Free Without Fear or Favor

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Americans are indeed living in unprecedented times. Never before has any sitting U.S. President been so viciously and relentlessly investigated or challenged by the Democratic Party, mainstream media, courts, career politicians and diplomats and, at times, even by his own Republican party for almost the entire first term. At the same time, never has that same President achieved so many quantifiable changes that could forever change the political and strategic landscape of the country. It is awesome and at the same time breathtaking. The initial motivation for writing this book was to address the extremely biased news reporting by some of the most established news organizations in the world, but it eventually evolved into exploring the subject of political and strategic leadership.

Since 2007, while living in Massachusetts for four years, I witnessed the rapid decline of America first-hand. America was no longer winning strategically on the world stage. China on the other hand, rose rapidly through the ranks, making all the right strategic decisions. America was heavily in debt, while China enjoyed strong economic growth as the world’s manufacturing hub. The 9/11 attacks had weakened the American psyche and emboldened its enemies to engage in increasingly aggressive acts of violence in the country. The Obama administration doubled the national debt and, in its second term unleashed liberal propaganda that further divided the country along racial, gender and economic lines. The stage was set for a hard reset.

In 2015, prominent New York billionaire Donald J. Trump entered the race and ran a campaign that significantly transformed the political landscape. He not only defeated sixteen Republican heavyweights, the largest field of candidates at the time, but also the very first female Democratic nominee. Almost two years later, America’s economy and the stock market are at their strongest ever, unemployment is at historic lows, the transnational terrorist networks are largely defeated, and North Korea is no longer a serious global security threat.

Free Without Fear or Favor

Without Fear or Favor explores how Donald J. Trump’s strategies won him the election and succeeded in numerous monumental achievements in just two and a half years, and why it is envisaged that he will continue to spark moments evocative of the indomitable spirit of America’s founders. In the words of Abraham Lincoln, Donald Trump is essentially ‘predicting the future by creating it’. Without fear or favor, President Trump continue to take actions to deliver on his promise to Make America Great Again.

My views may depart sharply from those of most academic experts or the political elites who have dominated the mainstream media but who have failed to effectively address many of the strategic issues facing the country in the past 50 years. Based on a purely factual, unbiased perspective, the book uses the political and strategic leadership of Trump to further validate key qualities that make great leaders. Academic literature on these subjects points to numerous qualities of remarkable leaders, which could differ significantly based on profession or environment. This book attempts to identify the qualities that run a common thread throughout most environments.

The study of political and strategic leadership is of great interest to most organizations in the world. Country and corporate leaders may find the narrative and analysis in this book most useful. Politicians and campaigners from both the Republican party (GOP) and Democratic party (DNC) may also find many of the assessments insightful, particularly those on why Trump won in 2016 and on how he could win again in 2020. Business schools and academics could also use the book to get students to explore what may be some of the qualities that would make great political or strategic leaders.

Both Republicans and Democrats voters would find that the book provides alternative perspectives to those of the mainstream media and notable strategists, partly due to increased bias in their reporting. This serves as one of my motivations for writing this book, as I seek to counter the extremely high level of biased reporting by the mainstream media. Almost everything the President has said or done and continues to say and do has been characterized with a negative spin by the mainstream media, often through selective reporting matching their own globalist narratives. That said, I may come with my own biases as well; ultimately the readers should decide for themselves which perspective is closer to the truth.

I am often asked by family members and friends on why I strongly support President Trump’s policies. As a strategist who has personally witnessed Singapore’s phenomenal rise from a developing nation to a first-world country, and a military officer who will always appreciate the importance of the rule of law, my reply invariably is that almost every major policy of the President fits perfectly with my personal grand strategy or vision for the United States. Many of his policies may be politically unpopular, but they are critical for the long-term success and survival of the United States. Often, my primary concern is that he may someday succumb to the constant pressure he is facing from the Democrats, mainstream media, the GOP and his family, or that someone in his administration may dishonestly undermine or fail to deliver on some of his more novel and far-reaching initiatives.

I am not a U.S. citizen; I do not know Donald J. Trump personally and have never met him. However, I strongly support his agenda to ‘Make America Great Again’, because a strong U.S. economy will inevitably lead to a strong world economy, which in turn will help to lift many poor communities around the world out of poverty.

I retired after 28 years of military service in Singapore, which included 8 years as the Directing Staff at the then-Singapore Command and Staff College and as a Military History and Strategic Studies Lecturer at the SAFTI Military Institute, the Armed Forces’ highest officer training institute. At the staff college, we train and develop mid-career officers to hold appointments as commanders or staff officers at the Brigade and Division levels. The one-year program serves to develop them as leaders and operational planners up to the Armed Forces level. As a lecturer, I had the honor of engaging officer cadets, lieutenant and captain-grade officers and overseas scholars on leadership, joint warfare, military history and strategic studies. I also had the rare privilege of facilitating the conduct of two Senior Commander’s courses that served to prepare Colonel-grade officers for generalship. In this book,

I have attempted to separate the facts from opinions, discussions or viewpoints by including captions titled as Vignettes. These are sections where I am openly sharing my personal opinions, extrapolations and even biases on the issues being discussed. Such an approach is useful in circumventing the perpetual gap that exists between perception and reality on many of the complex social, political and strategic issues, especially where the long-term impact may not be obvious.

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Free Without Fear or Favor