People react to a crisis when they often don’t if it’s just an everyday problem. For example, a major international airport might have been begging for more money for security and for years been held back by the accounting department. Suddenly, there is evidence of an imminent terrorism threat. Now there is a crisis.
Most people are familiar with the term “ambush” and know that it is a surprise attack that is designed to catch the adversary unaware (even if they are expecting it) thus rendering them more vulnerable.
A poisoned chalice is something that seems good at first (a beautiful cup filled with delectable wine) but after the person accepts the cup and drinks from it he or she discovers that it is poisoned.
The Lady or the Tiger is a particularly clever and distracting tactic – it is also one of the most unethical. It has been around for centuries but is well described in Frank Stockton’s short story by the same name – The Lady or the Tiger.
The “Leaking the Story” tactic is a way of releasing information to the public without it appearing to come from an official source. This allows the true source to judge public reaction to the information before confirming or refuting it.
The Eat the Elephant tactic is primarily focused on breaking up a significant and dangerous task into many smaller, seemingly less dangerous, challenges. In a sense you: eat your enemy’s strength. The tactical part is that each participant in one of the smaller tasks does not know how challenging and daunting is the overall strategy.
This tactic is best described as: “forcing or manipulating two of your opponents to fight each other thus weakening them to the point where neither remains a threat to you.”
The “hit and run” tactic is one largely used by the military. The purpose of the tactic is not to acquire territory but to “hit” an opponent, causing damage and then “run” before they can retaliate. This approach is most commonly used when a strong opponent must be attacked by a weaker force.
As a tactic, bricolage is a form of subversion or resistance that involves taking an activity or item designed for one purpose and instead of rejecting it, the activity is repeatedly and covertly altered until it assumes a purpose often completely different from the one that was originally intended.
Tactics are used by people on people and critically they must anticipate how other people will behave or respond. Therefore it is essential that the tactician also understands human behaviour. The great tactician out-thinks his or her opponent. Most tactics are designed to manipulate or manoeuvre other people in a way that is advantageous to the tactician.