Sun Tzu, Chapter 13: “”If a secret piece of news is divulged by a spy before the time is ripe, he must be put to death together with the man to whom the secret was told.”
Clausewitz said that war is an extension of politics. The control of military and intelligence operational units by popularly elected (meaning free entry of unqualified politicians to positions of command) found especially in modern democratic Nation-States, places the Warrior (conventional, special or clandestine) at the behest of political whim.
This is nothing new. Kings may sacrifice pawns, but as the landowner, the king has an interest in preserving his army and his resources. The King maintains every intention of passing off his estate to an heir.
Democratic rulers do not own the resources, or the security institutions, they are only the temporary caretakers/commanders, and as such, have little interest in preserving value and every incentive to use the resources as quickly as possible. They only look to the next election. They also have the luxury of socializing the costs of rapidly depleted State resources through taxation, debt and currency debasement.
This also creates for modern democratic politicians the luxury of total war, where a nation’s entire population is mobilized for conflict (thus justifying civilian targets) and wars of ideology, where campaigns are launched devoid of clearly defined objectives. It also trends toward the distortion of legitimate strategic purposes for political expediency and self-aggrandizement.
The modern warrior must remain cognizant of the fundamental causes of increased politicization in military and intelligence operations. They are built into the reigning political system.