Tools of Tactics
- by Shawn Dodson
I have a habit of boiling down ideas and processes into a basic outline; a “cheat sheet." I get rid of superfluous stuff, which helps me to focus my thoughts on key elements of a concept. Among these ideas are John Boyd’s tools of tactics, which are comprised of a handful of intangible mechanisms used to disrupt an adversary’s intuitive sense (gut feeling) of a developing situation.
Tools of tactics are used to manipulate an adversary’s OODA Loop, to gain a time competitive advantage over him by forcing him to mentally labor to comprehend what’s going on. Each mechanism can be used to affect an adversary’s ability to observe and orient to the circumstances he faces; in essence they impair his ability to intuitively “read the situation” and react quickly to it. The time advantage gained might be mental (affecting an adversary’s ability to make an effective decision in time) or physical (he does not have time to get himself in position to effectively counteract your move).
For those who’re unfamiliar with Boyd’s OODA Loop and how his tools of tactics are used to manipulate an adversary’s decision-making process, my Tools of Tactics cheat sheet provides links and references to pertinent information resources that explain the OODA Loop in detail.
Training and experience help develop the skills to intuitively and quickly cycle through the OODA Loop, as demonstrated in Chet Richard’s animated Microsoft PowerPoint presentation “Boyd’s OODA Loop.” Those who lack training and experience suffer a time competitive disadvantage because they must progress through the OODA Loop in linear manner (Observe to Orient to Decide to Act), as they’re forced to use conscious, deliberate, analytical decision-making processes.
The tools presented in my Tools of Tactics cheat sheet are not listed in any particular order of importance. They are, however, listed in a manner to facilitate ease of remembering them. Tools of Tactics is a compilation of Boydian concepts and my own thoughts and interpretations.
Tools of Tactics
Boyd's OODA Loop