Initiative is one of the tenets of combat, whether in the field or on the strategic board. If you've got the initiative, you've got the enemy responding to you. I'm reminded of a quote that I can't find right now, and it's probably apocryphal, but some say that when US Grant was with his staff at the beginning of the Wilderness campaign, there was a great discussion about what General Lee might do. Grant listened for a time and said something to the effect that he was heartily tired of hearing about what Lee might do. Grant knew what he intended to do and he'd let Lee figure out how to respond to those plans.
That's taking the initiative.
I see that we're still trying to decide what went wrong during the Christmas bomber incident. The one where the guy set his underwear on fire? Now I'm hearing that we're setting up new procedures to keep this kind of thing from happening.
A couple of thoughts.
1. When we're responding to the latest ploy, we've ceded the initiative. We're responding to them and that's a bad idea.
2. We always train for the last war. It seems in this conflict, we're always closing barn doors after the horse is escaped.
3. If you're a national security type and you talk to the media, you're telegraphing our plans. That's never a good idea. You don't think Al-Queda watches TV or reads the newspapers? You need a new line of work.
It looks to me like we've ceded the initiative to the bad guys.