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One of the things that any leader should avoid is the belief that problems would turn to solve themselves automatically; this 'Casino Mentality' puts any organisation at the mercy of fortune and this makes impossible any sensible planning.

If leadership is understood as a circumstance when and where individuals with authority are left without any planning capability then their reason to be ceases to exist. After all, what is the point of having a leader who can't lead?

History is filled with examples of people who - by underestimating the complexity of the surrounding environment - begin actions or projects that can't be completed later and simply fail because the chain of events does not develop as they hoped or expected.

The current war in Iraq is a clear example of this mentality of gambling applied to leadership: the U.S. government - before Mr. Bush's administration and since the Vietnam War - was very careful not to enter conflicts in which they would not have a high degree of probability in their favour.

Thanks to the Vietnam disaster, its policy makers understood that they should not leave themselves out of options, and that helped them win a lot of little and major wars and diplomatic confrontations.

Mr. Bush brought his 'backbone' to the White House, which could otherwise be understood as recklessness or impulsiveness, a quality that may be good for playing American football but not to lead during a war, and by doing so has put in jeopardy the future of his nation more seriously than most people could see.

In simple terms: he has created new enemies, alienated old friends and seriously affected the country's capability to pay for the status quo that he is constructing. So, with more enemies, less friends and no money, a time will eventually come where the United States will have to start pulling back, retreating into its own borders, and that's a sure mark of decadence.

But the most serious - and saddest, in my view - self-inflicted wound is that by pestering allies and neutral nations he managed to lose the moral leadership that the U.S.A enjoyed in the world.

Leadership roles are neither the place for football players nor gamblers.

The United States will pay dearly for these mistakes because it might be the most powerful nation in the world, but it is not as powerful as an alliance of everyone else against it and the growing resentment towards it is something that we can't expect to disappear into the night anytime soon.

Football matches end after a couple of hours and gambling stops when you run out of money, but hatred may go on for centuries unabated.

This is the cost of not thinking before doing.

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