Lessons from the Strategy of George Washington Dias George

Washington,who later became the first President of the United States of America (u.S.A.), led the forces against the British forces to bring independence to the States which became the U.S.A.
It is seen that he had to face overwhelming odds in the fight.Some of these were:
*There was no country on behalf he fought.There was only a set of States united by a document called the Articles of Confederation of 1754.
*There was no formal government.
*There was no constitution and hence no established country.
*There was no type of taxation to fund the armed struggle.
*There was no trained force to command.
*There was no coherent command and control structure.
*The British had well-trained forces who would have inflicted a severe defeat to the Union Forces in a frontal battle.

The main elements in the war fought against the British was that the Union Forces shied away from confronting the British Forces directly in frontal combat but instead engaged in a war of attrition. That is, they employed a “Fabian Strategy” to confront the British Forces.It is seen that General Washington has not studied historical wars and hence it is possible that he was not aware of the Strategy employed by Fabius against Hannibal (hence the name Fabian Strategy) but came to a similar type of conclusion by a thorough analysis of factors confronting him.
The main features that I learnt from the approach of George Washington in the War of Independence are as follows.

1. Hide your weaknesses carefully.
2. Learn to face the hostilities and ridicule of allies in the employment of your strategy
3. Never permit anything to become the decisive factor(Never engage in a All-or-Nothing gamble)
4. Never engage the enemy in a frontal battle
5.Pick up battles on places and times decided by you and do not let the enemy decide the battles for you.
6. Avail yourself to opportunities provided by the enemy, getting the advantage of time and chances.
7. Always keep yourself in a state of preparedness.
8. Engage in the calculated dispersal of available forces that keeping them in one place.
9. Be more maneuverable than your enemy.
10. Be unpredictable
12. Keep enemies guessing of your moves and keep them always on edge
13. Keep the fears of your enemy continuously awake by continuous harassments.(Keep the pressure)
14. Do not keep to a set pattern
15. Distribute the available resources with foresight
16. Appearances are more important than the actual strength. Therefore always appear strong unless you want to bait the enemy by a perceived weakness.
17. Learn from mistakes.
18. Exploit the weaknesses of the enemy
19. Exchange time for space. That is, to retreat in the face of strength of the enemy to fight on another day.
20. There is nothing gained by waste of lives and resources, hence make the maximum effort to keep your strength intact.

Jagath Gunawardana Attorney-at-law

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