The Six Chaos Strategies

"For Confused Situations from the thirty Six Strategies of China"

The Six Chaos Strategies

19. Remove the firewood under the cooking pot

When faced with an enemy too powerful to engage directly you must first weaken him by undermining his foundation and attacking his source of power.

20. Catch a fish while the water is disturbed

Before engaging your enemy's forces create confusion to weaken his perception and judgement. Do something unusual, strange, and unexpected as this will arouse the enemy's suspicion and disrupt his thinking. A distracted enemy is thus more vulnerable.

21. Slough off the cicada's shell

When you are in danger of being defeated, and your only chance is to escape and regroup, then create an illusion. While the enemy's attention is focused on this artifice, secretly remove your men leaving behind only the facade of your presence.

22. Shut the door to catch the thief

If you have the chance to completely capture the enemy then you should do so thereby bringing the battle or war to a quick and lasting conclusion.

To allow your enemy to escape plants the seeds for future conflict.

But if they succeed in escaping, be wary of giving chase.

23. Befriend a distant state while attacking a neighbour

It is known that nations that border each other become enemies while nations separated by distance and obstacles make better allies.

When you are the strongest in one field, your greatest threat is from the second strongest in your field, not the strongest from another field.

24. Obtain safe passage to conquer the State of Guo

Borrow the resources of an ally to attack a common enemy. Once the enemy is defeated, use those resources to turn on the ally that lent you them in the first place.

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