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Revenge Strategy: Wasting the power of your hate on the guiltless (IV). Be cautious with the Mongolian Khan!

Hope you have a beautiful day. Today we will explore one of the most expansive revenge strategies in history: Genghis Khan Strategy, particularly the Genghis Khan revenge against the Kwarezmian Persian Empire. Next article will be about the case of the Anglo-Dutch wars between 1652–1784.

genghis khan is comingLet´s begin first to understand who was Genghis Khan. According to my Historian ´sources of information, Genghis Khan was one of the quickest expansionists conquerors of Asia. It seems to me that his mission in life was to enlarge the Mongolian regime under a conglomerate of consolidated and contiguous tribes, from China to beyond the Caspian Sea. He conquered more land in his lifetime than anyone else ever has.

Of course, he was conquering nomad tribes and that was key for his purposes. In a few decades, he took over most of Asia, part of Persia, and was up to succeed in what is now Hungary and Poland. Genghis Khan was one of the only people in history to successfully invade Russia too.

pacman eating

Pacman eating ghosts

He was born under the name of Temujin  (1162 CE-1227 CE), and later his name was changed to Genghis Khan. Temujin applied through all his life the concept of revenge strategy. He wasn´t afraid of new horizons, neither different cultures or religions. He shifted the nomadic tribes of Mongolia, under the rule of himself and his family, into a disciplined military state. Then he simply went to look for settlements beyond his original Mongolian borders and started as Mr. Pacman to conquer all over nomadic tribes in Central Asia. Temüjin (Genghis Khan) strategy was as such:


  1. The land he conquered was inhospitable, cold, full of nomad tribes which were moving around. The landscape consisted of deserts, dry land, dry steppes. When rivers were found, fertile oases with nomadic tribes sleeping in tents were found by Temujin. According to researchers from Earth Institute at Columbia University, by the time of Genghis Khan enlargement to these territories, the table was set for him, his army and powerful horses. Please see the following video.

2.  Genghis Khan modus operandi was a repetitive procedure. The initial espionage was the first step. He explored the new territories by sending his best knowledgeable men not just to understand who was who in the new tribe to gain through trading motives, but to understand its economic resources, its wealth sources, the current conflicts between the nobility, and the cultural roots or traditions. Through his spies, he mapped the territory. The second step was to establish strategic alliances through commerce and trade strategic alliances. And finally, he defeated them, by destroying their existing leaders, implemented a one-stop shop specific conquering strategy; and through different tactics, he overcame and took control of (a place or people) by the use of military force.

3. He destroyed cultural heritage and wise elders of the new nomad trophies. Once he conquered a new tribe through war, he exterminated the new territory clan nobility by its roots and took the common people as his own soldiery and servants.

4. When Khan did not have enough soldiers to cover the land of the nomad rivalries, he eliminated not just the nobility, but killed the old, rival aristocrats around the place, who might prove a focus of resistance because of friendship ties;

5. He crushed the sense of existing clan loyalties that favored the extant fragmentation of the new territories and united all the nomads in personal obedience to his family.

6. When in 1206 CE, he was accepted as emperor of all the Central Asia steppe people, he distributed thousands of families to the custody of his own relatives and companions, replacing the existing pattern of tribes and clans by something closer to a feudal structure.

7. When it was the time to conquer what is now the Iranian territory; the Persian land was under the Kwarezmid Dynasty or the Kwarezm Shahs, who created a short-lived empire that stretched from the borders of India to Anatolia.gty_genghis_khan_kb_130904_33x16_992

8. Khan strategy to dominate Persia started following the same modus operandi mission from the point of view of the Mongolians. Khan simply sent a couple of spy missions (a trade one, and a diplomatic one). Khan spies were discovered and massacred by the reign-ant Kwarezmid leaders. With no option, the Mongolians decided to conquer Eastern Persia. This example of revenge strategy has been written in history as follows: “Genghis Khan’s campaign against Khwarezm Empire in the West happened because Genghis Khan’s merchants were killed as spies by Inalchuk, the mayor of Otrar in 1218. Genghis Khan sent a second envoy to Khwarezm Shah Muhammad directly to protest. But Muhammad killed the envoy of Genghis Khan. In response, Genghis Khan invaded and destroyed the Khwarezm Empire from 1218 to 1225. One of the daring and brilliant military master of Genghis Khan was that he personally commanded a contingent of Mongol army to the north and disappeared into Kyzyl Kum Desert (a place desolate of water and only a local guide knew the passage) and appeared behind the enemy city of Bukhara.


Keywords to remember about Genghis Khan:

  • Trust must be earned with time. As a child, Khan lived in a world of suspicions and fear versus all and everything. In consequence, he took his time to choose his most reliable generals. Usually, servants which he proved several times beforehand.
  • Family: Khan prioritized his family among all the rest of priorities. He knew the importance of family ties. For good (given his own interests), or for conquering others. That is why he destroyed the family ties of his captured territories.
  • Vengeance: For the slights and killings of the past, including his ancestors. Revenge for the deaths of ancestors by rivals was one of the primary motives of steppe nomads. Genghis Khan’s goal in life was to avenge the deaths of his father and the Mongolian ancestors who were betrayed through all his life.
  • Decisiveness: An historian from George Washington University states: “Khan was not a person of vacillation. He expected the same with his sons and followers”.

genghis khan empire

Lessons to remember from Genghis Khan domination of the Kwarezmians of Persia:

The most crucial lesson from this piece of vengeance history of Persia-Mongolian interplay is: Be aware of any government leader who tries to destroy the ancestors legacy (traditions, cultural heritage, family beliefs, social folkloric stories, and artistic expressions) of a country or a territory. Usually, these emergent leaders know that by destroying family ties and traditions, they are destroying past experiences and memories that keep families together. They destroy cultural rituals, sources of histories, and the koinonia of family good moments. Once the family ties are damaged, it is easier for them to take control and dominate. Usually, a new kingdom leader identifies the noblest, pure, wisest and smartest leaders to ignore and destroy their impact on society to bypass future resistance to their new domination.

Mongol_Empire_map_2Vengeance is never good. At the end of the day, Genghis Khan modus operandi was ignited by revenge. With time, the Mongolian empire also fell down the drain.  Any empire which is born or is endowed in the massacre of the wisest people will eventually collapse. It is suggested that climate change events stopped the expansion of the Mongolian Empire into Europe. In addition, the new generations of Genghis Khan reaped the hatred that his father planted.

This is it. On my next publication, we will continue with the Anglo-Dutch Wars (1652–1784). Stay with me, please! We will inspect each of the examples of revenge strategy as a separate post. And we will finish with a strategic analysis of the Trump-Xi JinPing Trade War.

Blessings! Thank you.


Sources of Reference utilized to write this article:

Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. All the presentation slides shown on this blog are prepared by Eleonora Escalante. Nevertheless, all the pictures or videos shown on this blog are not mine.  I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated. 

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