I. Tactics of War

Tactic 1: Ambush

Trap your adversary into a zone where you can suddenly and unexpectedly attack them in a 'killing field'.
A classic way of leading the enemy into an ambush is to retreat in apparent terror from a battle. This abject behavior on your part makes the enemy feel superior. However, when you leave, the symbol that made them feel superior also leaves.
Also, when a warrior is in the bloodlust of battle, a retreating enemy denies him the primitive satisfaction of slaughter. From a logical position too, a retreating enemy may regroup and attack another time.
In other words, there are good reasons to pursue a retreating enemy, and several of these may be done in a state of high emotional arousal and hence low rationality. Thought of ambush may thus only occur to the very wary.
When the ambush occurs, bloodlust can turn to confused terror very quickly as the enemy, having closed on the notion of conquest, suddenly becomes the trapped victim.
Practical

People can be ambushed in argument, for example by appearing to give in to an aggressive onslaught but then, as they pursue it, neatly pull the rug out from under them with incisive comment.
I. Tactics of War

Tactic 2: Beheading

Kill, capture or isolate your enemies leaders.

'Snipe them.' [email protected]
Put a wedge into the heart of the enemy with the express goal of killing its leaders. Bomb the enemy's headquarters and command posts. In general battle seek out the enemy leaders and kill or capture them.
Beheading the enemy takes away its source of command and throws the main troops into confusion as decisions are not made or are made in uncoordinated ways by leaders lower down the tree. Losing a leader is also highly demoralizing and can lead to capitulation or widespread panic.
Thus when leaders are taken out, this should be done as publicly as possible. A wise enemy protects or conceals its leaders. Leaders should also be trained at all levels so sub-units are not paralyzed when their commanders are lost.
Practical

In argument, leaders can be verbally attacked and discredited, for example where politicians are tripped up in debate or the skeletons in their closet are exposed.
II. Tactics of war

Tactic 3: Decoy

Confuse them about what's where.
A decoy is a substitute for something real that distracts the enemy. Build silhouette models that are visible from afar. Light many campfires at night over a wide area or in a place away from where you are. Send false information and allow it to spread into enemy hands.
Decoys can be used to make the enemy think you are somewhere else than where you are, thus drawing their fire or allowing you to get closer without being noticed. Decoys can also be used to make the enemy think you have more soldiers or arms than you have.
Practical

Offer the other side some plausible story that sends them on a wild goose chase whilst you move closer to your target.

See Principle 6: Distraction https://twitter.com/TheAvtoritet/status/1125338583135662080
II. Tactics of war

Tactic 4: Encirclement Surround, then tighten the noose.
Encircle your enemy. Block off all routes so they cannot escape your clutches. Make it difficult and unwise for them to attack you at any one point. Prevent communications out and supplies in. Gradually tighten the noose, narrowing their choices until their only option is die.
Encirclement is different from siege in both scope timescales. A siege is of a fixed and fortified settlement, and can last months or years. Encirclement happens anywhere and can last minutes to days.
As a trapped animal, after the panic of discovery, they eventually quieten into a morose depression. But people can also fight with a desperation that makes obliteration an expensive affair when cornered. Encirclement can be used to force submission but be wary of its drawbacks
Practical

In negotiation show the other person that there is no way out other than a mutually agreed settlement. Find out their intended walk-away alternatives and block these. Whichever way they turn, they should find no way out other than the way you want them to go.
II. Tactics of war

Tactic 5: Feint Attack to deceive.
Move as if to attack, but do not actually attack - at least where it appears where you are attacking. Watch the response of the enemy and assess their skill and readiness to respond. If you do not intend to attack, then do retreat in time.
When they get used to you feinting, you can dive in closer to wake them up, or even make an actual surprise attack.
The feint distracts the enemy, giving you the possibility of attacking elsewhere, especially if key troops break ranks and chase out after the feint.
The feint also keeps the enemy on its toes as you dance around them, always just out of reach. This can frustrate them, tempting a breaking of ranks.
Practical

In negotiation, appear to be interested in one thing but then back off when the other person starts to negotiate. Repeat this in several directions to confuse them.
II. Tactics of war

Tactic 6: Flanking

Go around to attack their sides.
Whilst one force engages the enemy head on, others attack from the sides or rear.

This may be done secretly, as by ambush, or openly and dynamically on the field of battle. Where the latter option is chosen, speed is of the essence.
The flanking attack need not require many troops; it is the effect that is important.

Armies, like people, face one way. The sides and rear may be weaker as the main weaponry is towards the front. Thus flanking attacks can effectively be carried out by a relatively small force.
Attacks from any other direction are thus a surprise. The need to rush forces to defend these new attacks also weakens the main front and distracts commanders.
And it's demoralizing for the men who may feel they are being attacked from all directions & that their commanders aren't in control.

In Operation Desert Storm, the Americans swept through the desert around the Iraqi front line, whilst pinning them down with heavy bombing.
Practical

In a debate, go off-topic and suddenly attack on a completely different topic, forcing them to defend this alternative attack and hence taking their mind off the main argument.
II. Tactics of war

Tactic 7: Harassment

Keep them on their toes.
Make regular, random, small attacks on the enemy's positions.

Get in quickly or sneak in quietly, do some damage, then get out again quickly, before they can respond. Make these attacks in a way that they are unable to predict what you will do next or where you will attack.
'Shoot and scoot' is a name sometimes used to indicate the idea of getting in, shooting, and then scooting away before they can catch you.
Harassment is not intended to gain position. It's primary purpose is to keep the enemy on its toes, unable to relax and always worrying about where the next attack will come.
When the attacks are random, the enemy has to keep troops on alert in all quarters. This reduces their ability to concentrate an attack on you and prevents the troops from resting and hence being emotionally ready for attack.
Harassment thus wears the enemy down with relatively little effort. For your troops it can be relatively safe fun as they are not being asked to engage in direct combat and not over any extended period.
In the wars in Afghanistan both against the Russians and against Western forces at the start of the 21st century, the local militia would attack supply columns and encampments on an unpredictable basis. The Western forces also used the same methods in return.
Practical

In an argument, make unpredictable attacks on minor elements of the opponent's case. When they defend, back off, but then attack somewhere else a short while later.
II. Tactics of war

Tactic 8: Isolation

Cut them off.
Prevent them from traveling, effectively containing them in one place.

Lay siege to their main cities and fortresses.

Blow up bridges and mine roads so they cannot easily travel along particular routes.
lockade or bomb ports so they cannot receive supplies or support by sea, or otherwise gain naval advantage.

Break up their great armies into smaller units, then do not permit them to reform. Then destroy or capture each unit separately.
If you cannot do this to the entire enemy, do so to parts of it.

Isolation can also be bone politically. Turn all parties against your enemy. Seduce their allies. Conquer their friends. Give them no place to turn for succour or support.
When you are cut off from the world, communication is often difficult, making choosing one's next move difficult. Isolated armies are unable to rejoin a main force and are easier to defeat. This can be a demoralizing position.
Isolation is similar to encirclement but does not force the choice between fighting or capitulation. An isolated force can stay where they are or perhaps move further away in unguarded but unhelpful directions.
In the first Gulf War, the United Nations resolution effectively isolated Iraq and removed most sources of support. In the second Gulf War, initiated by George W. Bush, the lack of UN support means that the US and UK were isolated with very little other support.
Practical

In argument show that they stand alone in their position with no supporters and many opponents. Show them there is no-one they can turn to. Show how their views are not shared by others and how they are in danger of complete social isolation.
II. Tactics of war

Tactic 9: Lure

Tempt them away.
Tempt the enemy into moving somewhere you wan them to be or away from where you do not want them to be.

Make feints at them until they attack back.

Retreat such that they chase after you or just back away so they can advance.
'Be seen', such that the come to investigate.

Attack a minor target so they send a rescue force.

If you can get the enemy to move into a position of weakness then you can attack them, perhaps by ambush.
Luring a small force away from a larger force makes the small force vulnerable and weakens the larger force.
Luring the enemy away from a position allows you to take that position or pass through it. Like a mother bird luring a predator away from the nest, you can also lure an enemy away when they are likely to discover your secrets.
Practical

In discussion, offer weak arguments for an unimportant point that lures the other person away from arguing against points which are important to you.
II. Tactics of war

Tactic 10: Retreat

Living to fight another day.
When you are being worn down and there is little sign of victory, it can make sense to withdraw.

There are two broad ways you can retreat: flight or disengagement.

In a headlong flight, you stop fighting, turn and run, literally for your lives.
In steady withdrawal you may continue to fight whilst falling back in an ordered and controlled manner, disengaging from the fighting without allowing the enemy to overrun you.
Beyond irrational panic, headlong flight is based on the principle of speed. When in fear of death, a person's adrenaline helps them run very fast. They may also cast away weapons and other encumbrances to help go faster.
An unarmed person is less of a target and may be permitted to live by opposing troops.

Fleeing people make easy targets and an excited enemy might pursue, seeking to do maximum damage. This can lead to total destruction. It can also be used to lead the enemy into a trap.
In a steady withdrawal, some troops typically provide covering fire whilst others fall back and prepare to provide cover in return. Provided you are not overrun by the advancing enemy this can be an ultimately more successful approach.
The retreat of the British and Allied forces from Dunkerque, France in the Second World War was facilitated by a huge flotilla of over 900 mostly small boats from England. Only 50,000 were expected to escape the German advance, but in practice 338,000 got away.
Practical

In an argument, if you know you are beaten, you can suddenly walk away or change the subject. If they pursue you, snipe at them or otherwise make comments that dissuade them from chasing you.
II. Tactics of war

Tactic 11: Starvation

Cut off their supplies.
Remove all sources of food for your enemy's armies and citizens.

Sink their supply ships. Lay siege to their cities. Cut off their supply lines. Poison their food and water sources. Burn their fields. If you are retreating, use Scorched Earth.
Then when they are weak and ill from hunger, threaten attack unless they concede.

'An army marches on its stomach' as they say, and requires a huge logistical exercise to keep it fed. This either requires a supply train or taking food from the local population.
Without sufficient food the army becomes weakened, demoralized and mutinous.

Likewise a well-fed population may well support a distant war, but if it is being starved, it will argue more quickly for peace.
In the second World War, the German U-boats sank many supply ships heading for Britain, which had to implement a system of food rationing.
Practical

In negotiations one tactic that can be used is to keep talking through meal times. The other side, desperate to eat, may well concede a few points.
II. Tactics of war

Tactic 12: Surprise attack

When they are least expecting it.
Attack your enemy when they are not expecting it.

Sneak up on them or otherwise cloak your actions so they have no time to get ready to defend themselves.

Use intelligence to identify the time and place when they will be least and least able to defend themselves.
Attack from multiple directions.

These may be staggered such that when they are rushing to defend against the first attack, another attack is launched against them.

Surprise can also be achieved from afar, such as in bombing raids or artillery fire.
The surprise attack may have several purposes.

When it is launched using a larger force, the intent is defeat.

A smaller force that could be easily overwhelmed by the enemy may be used either to sow seeds of confusion or fear or to achieve a particular mission such as ...
...destroying an arms dump or freeing captured troops. In any case, the small force retreats soon after attack.

Surprise often causes confusion and it is a mark of an army's discipline as to how it reacts to a surprise attack.

If they are well-organised, they will ...
...respond quickly. You can thus use a small surprise attack to test them. Repeated surprise attacks, however may have diminishing value as they prepare more and are surprise less.
The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese in World War 2 was totally unexpected. For the Japanese it was a huge success, killing 2403, injuring 1178 and destroying/damaging 5 battleships, 3 destroyers, 3 cruisers, and 188 planes. They lost 64 people, 29 planes and 4 submarines
Practical

Use surprise in an argument to throw them off track, for example by bringing in a surprise witness. Then as they fumble you can demand particular concessions.
II. Tactics of war

Tactic 13: The Wedge

Cut into their force.
A wedge is a relatively small, well-armored, mobile and tightly-bunched group of soldiers that acts like a spear, punching a hole in the shield wall of the opposing side.
To cut through the opposing side, the wedge is often V-shaped, with a relatively narrow front and widening flanks that push open the hole created.
Once through the opposing front-line wall, the troops in the wedge may then cause mayhem amongst enemy soldiers who thought they were well-defended by their battle front. Other troops may also stream through the breech.
The wedge works best when it is well-targeted against a weak point. Like a knife, it is often best if it separates rather than pausing to fight.

The modern tank can perform the penetrating function of a wedge and may have been designed with this in time.
Practical

Take the weakest point of their argument and attack it hard, criticizing and questioning the detail. When the concede that point move quickly on to another weakness.
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