The OODA Loop Applied By Trump


The complete OODA Loop, as drawn by Colonel Boyd’s most-trusted aide in the 1970’s. It’s far more complex than simple speed (and it is more than a simple loop).

From The Weichert Report (written in September):

… While serving in the Pentagon during the 1970’s, Colonel Boyd would come to expand upon his insight by crafting the OODA Loop. OODA, or the Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act Loop was a concept based on Boyd’s in-depth study of the pattern of warfare. Essentially, Boyd’s purpose with the OODA Loop was to create a capability for unraveling one’s opponent by acting in the least-expected way possible (as opposed to the most-effective way possible). The concept is to keep an opponent off-balance, so as to prevent them from being able to muster an effective defense. Much like Boyd’s idol, Sun Tzu, the OODA Loop cycle was as much a psychological warfare strategy as it was a kinetic warfare strategy. Consequently, I believe that the highly controversial 2016 Republican presidential candidate, Donald J. Trump, is a living, breathing embodiment of Colonel Boyd’s OODA Loop.

Author’s remarks on Facebook:

Trump’s words of late on issues ranging from Enhanced Interrogation to Obamacare have caused scorn from with the ranks of Checklist Conservatism. Yet, he is nominating Rock-ribbed Conservatives to senior positions both within his administration as well as to the SCOTUS.

People don’t seem to understand that Trump is a practitioner of Boyd’s OODA Loop: he’s keeping his opponents off-balance by implementing the least-likely strategies. He will say one thing but continue to put people in places of authority who will oppose burdensome Climate regulations, who routinely speaks about killing the country’s enemies, who advocates for Charter Schools, who is a strictly Conservative Law and Order person, the list goes on.

Trump is just stifling opposition by confusing the Hell out of them. And why shouldn’t he? Any way you slice it, the MSM would be castigating him. Why not keep them off-balance? He’s running circles around them while implementing strictly Conservative policies.

More from the article:

Donald Trump, like any insurgent or underdog, fundamentally understood that he had to engage his adversaries on such a level that he utterly psyched them out. Trump attacked with what Boyd often referred to as, “moral conflict.” Mr. Trump’s actions increased uncertainty in the mind of his enemy, sowed mistrust among the electorate, and menaced his opponent thoroughly. This gave Trump greater flexibility and a more favorable degree of the initiative. As he did this, he increased harmony among those allied to the Conservative cause.

Donald J. Trump is a natural practitioner of the OODA Loop, in much the same way that Patton was. Had Patton not been interfered with by Eisenhower (who did not understand OODA), then he would have blitzed into Berlin weeks before the Soviets ever took it. If Trump eschews the advice of the so-called “experts” (who have been wrong on everything this election cycle), if he continues to employ the OODA Loop that he has been using, then he will utterly defeat the Democrats in 2016.


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11 Responses to The OODA Loop Applied By Trump

  1. Cetera says:

    I’m not impressed by that article. It seems as though the writer doesn’t really understand what the OODA loop is. It isn’t a strategy or tactic. It is a description of every decision and thought process humans go through. Boyd didn’t create it as a new tactic to use to fight wars. He recognized how decisions and actions are made, and worked diligently to shorten the OODA loop cycle, so he and his allies could go through it faster. If you are acting in your OODA while the enemy is still orienting or deciding, you’re winning, particularly if it forces them to have to redo the process because of your new actions.

    You win battles because your OODA cycle is quick. Your actions don’t have to be the best, but if they force the enemy to respond, lengthening their OODA, you get free initiative out of it.

    Also, one never, ever wins any kind of battle, militarily or politically, or otherwise, but taking the least anticipated actions. You do your best to take highly effective actions, but moderately effective actions taken immediately and quickly are better than highly effective taken too late. THAT was the point of Boyd’s research and dissertations on OODA loops.

    Trump was inside the enemy’s OODA loop because he was making most of the decision himself. At worst, he had a very small team assisting. Clinton had the Clinton “machine,” which grinds exceedingly fine, but also very slowly. Jeb! had a similar machine. When you rely on think tanks, consultants, experts, and lots of meetings to formulate the message, you can’t keep up.

    Trump would observe, orient, decide, and act, all while they were still in the Orient or Decide phase. Then he’d do it again while they were getting to the A phase. You could watch him do it, too. He through out a lot of personal insults in the campaign, and then watched to see what stuck. He hammered home the ones that had the reaction he wanted, and left the others that were ineffective behind, never bringing them up again. Trumps OODA loop was measured in HOURS, his enemies’ in DAYS. That’s why Trump was able to again and again outmaneuver everyone like he was getting messages direct from the future, or from God. (maybe he was, too).

    Liked by 3 people

  2. hocuspocus13 says:

    TRUMP’S CHARM…he’s unpredictable 󾓦

    Liked by 1 person

  3. czarowniczy says:

    It’s a just another decision making tool, there’s a ton of software out there for that and yes, they have an app too. This tool’s over 40 years old and it’s hard yo believe that others haven’t been developed ad interim, concepts mature.
    In the 80s pol managers seemed to all have copies of Sun Tzu’s ‘Art of War’ in their briefcases, anything to sharpen their perspectives. Let’s not forget that marketing is as important as strategic and tactical pol planning. Hillary had millions of dollars and the really good strategists, but in my opinion she blew the he’ll out of marketing; puppies and kiitens may sell without marketing but manure has to have a lot of perfume sprayed on it at regular intervals…her folks skipped a few sessions.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Col(R) Ken says:

    Cetera, well said, great response, absolutely agreed with your assessment. Czar, many times during the late 80s-90s sitting in commercial airports, the “suit” crowd always had the copy, of “Art of War”. I would chuckle and chuckle. Hey you in the Military? Now the questions would flow, what does this mean, and how in business do I interpret or use this……
    OODA loop, and I’m not taking anything away from Col. Boyd thoughts, it just comes down too this: Action, Re-action, Counteraction and always remember the Enemy Always has a vote. This cycle never stops, unless you stop. Always use all of your Tools in the toolbox!!!! Or if you prefer; whoever is the fastest with the most and gets their First, wins the Battle.

    Liked by 2 people

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