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Overview of Principles

·5 mins

Outline #

Tactics that demonstrate principles. These apply to hand-to-hand and army-to-army. There is a reason for presenting an overview of these principles upfront. They are not independent of one another, and they do not occupy exclusive spaces, nor are they meant to be applied individually, or linearly. They rely on one another, and subsume one another at different points. Hopefully, this will become evident as we progress.

  • Combat Begins Before There is Fighting (principle)

    • The moment one person’s (or nation’s) will comes against your own, the battle has begun. This is why awareness is the first step to defense. We are often in battle and do not even know it. The small-time criminal relies on this unexpectedness for much of his advantage.
  • Only Enter Into a Conflict that You Have a Compelling Reason to Engage In (principle)

    • This fits into the idea of doing nothing without purpose. If you do not have a real reason to fight, seek any other way to resolve the conflict.
  • Maximize Your Resources While Minimizing Your Enemies’ Resources (principle)

    • By maximizing your resources (often meaning weapons, supplies, people, time, energy, means of attack, or damage) and minimizing your enemies’, you are able to place yourself at a much more advantageous position during any conflict.
      • Resource Denial (tactic)
      • Choke Point (tactic)
      • Flanking (tactic)
      • Envelopment (tactic)
      • Divide and Conquer (tactic)
      • Siege (tactic)
      • Scorched Earth (tactic)
      • Attrition (tactic)
      • Sabotage (tactic)
      • Concentration (tactic)
  • Conceal Your Intentions (principle)

    • Concealing your intentions can be done either passively (this would be concealment proper) or actively (this would be deceit.) The need to conceal your intentions is the direct result of just how important intelligence is in warfare. This can be explained by an example of its opposite. Let’s say you are facing an opponent one-on-one and hand-to-hand. You say out loud, “I am about to hit you with my right fist,” and then you swing your right fist. This is a completely ludicrous idea, and you might actually hit your opponent with that first swing out of sheer surprise. However, continue to call your shots, with no misdirection, and you will lose. By not calling your shots, you would be concealing your attack. By taking this one step further, you could use deceit by feinting with your left, and hitting with your right.
      • Feint (tactic)
      • Infiltration (tactic)
      • Misinformation (tactic)
      • Sabotage (tactic)
      • Camouflage (tactic)
      • Perfidy (tactic)
  • Control Your Distance (principle)

    • All combat proficiency relies on distance effectiveness. Weapons are effective at different distances, and by taking advantage of your understanding of this, you can increase or decrease distance to minimize, or negate altogether, the effectiveness of particular weapons. This is why much of the information about weapons systems distance effectiveness is classified, because knowledge of this information would have a large impact on national security. The word “your,” in the formulation of this principle is important. While you can “influence,” your opponent’s distance, you can only ever “control,” your own distance. You must remain cognizant, and maintain a distance where you have the advantage.
      • Taking the High Ground (tactic)
      • Area Denial (tactic)
      • Blitzkreig (tactic)
  • No Wasted Motion (principle)

    • Every movement must have purpose driving it. Do only what you must to achieve your desired result, and nothing more. This does not preclude the Strategy of Indirection, if that is the tactic that can most-readily accomplish your desired result, but it does require that you take the most “direct,” indirect route to finalize your attack. Remember, a goal might be a feint, in which case a reaction by the enemy is the goal. The principle here would be not to over-feint, or to be overly-indirect. This is as much about maximizing your resources as it is about managing the tempo of the action/reaction rhythm of the battle. Overly complex movements expend important resources like time and energy.
  • Attack Your Enemy Where They Are Most Vulnerable (principle)

    • By attacking your enemy where they are most vulnerable you can inflict maximum damage while exposing yourself to the minimal amount of risk. Vulnerabilities will often times force an opponent into a reflexive, defensive posture. Just remember to attack where they are actually vulnerable, not where they appear most vulnerable.
  • You Can Not Win a Battle Using Defense, You Must Act Offensively (principle)

    • You do not defend your way to victory through any other means than by attrition on the enemy’s side. You can use defense to tire your enemy, but this places you at a decided disadvantage if the enemy manages to break through. You must engage to win. This principle, however, does not always need to be enacted physically. You simply must choose to offensively engage in combat.
      • Blitzkreig (tactic)
      • Shock and Awe (tactic)
  • Seek Action Rather Than Reaction (principle)

    • You can not react faster than your opponent can act. This is a tautology since the reaction must take place after the action. If you lose the initiative, (this is the inciting action) you must do everything you can to regain that initiative, or you will be forced into a timing battle that you can not win. You will be reacting rather than acting, and you will be acting defensively rather than offensively, both of which lead ultimately to defeat.
      • Blitzkreig (tactic)
      • Shock and Awe (tactic)
      • Ambush (tactic)
  • Attack Using Violence of Action (principle)

    • When conflict must be engaged into physical action, it can not be undertaken in a half-hearted way. This speaks to mental state and physical out-working. The opposite of this will lead to demoralization and attrition.
      • Blitzkreig (tactic)
      • Shock and Awe (tactic)
      • Attrition (tactic)
  • Failures/Misfires/Recovery (principle)

    • How do you recover, and does this change any of the principles?

Combat Strategy is how you understand and interweave the combination of tactics to achieve your goals, both short and long term.

Chapter 05 #