councils of war never fight

People discussing matters in a group never reach the decision to take action, which an individual would make.

1863 H. W. HALLECK Telegram 13 July (1877) III. 148 Act upon your own judgment and make your Generals execute your orders. Call no counsel [sic] of war. It is proverbial that counsels of war never fight.

1891 A. FORBES Barracks, Bivouacs & Battles 191 Solomon’s adage that in the multitude of counsellors there is wisdom does not apply to war. ‘Councils of war never fight’ has passed into a proverb.

1998 Washington Times 28 Sept. A21 A council of war never fights, and in a crisis the duty of a leader is to lead and not to take refuge behind the generally timid wisdom of a multitude of councilors.


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