are they both making gains? Are there difficulties and resistances? The effects of multi-directional pressure are not clear yet, are they?

Now let’s exemplify rival parties, especially Putin’s operative and tactical moves: Biden deftly left Putin a doorway. He opened a diplomatic door for security guarantees in Europe in order to be able to talk about the balances regarding nuclear weapons, which are a threat to the USA. Putin saw this range and saw it as acceptable. Still, this step could be a win for Biden.

Do Germany and France have problems? While Macron was running the elections, he preferred to go to war. Germany has taken steps that will depend on Russian natural gas for energy. Putin handled them well.

Putin met with Biden. He noted those assurances, which he received from the USA in the first stage within the scope of European security, and which will be further studied, as gains. He immediately put the Donbass decision of the Duma into action. For him, it is Crimea and Donbass, not the whole of Ukraine. Has it delayed the decision of Ukraine to join NATO today? Yes, it is not possible in the medium term. The resolution of the Crimea and Donbass conflict will take a long time. As long as this continues, NATO will not work. After that, Putin gave messages in the direction of his political and commercial perspective with Europe. He had successful talks with European leaders. Considering all this, can it be said that Putin won in the Ukraine tension? In the next step, will it make moves with the USA in terms of diplomacy, not escalation? Yeah. Will it gradually withdraw its troops from the region? If you have established a military garrison (fortress of ancient history) at a point you will make every effort not to withdraw it.

NOTE: Due to intellectual property rights, you can use this information by reference.

Gursel Tokmakoglu

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