Sec. Clinton Attacks Iran's Ruthless Repression

The discontent of Iran's population under the rule of the mullahs is an opportunity that the US has overlooked for too long. Secretary of State Clinton took her first tentative steps into that opening by attacking Iran's treatment of protesters. This is a very good sign of a real change in the current administrations view of Iran.

Warrior's Rules: 

Competitive Arenas: 

Adjusting to Situations: Military versus Politicians

The more things change, the more they are the same. A recent ABC news poll of commanders on the ground in Iraq, the commanders echo Sun Tzu. Quoting Maj. Gen. Jeffery Hammond in Sadr City:
"Instead of any time-based approach to any decision for withdrawal, it's got to be conditions-based..."
How long have politicians been getting this idea wrong. 2,500 years ago, Sun Tzu said:
"The army's position is made more difficult by politicians in three different ways. Ignorant of the whole army’s inability to advance, they order an advance.

The "Control" Mentality

This article about getting Russia's help as an "answer" for a nuclear Iran by Sen. Schumer (D-NY) illustrates a number of the classical strategic mistakes commonly made by politicians. Of course, his most consistent mistake is viewing the world to fit his politics rather than fitting his politics to the world.

Claiming Victory in Iraq: Five Steps to Success

According to Sun Tzu, you cannot advance a position without completing the four-step cycle of listen, aim, move, claim. The most difficult step is often the final one, making a claim. To be successful, a claim has to be limited, make value clear, and get acceptance from others. The last part is the trickiest because it depends so heavily on what the others are looking for.

Motivation and Reaction: The September 11 World

Sun Tzu's strategy says that you can only predict people's reactions if you understand their primary goals. It also says that you can only know people's true goals by judging their actions rather than their words. People have, or can claim to very different goals from those that truly motivate them. For example, this article by Senator Joe Lieberman discusses the fairly recent reversal in the traditional view of the Democratic Party regarding their view of national defense.

Every Meeting Changes Positions

The value of thinking in terms of advancing positions is that it allows you to easily clarify complicated question . For example, Sun Tzu taught that every meeting between opponents (even meetings that didn't result in conflict) changed their relative positions. So you avoid meetings that will damage your position and encourage meeting that will help your position. Simple. Right?


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