• Payam Javan Channels Youtube Payam Javan on Facebook
  • LIABILITY or ASSET? It depends on the context or circumstance.

    Not everyone good be good at everything. People have strong points and weak points. They could be an asset or liability depending on the situation.

    This point can be found in the story of Hushai, the Archite. He was a friend of King David. When King David’s son revolted against his father, the king had to flee. The king received the discouraging news that his top advisor Ahithophel had sided with Absalom. Ahithophel’s advice was valued by both sides. The advice of Ahithophel was if one had consulted with God. Since he no longer had Ahithophel as his ally, David prayed that God would turn Ahithophel’s advice to foolishness. David’s prayer was answered when he ran into Hushai, who was planning to flee with David. Husahi, wanted to flee with David. But David said that Hushai would be a burden to him. So in the context of traveling with David, Hushai would be a liability. Instead David ordered Hushai to return to Jerusalem; and pretend obedience to Absalom, in order to counter the advice of David’s former advisor, Ahithophel. David’s plan worked. Absalom consulted Ahithophel who gave him the right advice on how to defeat David. Next Absalom consulted Hushai the Archite for his advice. Husahi appealed to Absalom’s fears and vanity thus countering the sound advice of Ahithophel. This gave David time to escape from Absalom’s grasp and eventually gain the victory. We are not told in the account why Hushai would be a burden. One can guess that Hushai was probably not the most physically fit soldier. But he was apparently very intelligent. And that is most likely why Absalom asked for Hushai for his counsel. What would have happened if Hushai had not returned to Jerusalem, but persuaded David to take him along? Then David would have most likely have been killed and his army routed. Fortunately for King David, Husahi followed the king’s orders. Another important lesson from this account is that wars or battles are not simply won simply on the basis of people and weapons. Intelligence is also an important element in warfare. Just as people are both mind and body, so also war is a matter of mental and physical.

    This is not to say that the physical does not matter. In the realm of the physical a weapon could be an asset in one area and a liability in another area. The Brewster Buffalo was a plane which had a bad reputation for its performance in the Pacific Theater when the Allies used the plane against the Japanese. But that same plane was highly regarded by the Finnish fighter pilots. The plane was given to the Finland when the United States was still officially neutral and the Soviet Union was a de facto ally with Germany (due to the infamous “non-aggression pact” of 1939). They used the planes effectively against the Soviet fighters. I think they achieved a 26 to 1 kill ratio. The Finns called the Brewster Buffalo, the “sky pearl.” While the Allies faced the formidable Zero, the Finns faced far weaker Soviet planes. Later on alliances shifted when Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941. The Soviets became enemies with Germany. This then made them allies of Great Britain along with the United States. The United States sent supplies such as jeeps and planes. One of the planes sent was the P-39 Airacobra. The P-39 Airacobra performed poorly when used by American pilots against the Japanese. In that war theater, the conflicts took place at higher altitudes. Martin Caidin in his book RAGGED, RUGGED WARRIORS mentioned American pilots fighting the Japanese at altitudes above 10,000 feet with no oxygen supply. Pilots would see spots before their eyes. But that same plane was highly regarded by the Soviets, who used it at lower altitudes against such famous German fighters as the FW 190. The FW 190’s peak performance was at higher altitudes. So the P-39 was operating in its “natural” element while the FW 190 was not. That is why the P-39 performed so well in the Soviet theater.

    When allocating human or material resources, one must keep in mind the context. In what area could these resources be used for maximum effect?

    Filed in: Articles of the month