A Spy's Guide to Strategy (Kindle Single) by John Braddock

A Spy's Guide to Strategy (Kindle Single) by John Braddock

Author:John Braddock
Language: eng
Format: azw3, epub, mobi
Published: 2017-08-12T04:00:00+00:00


In the winter of 2011, protests flashed across the Arab world. It started with a self-immolation in Tunisia. It burned east to the Sultanates. It raged west to Libya.

Overnight, tanks and machine guns and concrete barriers appeared in city squares. Protesters massed. Riot police took position.

There were clashes. Then there were stalemates. Then there were talks.

Then more clashes. More stalemates.

As winter warmed to spring, the protests got a name: The Arab Spring.

From the outside, it looked like a revolution in slow-motion. The protesters lost in some places. They won in others. In some places, they lost, then won, then lost again.

From the outside, it looked like a simple Zero-Sum Game.

Protesters vs. Arab leaders.

If one side won power, the other lost it. Zero-Sum.

On the inside, it was different.

On the inside, you saw people hold back.

When someone thinks about playing a Zero-Sum Game, they don’t only think about winning. They also think about losing. They think about what happens if they lose. They think about what the winner will do to them if they lose.

Which is one of three things.

After a Zero-Sum Game, there are three things that can happen between the winner and loser:

1. The loser is killed, vanquished or runs away, which means the winner and loser never interact again (No Future Games)

2. The loser and winner engage in another Zero-Sum Game (Future Zero-Sum Games)[xvii]

3. The loser and winner’s next interaction is a Positive-Sum Game.

They shift from enemies to allies. The loser and winner work together. (Future Positive-Sum Games)

From the outside, the Arab Spring looked like the first type of Zero-Sum

Game. The losers would be vanquished. They would be killed or exiled. The Arab Spring looked like first type of Zero-Sum Game.

Or maybe the second type of Zero-Sum Game. An interminable civil war.

Zero-Sum Game after Zero-Sum Game. Conflict after conflict. One side against the other forever.

But if you were inside the Arab Spring, you saw something different.

You saw that most people wanted to play the third type of Zero-Sum Game.

If you were an Egyptian protester, you didn’t like the 30-year-old state of emergency laws. You didn’t like the lack of free speech. You didn’t like that you had a PhD but could only get a job giving tours. You didn’t like how food was distributed. You didn’t like a lot of things.

But there were other things you liked about Egypt. Maybe you liked how the Egyptian government protected you from Israelis. And from Tunisians.

And from Libyans. Maybe you liked that the Egyptian government subsidized your education. Maybe you liked that the Egyptian government gave some food to your family.

But maybe you didn’t like that a neighbor got more. Or had a better job.

Or got more vacation time than you did. Or maybe you experienced an injustice. When the Egyptian government punished you or a family member without reason.

So you protested. You protested so good people would get justice. So the right things would be done.

But you didn’t want to destroy Egypt. You didn’t want to destroy even the government of Egypt.


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