the “OODA loop.” Conflict, Boyd said, is a continuous loop of observation, orientation, decision, and action. You observe the opponent. You orient yourself to the terrain. You decide how to move based on that orientation. You act. At that point, circumstances change and you start again. The more rapidly you can move through this cycle, the more likely you are to gain an edge on your adversary. And that initial edge compounds as the conflict unfolds, building with each OODA loop, until the adversary loses cohesion and either panics or collapses. “Boyd-cycle” the enemy and you win. Throughout, you are seeking to redirect the other side’s energy and force rather than confront it head-on. This is true whether you are a pilot in a dogfight, an infantry commander in a land skirmish—or an activist mobilizing citizens against an entrenched or superior power. Maneuver is more than simple evasiveness or nimbleness. It is an approach to conflict in which you attack not the forces but the strategy of your adversary.
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