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Practise to Deceive: Learning Curves of Military Deception Planners

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by Barton Whaley
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Practise to Deceive: Learning Curves of Military Deception Planners by Barton Whaley

Some cultures are clearly more deceptive than others but only during any given slice of time. No single culture has excelled in deceptiveness throughout its history. While the Chinese did rise to the highest level of military deviousness during the time of Sun Tzu (c.350 BC), they had low levels before Master Sun, and afterwards largely lost it during three long periods, only to regain it each time. The most recent Chinese loss was when they fell to the lowest level from the late 1700s until being conquered in 1948 by the stratagemic Chinese Communists (PLA). Thence the PLA has displayed high if not the highest levels of deceptiveness, although there are indications that, beginning in 2002, they are again on the upswing.

The levels of guilefulness at any given time can be quite different across the major disciplines of military, domestic politics, foreign diplomacy, and commercial business. Perceived practical considerations of greed and survival do sometimes override religious, moral, or ethical factors to produce deceptive behavior.

The levels of guilefulness at any given point in time between any two contemporary armed entities (nations, insurgents, or terrorists) are apt to be asymmetric.

Deception sophistication is independent of technological change. Within each culture deception varies widely in its levels of sophistication. High, medium, and low levels were found in every culture at different times and regardless of its level of technology. The reason? Because deception is a mind game, it is played only between or among humans. And this condition will remain as long as machines such as computers lack artificial intelligence.

Because deception is a mind game, the variations in guilefulness between opposing individuals or groups can be crucial in deciding the victor in combat.

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Ebook Details
Pages: 256
Size: 1.7 MB
Publisher: Naval Institute Press
Date published:   2016
ISBN: 9781612519838 (DRM-EPUB)

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