Chapter 4

Identify the Threats

Six Steps of Planning

1. Determine the mission objective.
2. Identify the threats.
3. Identify your resources.
4. Evaluate lessons learned.
5. Develop a course of action.
6. Plan for contingencies.

Abraham Lincoln was a man of extraordinary wisdom and political acumen. As leader of a nation embroiled in civil war, he successfully navigated a treacherous path through many tragic years of battle, division within his own cabinet, and powerful opposition in Congress. By his death, he had achieved the legal abolition of slavery and an end to the war, but the path to get there was anything but straight. With your career high-definition destination (HDD) clear in your mind, you have probably found yourself wondering exactly how you are going to get to it. What is the path?

We hope you have had an opportunity to view the film Lincoln,1 which was released in 2012 and starred Daniel Day Lewis as the United States' 16th president. If you have, you may recall a remarkable dialogue between Lincoln and Thaddeus Stevens (portrayed by Tommy Lee Jones). Lincoln says:

A compass, I learnt when I was surveying, it'll, it'll point you true north from where you're standing, but it's got no advice about the swamps and deserts and chasms that you'll encounter along the way. If in pursuit of your destination you plunge ahead, heedless of obstacles, and achieve nothing more than to sink in a swamp, what's the use of knowing true north?

In your military experience, did you ...

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