This is a uniquely Asian strategy that has its roots in the history of many Asian countries and has been used in both military and non-military situations by many in both the distant and recent past.
The lotus flower unfolds from the center, or blooms out. In the blooming lotus strategy, the focus is on getting to the core, or the center, or to the command and control center or the center of the power of an enemy and then to spread out after taking over or capturing or neutralizing this center. This strategy was called the “Blooming Lotus” by the Vietnamese General Giap who used it effectively against South Vietnam in 1975, by capturing the key cities and military centers of South Vietnam before conquering the rest of the country. This was used by the Vietnamese in 1979 against the Cambodian regime of Khmer Rouge in a brutally efficient and effective manner by first capturing the capital and then key cities and thereafter moving in to capture the rest of the country in a lightning strike that lasted only for about two weeks.
Although it is not known by this name, the first mention of this type of “blossoming out” after getting to the center has been mentioned in both Pancha Tantraya and Hitopadeshaya and also in the Chinese 36 Strategies.
The first application of this was by Kautilya (Chanakya) who used it to enthrone Chandragupta Maurya by capturing the capital city of the kingdom by infiltrating it with loyalists who captured it from within. It is the strategy behind military coups, where a core group of officers and military men captures the key points of command, control and communications, rendering the enemy baseless and voiceless. It has been used effectively by rebel forces in Chad (1979) and Rwanda (1994) by getting in to the enemy capital cities by a “Peace Deal” and thereafter launching an offensive form within at a crucial moment.
Jagath Gunawardana Attorney-at-law