Principle I: The larger the control over variables making up the strategic context, the greater the probability of success.
Principle II: Both defense as well as offense have the same purpose: the destruction of the opposing force in order to obtain a specific goal.
Principle III: Taking the initiative compels the opponent to react based on the terms the initiator impose on them.
Principle IV: The side which is willing to drive the conflict furthest dictates the size, scale and intensity of the conflict. The outer limit of a conflict is checked by the size of available resource buffers and the intensity of emotions driving the conflict.
Principle V: Conflict is a contest between resources, determination and the application of both in an efficient and effective way in order to obtain strategic goals.
Principle VI: Tactical detractors drain resources and frustrate the execution of plans, and are caused by a combination of fog and friction.
Principle VII: The tipping point dictates the ability to attack or the necessity to defend; before the tipping point is reached there are enough resources to choose between attack and defense, after the tipping point is crossed, resources have been depleted to a level where the only option is defense.
Principle VIII: Concentrate resources and determination at a point of focus in order to gain a preponderance of strength at a decisive point.
Principle IX: Exploit the opponent’s systemic centers and/or critical weaknesses in order to break their ability to continue their actions or resistance.
Principle X: Information is a crucial part of conducting offensive and defensive operations, as it provides critical input on how to create, execute and adjust strategic plans and tactical actions.
Principle XI: Defense and offense both benefit from the element of surprise; the higher the degree of surprise, the higher the probability of success.
Principle XII: Reserves are the basis for reacting to the certainty of unforeseen circumstances, to supply relief and support current efforts, and to surprise and demoralize the opponent; and thus reserves are a major determinant in one’s ability to respond.
Principle XIII: As offense and defense are dynamic and fluid in nature, flexibility is needed to counter the ever changing conditions.