Patterns of Conflict Pt 2

In Part two Boyd expands on the Idea of fast transients which suggests that, in order to win, we should operate at a faster tempo or rhythm than our adversaries—or, better yet, get inside adversary’s observation-orientation-decision-action time cycle or loop. Why? Such activity will make us appear ambiguous (unpredictable) thereby generate confusion and disorder among our adversaries—since our adversaries will be unable to generate mental images or pictures that agree with the menacing as well as faster transient rhythm or patterns they are competing against.

Boyd uses 3 military examples: the Blitzkrieg vs. Maginot Line mentality (1940), F-86 vs. MiG-15 (1951-53) and the Israeli raid (1976) to illustrate how this works. In policing we have seen the importance of this illustrated in active shooters situations, domestic violence incidents, hostage and barricade situations or a host of any type of police related crisis or problem to include one on one conflict.

The Idea according to Boyd is to simultaneously compress our own time and stretch-out adversary time to generate a favorable mismatch in time/ability to shape and adapt to change. The goal is to collapse adversary’s system into confusion and disorder causing him to over and under react to activity that appears simultaneously menacing as well as ambiguous, chaotic, or misleading.

As Boyd says Terrain doesn’t wage wars, Machines don’t wage wars, people do and they use their minds. When we go after someone’s mind we begin to understand how to gain the advantage and survive on own terms, or improve our capacity for independent action.

The above comments leave one with the impression that variety/rapidity/harmony/initiative (and their interaction) seem to be key qualities that permit one to shape and adapt to an ever-changing environment. So you have to take initiative to shape and reshape the operating environment.

Boyd’s final slide in Part 2 relates it to Sun Tzu’s Art of War and builds an important theme, in which the desired outcome is to subdue enemy without fighting and avoid protracted war or in the case of the police protracted conflict. The theme is built upon these key attributes harmony and trust, justice and well-being, inscrutability and enigma, deception and subversion, rapidity and fluidity, dispersion and concentration. Surprise and shock.
The point is to develop a Strategy that focuses effort on probing adversary’s organization and dispositions to unmask his strengths, weaknesses, patterns of movement and intentions. While at the same time we “Shape” our adversaries perception of world to manipulate his plans and actions.

Stay Oriented!
Fred