Sun Tzu taught that all systems exist as cycles powered by opposing but complementary forces. When you are stopped by what you see as a "what comes first?" problem, the answer is often than neither comes first, but that the elements can only be understood as a cycle. Neither the chicken or the egg comes first. They are both part of a cycle. Think about working cycles the same way you ride a bicycle. You press on one peddle then the other, depending on their position in the cycle. You cannot move forward if you press on only one pedal, no matter how hard you work. You use one force in the cycle, then the other.
I was reminding of this when I was watching "Meet the Press" this morning and Tim Russert was trying to get Senator John McCain to say what comes first in Iraq: political reconciliation or military security. Senator McCain should have understood that they form cycle and neither comes first. One must lead to the other again and again. We have recently made military progress but we can't make progress on the military front alone. It must lead to political reconciliation. Those who once said that political progress in the form of elections was meaningless because of the lack of security are now saying that military progress is meaningless because of the lack of political progress.