Sacrifice the Plum Tree In Place of the Peach
There are circumstances in which you must sacrifice short-term objectives in order to gain the long-term goal. This is the scapegoat strategy whereby someone else suffers the consequences so that the rest do not.
Three Kingdoms Period China
On one of his campaigns Cao Cao was running short of food. He asked his
supply sergeant what he could do. The sergeant suggested reducing the
rations by secretly using a smaller cup to parcel out the rice. Cao Cao
praised the sergeant and gave his consent to use the smaller measuring
cup. After a few days the soldiers began to complain and accused their
commander of cheating them. Cao Cao again called in the supply sergeant
and told him the situation.