George Patton, Bernard Montgomery, Heinz Guderian, and Erwin Rommel. The constellation of commanders that led the battles of the Second World War served as company grade officers when the First World War broke out. Weapons made epoch-making progress over the 20 years between the two world wars, which gave rise to the invention of entirely new strategies in land, sea, and air battles. This is why World War II is considered as a textbook of modern military tactics and a battleground of some of the greatest commanders in history. Was it because the war took place in the 20th century? A glance into the history of war suggests otherwise.
It was the weapons and tools made of steel that allowed Assyria to build an empire encompassing Mesopotamia and Egypt. The Macedonian army’s heavy-armed Greek foot soldiers were physically capable of making long distance journeys and were further enhanced by strategically diverse equipment and strategies, which lent them the necessary mobility to subdue mounted troops. Alexandros was able to trounce the legion of Persian soldiers with a mere 50,000-strong unit and made it to India, because the opponents simply did not know how to counter strategies and troops that they had never seen before. However, time passed, and the Romans found chinks in the Macedonian armor, which ultimately allowed them to devise their own strategies and bury the glory of Macedonia under the ground.
Take a look into the history of war, and you will see that the great commanders have always come up with a new weapon and a new strategy in a battle that changed the course of human history. A challenge to face new environment and foster creative skills, a spirit of enterprise, and courage, is not a mission only reserved for the people living in modern society. The history of human warfare has always been a series of confrontations between those who are tied to the old habits as they are only good at what they used to do and those who learned how to overcome the pain that accompanies chartering new territories and rising up to challenges.
Currently, various signals are being detected that our society is entering a new phase of economic perils. South Korea is not alone in this; the entire world is facing the same dire reality. Yet, the complacent are busy passing the buck to others, failing to admit to their own faults. Some even make the excuse that their hands are tied since the current economic woes are simply unprecedented. Unprecedented? In fact, that is the perennial nature of war and economies, a truth that goes back 2,000, 1,000 years, before Christ. If a commander does not know this, he or she is simply unfit to lead.