The Oldest Military Treatise in the World!
The Priciples of Warfare:
Warfare is a great matter to a nation;
it is the ground of death and of life;
it is the way of survival and of destruction,
and must be examined.
Therefore, go through it by means of five factors;
compare them by means of calculation,
and determine their statuses:
One, Way, two, Heaven, three, Ground, four, General, five, Law.
The Way is what causes the people to have the same thinking as their superiors; they may be given death, or they may be given life, but there is no fear of danger and betrayal.
Heaven is dark and light, cold and hot, and the seasonal constraints.
Ground is high and low, far and near, obstructed and easy, wide and narrow, and dangerous and safe.
General is wisdom, credibility, benevolence, courage, and discipline.
Law is organization, the chain of command, logistics, and the control of expenses.
All these five no general has not heard;
one who knows them is victorious,
one who does not know them is not victorious.
Therefore, compare them by means of calculation, and determine their statuses.
Which ruler has the Way.
Which general has the ability.
Which has gained Heaven and Ground.
Which carried out Law and commands.
Which army is strong.
Which officers and soldiers are trained.
Which reward and punish clearly, by means of these, I know victory and defeat!
A general who listens to my calculations, and uses them, will surely be victorious, keep him.
A general who does not listen to my calculations, and does not use them, will surely be defeated, remove him.
Calculate advantages by means of what was heard, then create force in order to assist outside missions.
Force is the control of the balance of power, in accordance with advantages.
Warfare Is the Way of Deception:
Therefore, if able, appear unable,
if active, appear not active,
if near, appear far,
if far, appear near.
If they have advantage, entice them;
if they are confused, take them,
if they are substantial, prepare for them,
if they are strong, avoid them,
if they are angry, disturb them,
if they are humble, make them haughty,
if they are relaxed, toil them,
if they are united, separate them.
Attack where they are not prepared, go out to where they do not expect.
This specialized warfare leads to victory, and may not be transmitted beforehand.
Before doing battle, in the temple one calculates and will win, because many calculations were made.
Before doing battle, in the temple one calculates and will not win, because few calculations were made.
Many calculations, victory, few calculations, no victory, then how much less so when no calculations?
By means of these, I can observe them, beholding victory or defeat!
*** If you think that war has casualties then …
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Sun Tzu was a military general in China.
Scholars surmise he lived from 544 BC to 496 BC.