The term strategy refers to a planned series of actions (including campaigns) that are designed to achieve the two strategic aims. Strategic planning requires an accurate and thorough political and strategic assessment (although ongoing evaluation will enable refinement of this assessment if new information emerges during the implementation of the strategy).

In essence, this political and strategic assessment requires four things:

(1) knowledge of the vital details about the issue that is the focus of your political purpose (e.g. why has it happened? who benefits from it? how, precisely, do they benefit? who is exploited?);

(2) a structural analysis and understanding of the causes behind it, including an awareness of the deep emotional (especially the fear) and cultural imperatives that exist in the minds of those individuals (and their organizations) who engage in the destructive behavior (e.g. why do the involved individuals and organizations feel the urge and believe they have the right to inflict violence on children and/or women, to manufacture weapons to kill people, to occupy indigenous land, to damage the climate, to destroy the rainforest, to discriminate against those in another ethnic/religious group?);

(3) an assessment of the prevailing political circumstances, both locally and globally, in relation to your issue (e.g. how powerful is your opponent and their allies in relation to your activist group and its solidarity allies? what is the attitude of third-parties?); and

(4) a series of judgments about what will be possible at different times throughout the stages of your campaign in light of the first three factors. There is no point ‘biting off more than you can chew’!

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