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The enemy of my enemy is my friend … or still my enemy: The challenge for senior civilian and military leaders

John Michael Weaver (Department of History and Political Science, York College of Pennsylvania, York, Pennsylvania, USA)

International Journal of Public Leadership

ISSN: 2056-4929

Article publication date: 10 August 2015




World events underscore political challenges. Even with the relaxation of import/export impediments, the continuance of market globalization, the reduction of travel restriction among many countries combined with challenges throughout the globe that exist, the world appears to becoming an increasingly dangerous place. Heads of government and leaders throughout public sector organizations must have situational awareness of what is going on, not just within their own national boundaries, but what is taking place in the contiguous countries to their own and beyond. Decisions made regarding one issue could have profound secondary and tertiary effects on the situation abroad. This is particularly true when looking at countries as a primary unit of analysis in the context of international relations. The paper aims to discuss these issues.


A qualitative research methodology was used focussing on secondary data.


A public sector leader’s decisions can have a profound impact beyond that of one’s specific agency. When senior government leaders make decisions, they must consider the impact beyond that of their own organization.

Research limitations/implications

This paper focussed solely on secondary research sources.

Practical implications

This paper has implications for senior government leaders and military officers alike.

Social implications

When a leader makes a decision, he or she should look at the secondary and tertiary effects of their decisions so as to push for an utilitarian approach when solving problems.


The author believe that this is an original paper focussing on contemporary world events.



Weaver, J.M. (2015), "The enemy of my enemy is my friend … or still my enemy: The challenge for senior civilian and military leaders", International Journal of Public Leadership, Vol. 11 No. 3/4, pp. 192-196.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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