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Dark Wizard

You're the leader of an alien species set out to destroy humanity . . .

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Mass sterilization, either via the atmosphere or water supplies. Wait for humans to die out. There could potentially be small groups who develop immunity, but they'd be small enough that my army could wipe them out after everyone else has died and/or all organized resistance has collapsed (see: Children of Men).

 

I like all the ideas posted here that focus on denying resources and turning humans against eachother. I think that's the key if you can't wipe out everyone all at once. Otherwise, you open yourself up to organized resistance. No matter how effective your initial strike is, there lies the possibility that the remainder, if unified around a common cause, can find a way to take you out (see: Independence Day).

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Actually, if I combine the best ideas from this thread so far, I can do all of these things at once (yes I'm bored at work):

 

Phase 1: Intelligence gathering

  • Presumably I have the capability to conduct covert surveillance (akin to satellite surveillance) from space. This should pretty much be zero-risk. It's important that I have as much information as possible, including details maps to track human movement.
  • Seed undercover operatives around the globe. To prevent my plans from being discovered early or my operatives turning against me, I must take precautions:
  • Operatives don't need to know anything, at all, in order to carry out their function. No knowledge of my plans, technology, army, etc. That way, they can't leak information if captured or turned.
  • Operatives don't need to be cooperative or relied on for anything. At a certain point, I will collect them and debrief. If they have decided to turn on me, that's fine, I just discard them. I will also check their info against the accounts of numerous other operatives for inconsistencies, in case they tried to give me false information.
The worst possible outcome of this phase is that humans discover that we exist. But they don't know anything more than that, or even if we're hostile.

 

Phase 2: Target preparation

 

This phase involves a multitude of preparatory actions meant to destabilize the globe. It's important that none of it is linked back to me, so all my actions must be interpreted as plausible natural occurrences, as the result of bad luck or human nature. Some examples:

  • Civil order
    • Working with terrorist and other extremist groups to incite violence.
    • Destabilizing nation populations, especially those with strong central governments and/or high military spending. This can even be for "good" reasons, so humans don't catch on. e.g. the Arab Spring is arguably "good", but it also makes the nations involved vulnerable to external attack.
    • Use spies to release sensitive government information to their populations, eroding trust in government.
  • International tension
    • Use of misinformation and the "fog of war" to create international incidents that damage peaceful relations. Hopefully this leads to war, especially between the superpowers. At the very least, it creates mistrust and breaks down cooperation and coordination so those powers have to start from scratch if they attempt to organize a planetary defense.
    • Focus on international hotspots and "wildcard" players. North Korea is a perfect target. They would be easy to manipulate or even completely take over without anyone knowing, given how secretive and isolated they already are.
    • There is another possible alternative to promoting war between nations, and that's securing peace. If nations stop fighting and organized terror is subdued, governments have less incentive to continue to spend on the military. If world peace is truly achieved, they'd be easy to conquer by an external power. Unfortunately, this runs counter to the destabilization plan outlined earlier, so you'd have to choose one.
  • Government influence
    • If agents could gain footholds within national governments, we could begin pushing our own agends, like:
    • War among rivals.
    • If no suitable rival nation to fight, encourage demilitarization instead.
    • Isolationist policies.
    • Discrimination against minorities, to encourage riots and uprisings.
  • Food supplies
    • There is ultimately one destabilizing factor that contributes more than any other, and that's food and water. Even populations living under a brutal dictatorship don't often take collective action until their basic needs are threatened. If there would be any way we could use our advanced technology to destroy crops, create droughts, or poison water supplies, it should be done.
    • Depleting fresh water reserves could be easy, given how little we have. That should be a primary target.
    • Invasive species of plants, insects, and animals could be introduced to key regions to destroy crops.
  • Disease
    • Introduction of new diseases or re-introduction of diseases thought exterminated.
    • Spread of misinformation regarding proper treatment of diseases.
    • If possible, sterilizing the population.
    • If foul play is suspected, place blame on governments.
  • Climate
    • Introducing contaminants into the air could be possible given our level of technology, with numerous side effects:
    • Reduction in air quality to create health issues and overwhelm medical infrastructure.
    • Acceleration of global warming. Flooding caused by melting ice, if accelerated, could catch humans off-guard and cause massive amounts of property damage, tanking the world economy.
With more involvement in world affairs, I have a higher risk of being discovered. As with Phase 1, it's important to try and conduct these actions without any connection back to me. Even if humans realize that someone is trying to destabilize the globe, so long as they don't know it's an alien invasion force, I should be good. They will likely suspect almost anything else before reaching that conclusion, and so will still be unprepared.

 

If I think they are catching on, I can always cut this phase short and move on.

 

Phase 3: Attack

 

After the world has be sufficiently destabilized, or we run out of time, a swift and devastating "shock and awe" campaign is the next step. If we don't have weapons of mass destruction and can't swiftly exterminate large population centers, we'll have to work more surgically.

  • Attack military, government, and law enforcement locations to prevent organized resistance.
  • Knock out any centralized power grids across the globe.
  • Destroy all public services, e.g. hospitals, that may still be running.
  • Destroy industry, e.g. factories, to prevent rebuilding.
This is pretty straightforward. It's pretty much "blow up everything important as fast as possible."

 

Phase 4: Resistance

 

After the initial attack, there will likely be many survivors, since we don't have WMDs and our numbers are small. At this point, the focus shifts from aggressive pursuit to a more passive role in weeding out the rest of the human race.

  • Completion of preparatory actions
    • ​There may have been things we couldn't do in Phase 2 because we needed to stay under the radar. That's not an issue anymore, so anything that's still applicable should be taken to completion.
    • Destroy, contaminate, or otherwise make unavailable natural resources such as food, water, and materials.
  • Exterminate large population centers
    • Any cities not yet abandoned should be destroyed.
    • Lure survivors to gather together through rumors of safe havens or organized resistance, then exterminate.
  • Hunt down most capable survivors
    • Using details maps gathered previously, search possible hideouts, bunkers, etc. throughout the globe.
    • Track human movement and attack resistance attempting to organize.
  • Turn survivors against eachother
    • Luke C had great ideas here so I'll just summarize them:
    • Find the worst humans left alive and empower them to wreak havoc. Provide limited weapons and supplies to groups of survivors, especially violent/insane/cannibal/etc ones.

    • Prevent society from rebuilding by publicly torturing and executing figures who try to create law and order or call for peace.

    • Organize our own sponsored societies and have them do our work for us (finding and killing survivors) in exchange for supplies.

    • Once these societies have run their course or are becoming too powerful, wipe them out.

I think the key in this phase is to keep humans off-balance and unable to reform and reorganize. Additionally, we also need to remember that we can be patient. If things aren't going well, perhaps we withdraw and allow humans to attempt to rebuild. Once they gather in larger groups again, counterattack. Also consider that even if it's possible for the resistance to defeat our army now, if we've done a good job at depleting planetary resources and spreading disease, perhaps we don't even need to fight the survivors at this point. Let nature take its course and humanity will be extinct in a generation or two.

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Use propaganda to turn humanity against healthy eating & exercise. Wait until we're too fat to breed.

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