7.10 – Grand Strategy, Tactical Planning & Campaign Planning

July 10th, 2012

This is Ethiopian Review Policy Research Center’s series on From Dictatorship to Democracy extracted/quoted from books and articles published by Albert Einstein Institution and similar sources.

The Timeless Attributes of Nonviolent Resistance (NVR) Project:
1. Without UNITY, There is no Mass Disobedience.
2. Without Freedom FUND, There is no Project or Strategy.
3. Without STRATEGY There is no Effective Action.
4. Without Organization (Activists), There is no Capacity to Translate Strategy into Reality.
5. Action without Nonviolent DISCIPLINE Leads to Chaos and Vandalism.

3. – Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory
. – Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat

GRAND STRATEGY: A Comprehensive Overall Goals and Objectives Program to achieve the Mission of the Movement
TACTICAL PLANNING: Supporting Specific Action Plans for how best to achieve particular objectives of the struggle, operating within the scope of the Grand Strategy.
CAMPAIGN PLANNING: Application of specific methods, weapons, means, tools and techniques of action.(such as strikes, boycotts, non-cooperation, sabotages etc)

There is rarely victory for nonviolent movements without a strategic plan. Therefore, an understanding of basic strategic principles as well as tools and techniques is important as movements develop their strategic plans.

“To plan a strategy” here means to calculate a course of action that will make it more likely to get from the present to the desired future situation. In terms of this discussion, it means from a dictatorship to a future democratic system. A plan to achieve that objective will usually consist of a phased series of campaigns and other organized activities designed to strengthen the oppressed population and society and to weaken the dictatorship. Note here “To plan a strategy” is not simply to destroy the current dictatorship but to emplace a democratic system. A grand strategy that limits its objective to merely destroying the incumbent dictatorship runs a great risk of producing another tyrant.

Planning needs to go on at an offensive and defensive level. Defensive level means there are some things you should anticipate are going to happen to you. For example, you might have an oppression that might end up killing some of the leadership. There needs to be planning for redundancy of leadership. And then there’s offensive things that can be done, which are all in the tactics of nonviolent resistance that are strikes, boycotts and mass protests.

Communicating the Strategy: Communicating and getting the word out is certainly critical in the minds of those who believe the movement is necessary. Without having all of the stakeholders in alignment, any hope of successfully implementing the grand strategy model would be lost.

To View the very basic elements of the Strategic Implementation, CLICK: