According to Wikipedia, “divide-and-conquer”, in computer science, is an algorithm “design paradigm” which recursively breaks down a problem into multiple “sub-problems” in order to solve each problem separately, by dividing them into manageable sub-sets. It is the same approach that has been used since Julius Caesar’s time — in war, of first separating large armies into smaller units, then attacking them in coordinated fashion; or in politics, of finding ways where division can be fomented within the ranks of the opposing party or candidate, then defeating them by taking advantage of the internal divisions.
OPM applies the same tactic in denying a Federal or Postal employee’s Federal Disability Retirement application — first by separating each medical condition from the aggregate of the medical conditions, then minimizing the impact of each without regard to the impact resulting from the aggregation and combined symptoms. Thus, X apart from Y is not as bad as X and Y together, and so if X can be minimized and Y can be marginalized, then each separately may appear to be somewhat insignificant.
Consult with an OPM Disability Retirement Attorney to discuss how to counter OPM’s “divide-and-conquer” approach before the Roman Centurions attack from that rear flank which remains vulnerable because of the divided unit you lead.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire