I am determined to say that this is one of the most brutal things you can do in war because it undermines the very essence of human life.
Leave your enemy a way to escape.
Humans are very different from the many species of creatures that roam the earth. One of the universal features shared by many species of animals is this. Fight or run or stop the snow.
In a hazardous environment, living creatures will perform one of these actions. Fight, which means we jump to action and confront. Flying, which means we are trying to get ourselves out of danger. It is snow, when we face an unusual situation and do nothing.
As the last few thousand years of recorded history have shown, humans have not yet grown beyond these basic senses. It is part of what we are.
Wisdom comes down to applying this concept in a military situation. Consider an ancient military strategy. Roundabout.
The concept of rotation is simple. Use your power to surround the enemy and divide it. They have cut their own ways of providing materially and emotionally. Squeeze them as you make sure you don’t run out of supplies. It is a common concept of military warfare, especially in relation to siege.
But I want you to think about what I just told you. “Fight, run or jump”.
When you take away an enemy’s ability to back off, you are actually giving him a hidden advantage.
This can be difficult to understand for people who do not expect to face life or death. Dealing with a situation where you have a high chance of dying without a chance of survival is more stressful than a situation in which you can survive. Why is this? Because it’s not too hard.
if you make your enemy think he can’t escape, you remove the “flight” option. He also increased their chances of choosing “Fight”.
I will use the example of the real world to illustrate this better. Pirates.
Now back in the days when the crime was men on large wooden ships sailing across the Caribbean, there were several unspecified crime laws. One of the most important of these was FLAGS. Most successful burglars had their own heraldry, similar to the Noble Houses of Europe.
The Pirates will hide their flags from view. They were to unload their banners only when they set sail for the ships. They simply hoisted the flag outside and displayed their intentions for the robbery.
Now if you were a poor merchant ship discovered suddenly at sea, your greatest fear was to see THIS flag.
The white flags (or not the red ones) usually came from more sensible pirates. Usually when you surrender to these pirates (either immediately or after a short battle), the worst they can do is steal your valuables, your bulk food and possibly kidnap some of your teammates. Then they will let you go in peace. They can usually kill you only if you fight and try to stop them. If you became violent and refused to give up your possessions, they would probably hurt you or threaten to harm you.
Defeating your opponent is not just a skill in the arms. There is a part of the mind that you have to fight with and sometimes you can defeat your opponent before you cross the swords.
If you are a criminal with a red flag, here is something your opponent will consider.
“Well that ship of pirates is coming at me. If I surrender or do nothing, they will surely kill me. If I retaliate, HE MAY kill me. But if I fight, I will probably kill them before they kill me. I may even be able to win and go home. I think I will fight for myself. ”
If you are a criminal with a non-red flag, here is what your opponent will think.
“Well that ship of pirates is coming at me. If I give in or do nothing they will probably let me go free if I let them steal everything. If I fight for myself I may be able to win. However, if I fought, I would be defeated, caught, and tortured to death in front of my friends. Fighting is unpredictable, I would be killed to fight before the war was over. When I die I will not be able to go home, drink alcohol, make love to a woman and live a peaceful life. I think I will take my chances with dedication. “
Contrary to what you may think, it is a bad sign for a hero to want a war of attrition. Fighting is not expected. In the high seas, pirates describe success with captured treasures, not the number of people killed. Sailors knew this. That is why when the pirate gave the right targets their enemies gave up almost immediately.
If you pull someone back to the corner, you will fight for survival. If you put a man in a corner and give him a way out without getting hurt, there is a good chance that the man will take the way out.
That is why professional forces do not kill their prisoners. That is why the armies took prisoners from the beginning. When you are surrounded by an enemy, that enemy is facing a choice. Fight and maybe die or surrender and probably live. It is very difficult for a man to fight knowing that he can give up rather than fight until he stops breathing.
Dealing with death if it is the only option is easy. Dealing with death if you want to survive is difficult.
Now here comes the cruel part.
As your enemy runs through that escape tunnel you hit VERY hard. Your enemy thinks you are safe. That they still have a clear way to escape. Then you attack them with great carelessness. Take advantage of their weaknesses.
This is a strategy used in genocide wars. When the goal is to destroy the enemy’s spirit, not just human power. There are countless examples of this used in history. But there is one example that cools my soul when I think back.
The folly of Napoleon
It was the year 1812. Napoleon had just realized that he could not defeat Russia. Napoleon’s campaign for supremacy in Europe was based on h