Note: this was originally written as a response to a specific contemporary geostrategic context for an audience that was spectacularly uninterested in my opinion, so I share it here just to keep it in some modest sense “alive” as a bundle of ideas.
I can’t help but wonder if the threat of war is itself a symbolic token that functions as an inverse transmission medium for all the other (internal and external, national) influence and persuasion that logically follows. A magician misdirects, a strategist deceives – anything (and everything) in this context that is not a hamfisted assertion of ideological narrative as kinetic force is an influence operation.
We can observe a playbook that first and foremost cherishes the cultivation of a constructive insecurity through which expansionist territorialism acquires the momentum of logical necessity and self-validation. This closes the internal political loop.
Wilfully juggling the risks of miscalculation as conflict quite naturally amplifies perceptions of influence and this is itself the optimal method for the recursive self-propagation of such influence. The information game is one of complexity, of entropy and of probability. It seems that when China kicks the hornet’s nest of international opinion, they quite substantively depend on the reflexive swarming that ensues. Conversely, when the international community questions the