Psychological warfare (PSYWAR), or the basic aspects of modern psychological operations (PSYOP), have been known by many other names or terms, including Psy Ops, Political Warfare, “Hearts and Minds,” and Propaganda. Various techniques are used, by any set of groups, and aimed to influence a target audience’s value systems, belief systems, emotions, motives, reasoning, or behavior. It is used to induce confessions or reinforce attitudes and behaviors favorable to the originator’s objectives, and are sometimes combined with black operations or false flag tactics. Target audiences can be governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.
The 36 Strategies
1. Deceive the sky to cross the ocean.
Moving about in the darkness and shadows, occupying isolated places, or hiding behind screens will only attract suspicious attention. Six Confrontation Strategies
7. Create something from nothing.
You use the same feint twice. Having reacted to the first and often the second feint as well, the enemy will be hesitant to react to a third feint. Therefore the third feint is the actual attack catching your enemy with his guard down. Six Attack Strategies
13. Startle the snake by hitting the grass around it.
When preparing for battle, do not alert your enemy to your intentions or give away your strategy prematurely. 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. Six Advance Strategies
25. Replace the beams with rotten timbers.
Disrupt the enemy’s formations, interfere with their methods of operations, change the rules in which they are used to following, go contrary to their standard training. Six Desperate Situations Strategies
31. The honey trap.
Send your enemy beautiful women to cause discord within his camp. This strategy can work on three levels. First, the ruler becomes so enamoured with the beauty that he neglects his duties and allows his vigilance to wane.