To err is human, and to blame it on the other guy even more human. The wag certainly had a point, but couldn’t possibly have had an accurate idea of just how pertinent. The political species then must not have been so prolific (or profligate), and Kashmir still under the yoke of begaar, or the wit could have witnessed human ascent on the exponential scale in an infinite progression of (in)discrete elements, though not yet tending to indeterminate solutions. He (could not have been a she) is sure to have failed college mathematics, but when has that ever deterred anyone from bandying terminology? Or proposing models and formulae of an infinite-number-of-solutions kind. Wranglers, on the other hand, are said to have fixations for unique solutions where boundary conditions apply, notwithstanding the leaps-and-bounds success of the Uncertainty Principle. (If that does not make sense, let them apply Calculus and Physics to the Science of Destiny).
Not that it has not been tried. Militaries and strategists everywhere are said to attract mathematicians, and their models, like magnets, even if their political leaders root for psychics and soothsayers. Everywhere, of course, does not include banana republics, or banana-republics-in-the-making (where, on occasion, flying godmen go to jail), but what those-who-know, or ought-to-have-known-better, call the civilized world. Advancement being among the many (un)mandated inalienable rights, it is no crime to take a leaf out of someone else’s book, or box. But lately, it has not been found conducive to make a habit of that. Too much of this out-of-the-box business is liable to get oneself tried for treason. Particularly when it is an indigenous out-of-the-box. In any case, the civilized world has a long record of modelling (Priyanka Chopra is only yesterday and is, now, an actor) for short-term strategic objectives which essentially constitute of some very long-standing cases. Unfolding global dynamics can only be marvelled at for the breathtaking mathematical precision of its march to a logical conclusion.
The danger, and the folly, actually, is in deviating from principles – which in this case could be a prepared script – but even that could have been incorporated into the model. The other view could be that the secret to a system’s resilience is in flexibility. There must be provisions for a variety of conceivable contingencies, and adaptation has long been voted the key to survival. They have a model for that too, but not necessarily of numbers and matrices and critical paths. Evolution, after all, is only a (conspiracy) theory, while the key word in this part of the world is facts.