What was President Trump’s best near term option for dealing with Iran’s General Soleimani: using Option Solving?

Since our last option solving episode, we’ve had a major international incident involving the killing of Iran’s Qud commander General Soleimani.  There was undoubtedly some significant deliberation among America’s national security team about its best option for dealing with this key issue. They were clearly following his movements closely and saw a great opportunity near Baghdad airport. Your editor was strongly tempted to second guess the team’s options that might have been available to them.

That happened by posing the appropriate question: “What was President Trump’s best near term option for dealing with Iran’s General Soleimani; considering 1) he was a highly prominent agitator, 2) had a lot of US blood on his hands, 3) was actively initiating other plots against the US, and 4) a strike against Soleimani would greatly escalate the possibility of war between Iran and US?”  Your editor used just four considerations to challenge all our thinking about this. By doing so, it would reduce the complexity of decision-making when the moment arrived.

Next came the creation of two yin and yang “bookends,” as these would also further assist our focus. Bookends such as these are vital for preventing people’s fertile intuitive minds from wandering and losing focus. We are mostly unaware of how powerfully valuable but foot-loose our intuition can be unless properly focused.   

Those bookends turned out to be: “Sit on issue like prior President,” where Soleimani would remain a US thorn, and “Threaten capture if he leaves Iran,” he and others would taunt US from afar. We italicized why these were Trump’s least likely options. Even so, they allowed the opportunity to spur Trump and his team’s intuitive thinking – see our Latest Worked Example.

Now Trump’s team needed to come-up with at least five possible options – we created six – prior to any emotional distancing – a form of objective thinking – before making their choice…perhaps after 2 hours, later that day, or first thing the following morning. Trump and team now reflected upon these options, which included Option CCapture –send to Gitmo – use as bargaining chip for a new nuclear deal.

Once the team and Trump made their choice, they would then put together an action initiative straight away while all the factors were still fresh in their minds.

If you have an example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area.  Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Our next posting will be in two week’s time: “Based upon recent option considerations, what is editors most likely book promotion option?” Let’s have your COMMENTS or go to peter@ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger. Also consider buying the book: “Smart Decisions: Goodbye Problems, Hello Options” through amazon.com)

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