All professional and military establishments have specific sets of guidelines and values that govern their members’ work and behaviors. In the Army, there are seven core values that all leaders and soldiers adhere to loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage. However, there have been cases when leaders have conducted tactics or operations that may seem contrary to the Army Values, as well as to the leaders’ personal values, but were still supported by their subordinates or superiors.
An example highlighting this scenario can be found in Colin Powell’s career. The event in question is connected to the case of the invasion of Iraq in 2003. At first, Powell had serious concerns about President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq and his intention to overthrow Saddam Hussein. In spite of Powell’s warnings, Bush decided to start a war. Powell eventually supported the President, which meant that he had to address the U.N. Security Council, advancing the case for war. In February of 2003, he accused Iraq of having an ongoing weapons development program (The White House, 2003). Powell managed to convince the majority of Congress members that Iraq presented a major threat. In February of 2004, he addressed the Congress again, this time testifying that the sources he had used in the previous year’s report were wrong. He stated that Saddam was unlikely to stockpile weapons of mass destruction. The outcome of this case was the invasion of Iraq by US Forces in March 2003, the loss of public support for the war, and Powell’s resignation as secretary of state.
Judging by this example, it can be suggested that chronicity did not play an important role in Powell’s decision-making cycle. Only a year and a half after his address to the Congress, he revealed that he was uncertain about his own accusations. This allows the conclusion that his initial decision to address Congress in 2003 was not transparent or thoughtful.
The White House. (2003). Secretary of State addresses the U.N. Security Council.