Business Lessons From War

The official casualties of the Vietnam war, now the second longest US war, were close to 60,000 lives. However, the longest lasting US war fought in Afghanistan, the US casualties were a little over 4,000, including civilian contractors.

The question we must ask ourselves is, why is there a huge difference between the two war’s casualties? The answer is the US strategic thinking was very different and military operations were conducted innovatively utilizing available technology to minimize the loss of life for our soldiers.

During the Vietnam war, one soldier was supported by either one or a maximum of 3 soldiers in the backend, but in Afghanistan, one soldier in the field was supported by 15 - 20 personnel in the backend. Our troops were assisted with technology, intelligence, research analysis, logistic preparation, training, supplies, and equipment. Our one soldier was literally an “Army of one” when they engaged their enemy. It made them extremely effective, efficient, and powerful on the battlefield, true to the successful public relations campaign of “Army of One”. In other words, the investment made by the US in technology, innovation, training, and team building among their armed forces paid off. Our hats off to the US army and it’s an achievement. Let not the political spin-offs overshadow the achievements of the armed forces. The political outcomes could be disappointing, however, militarily, we have gained in strategy, preparation, skill set, and technology.

The same is true for businesses. The strategic investment in technology, training, and skill set building can lower the business casualties; losses, jobs, etc. At this time all logistic-based businesses are learning from this model. Healthcare, Infrastructure development, marketplace deliveries; even hospitality and entertainment industries. Let’s put this expensive know-how to work and rebuild our nation better and stronger than ever before.