Quote: “A defection is better than a surrender, a surrender better than a capture, and a capture better than a kill.” New U.S. Army field manual on counter-insurgency wars.
Figure of Speech: anadiplosis (an-a-di-PLO-sis), the climax.
The Army’s new manual on guerilla warfare is a fount of political and military wisdom. The quote above sums up both politics and war in a neat little anadiplosis (Greek for “climax”), which uses the last part of a clause to begin the next clause.
The anadiplosis’s structure works like a pyramid, with each part overlapping the next. It lends a rhythm that an audience gets into — even when it disagrees with your point, because the listener mentally fills in each next piece. This works so well that it makes an efficient means of manipulation; a climax can lead unwary audience step by step straight into the Slippery Slope fallacy. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas tried just that in a law school speech: “If you lie, you will cheat ; if you cheat , you will steal; if you steal , you will kill.”
As with any figure, use it wisely and try not to hurt anyone.
Snappy Answer: “And an ally is better than a defection.”