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The Thirty-Six Stratagems by Peter Taylor

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31. The beauty trap

Send your enemy beautiful women to cause discord within his camp. This stratagem can work on three levels. First, the ruler becomes so enamoured with the beauty that he neglects his duties and allows his vigilance to wane. Second, other males at court will begin to display aggressive behaviour that inflames minor differences hindering cooperation and destroying morale. Third, other females at court, motivated by jealousy and envy, begin to plot intrigues further exacerbating the situation. Known also as the ‘honey trap’.

During the An Shih Rebellion of the Tang Dynasty the government army was led by the great general Li Guang Bi and the rebel army was led by General Shih Sih Ming. The two armies faced each other in a stalemate ...

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