The Six Advance Strategies

"From the 36 Strategies of China"

The Six Advance Strategies from the 36 strategies of China

25. Replace the beams with rotten timbers

Disrupt the enemy's formations, interfere with their methods of operations, change the rules in which they are used to following, go contrary to their standard training.

In this way you remove the supporting pillar, the common link that makes a group of men an effective fighting force.

26. Point at the mulberry tree while cursing the locust tree

To discipline, control, or warn others whose status or position excludes them from direct confrontation; use analogy and innuendo. Without directly naming names, those accused cannot retaliate without revealing their complicity.

27. Play dumb

Hide behind the mask of a fool, a drunk, or a madman to create confusion about your intentions and motivations. Lure your opponent into underestimating your ability until, overconfident, he drops his guard. Then you may attack.

28. Remove the ladder when the enemy has ascended to the roof.

With baits and deceptions lure your enemy into treacherous terrain. Then cut off his lines of communication and avenue of escape.

To save himself he must fight both your own forces and the elements of nature.

29. Deck the tree with false blossoms

Tying silk blossoms on a dead tree gives the illusion that the tree is healthy. Through the use of artifice and disguise make something of no value appear valuable; of no threat appear dangerous; of no use appear useful.

30. Make the host and the guest exchange roles

Defeat the enemy from within by infiltrating the enemy's camp under the guise of cooperation, surrender, or peace treaties.

In this way you can discover his weakness and then, when the enemy's guard is relaxed, strike directly at the source of his strength.

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