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speaking of useful idiots

It would behoove the #3 power to engender mutually damaging discord between #2 and #1. Particularly if it is in a fashion that assures degradation of both rather than any resolution.

Way at the bottom of the food chain I suppose that would manifest as "patriotism" in support of the failed strategies. Both among the Good People and the Charlie Chans.

Which these days basically amounts to ordering a second weiner for the military pageant at the game. Or won ton, probably.