Two Strategies

Sun Tzu's strategy is the science of experimentation. All strategy depends on the "rules of the ground," but unlike a game, strategy teaches that each new ground has its own rules. For example, what works on the new ground of the Internet isn't the same as what works on the new ground of nanotech. The principles of strategy are a set of metarules that allow us to discover the rules of any particular new ground quickly, cheaply, and safely. However, when good strategy allows you to discover the rules of the ground you are on, you must act on that knowledge. For example, before we went into Iraq, no one knew what particular approach would work. Good strategy dictates that we try different approaches within the constraints of strategic principles to see what would worked. It is interesting that we have two contrasting approachs, the US's in the north and the UK's in the south, that we can now compare. While the UK's approach was applauded at first, it locked them into cycle or decreasing capability and fewer options, which violates the meta-rules of good strategy, which always seek to increase both capability and options.