This chapter addresses the questions: Who initiates strategic action? Why and how strategic interaction begins? It shows among other things that there are many barriers to engagement. Three dilemmas are discussed in detail—risk dilemma, engagement dilemma, and the home-turf dilemma. The existence of certain personalities, positions, and organizations that “specialize” in strategic interaction shows that it is relatively unusual, and as shown in this chapter, starting something has both advantages and disadvantages. When several players are involved, coordination is vital because the precise order of actions is important. Familiarity with your arena reveals the subtle interplay of aggression's advantages and disadvantages. The balance of power between offense and defense shifts with the invention of new tactics and technologies. The success or failure of your initial move depends primarily on surprise and information about the arena.
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