Center for Independent Threat Analysis and Research

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil, is that good men do nothing"

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Art of Ambiguity

China is normally famous for the historic strategms of Sun-Tzu and his Art of War, but the Middle Kingdom is quickly becoming known for its mastery in the Art of Ambiguity.
This has recently risen to the surface in the unfolding of UN negotiations over a draft Security Council resolution to seek "punitive actions" against North Korea for their underground testing of a small "nuclear weapon". Of course this is the first time that China has agreed to anything stronger than a raised eyebrow in the direction of their vertically challenged friend to the east and so took most everyone by a greatly welcomed surprised. Ahhhh but it was not to last. Today, China is looking with a very confused look as they are continuing to water down the UN resolution until it looks something more like... well like all the rest of them.

Is this a new tactic or a just business as usual or is it part of a larger more comprehensive strategy aimed at slowly weakening the geostrategic influence of the United States and her regional allies? Afterall, the Chinese culture is almost entirely predicated on the teachings of some of the greatest and most foundational strategists in history, why would it be so hard to think that there actions are so well thought out that we are merely seeing what it is that they want us to see.

The point being, it is nieve to think that the United States and the rest of the relatively young Western world has the upper hand when it comes to dealing with regional influence and strategy in the Asian sphere and increasingly in the Middle East, Africa and our own back yard, South America. Most of our strategic thought is primarily based on the rudimentary understanding of Chinese stratgems and military treatise that emanate from a culture what is vastly older and cohesive than our own. The advantages that we hold are centered around our technological dominance and the fact that we won the most recent global struggle (Cold War) with our infrastructures and influences intact. These advantages will not contiue forever and there is more than enough evidence to suggest that they have or are being countered ('shashou jiang' or assasins mace).

Hmmm where was I going with this.. Oh yeah. Dont be surprised by China's continual flip-flopping or constant ambiguity, its all part of the plan.

"All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem
unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must
make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe
we are near. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him."
Sun Tzu - The Art of War


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