It's the decision cycle. I remember hearing about it on Hugh Hewitt's fine and educational radio program. Successful fighter pilots have a small (that is, short) OODA loop.
OODA is an acronym for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.
I theorized fairly early that in terms of foreign policy the inexperienced President Obama might have an unfortunately expansive OODA loop, placing him at a severe disadvantage on the international stage. Charles Krauthammer doesn't mention "OODA" in his column, but I take it to mean the same thing:
President Obama is proud of how he put together the Libyan operation. A model of international cooperation. All the necessary paperwork. Arab League backing. A Security Council resolution. (Everything but a resolution from the Congress of the United States, a minor inconvenience for a citizen of the world.) It’s war as designed by an Ivy League professor.
True, it took three weeks to put this together, during which time Moammar Gaddafi went from besieged, delusional (remember those youthful protesters on “hallucinogenic pills”) thug losing support by the hour — to resurgent tyrant who marshaled his forces, marched them to the gates of Benghazi and had the U.S. director of national intelligence predicting that “the regime will prevail.”
(please read the rest at the Washington Post)