left of launch
In military strategic parlance, to operate left of launch is to undertake actions to hamper and weaken the enemy which stop just short of provoking outright war. It is, naturally, a delicate business. How far can you go in an attempt to neutralise Kim Jong-un’s missiles one by one without triggering a nuclear war?
At the moment everyone assumes that right of launch the U.S. would win. China can’t go all out against Taiwan because that would pull in the U.S. and they would lose. But they can in various sneaky ways undermine the autonomy of Taiwan. Russia won’t go right of launch but, left of launch, they will use social media to spread fake news. In this game of measuring strategies and risks, everyone needs to be a realist.