I think this is the best analysis of the Jellico command in this thread. The only exception I take with this is that I don't believe that Jellico necesarilly placed the mission ahead of the people. I think he simply expected people do their jobs and trusted them to take care of themselves. He never deliberately played fast and loose with anybody's lives in this episode. He expected Picard and Crusher to take care of themselves and when he finally did get the opportunity to secure their release he was very forceful with the Cardassians about getting them back safely. I've also never bought into the whole premise that the XO is supposed to serve as this backup conscience to the CAPT. An XO is designed to simply execute the commanding officers intent and also serve as a chief of staff to the crew departments. Riker offering up opinions is all well and good but at the end of the day you have to do your job and execute the CO's wishes once the decision has been made.