A Sci-Fi Metaphor for the Bureaucracy/Action-Conundrum

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#1
I recently saw a replay of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION's "The Wounded," an episode in which a highly-decorated Starfleet-captain takes it upon himself to intercept Cardassian supply-ships he believes are transporting 'WMDs' while Cardassia & the Federation are under a peace-treaty.

Maybe there's not any well-known real-life application of this conundrum, but hopefully you can see the problem as if there were such an application---if you're in a peace-treaty and you catch the other side 'preparing for war,' what choice do you have? If you delay the action & simply tell your superiors about your suspicions while you let the enemy supply their war-effort, isn't it a choice between '"wrongfully" killing a few foreign soldiers' or '"wrongfully" letting even-more of your own citizens die?'
 

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