In fact, I can only think of two strategies of warfare.
The first is Maskirovka.
Confuse, conceal, mask, and surprise.
The second is strength and total annihilation.
For if a force is bigger, stronger, and more intelligent, deception can be unnecessary.
“We are here. Dare to attack us. You have no chance.”
Of course, even with a commanding force, this does not always work.
And more than one army in history has been wrong about the dominance of its size, strength. and intellect.
The point is that the more you can make the military objectives of your opponent less clear, the better chance you have to win.
There’s an old line that in war the truth is so precious that it must be protected by a bodyguard of lies. A good strategy, for its part, must be flanked by feints and disguises. Otherwise, the counterstrategy becomes too easy to deduce. The Russians call this maskirovka—the art of deception and confusion. It is as old as strategy itself. Undermine your enemy, Sun Tzu advised 2,500 years ago. “Subvert him, attack his morale, strike at his economy, corrupt him. Sow internal discord among his leaders; destroy him without fighting him.” Call down the fog of war, he was telling conspirators and generals and swordsmen, let it descend on your opponent until they cannot see what is right before them. Because “all warfare,” Sun Tzu reminds us, “is based on deception.” Not just keeping secrets—that’s the first part, the passive part, a refusal to reveal your true intentions—but active, outwardly focused deceit intended to disorient and weaken the enemy.