The Art of War  

sparkee58 59M
606 posts
8/14/2006 3:33 am

Last Read:
8/15/2006 4:20 am

The Art of War

The Art of War

Waging war

"When employing them in battle, a victory that is long in coming will blunt their weapons and dampen their ardor. If you attack cities their strength will be exhausted. If you expose the army to a prolonged campaign, the states's resources will be inadequate.

"When the weapons have grown dull and spirits depressed, when our strength has been expended and resources consumed, then the feudal lords will take advantage of our exhaustion to arise. Even though you have wise generals, they will not be able to achieve a good result.

"Thus in military campaigns I have heard of awkward speed but have never seen any skill in lengthy campaigns. No country has ever profited from protracted warfare. Those who do not thoroughly comprehend the dangers inherent in employing the army are incapable of truly knowing the potential advantages of military action.

"Thus the army values being victorious; it does not value prolonged warfare. Therefore, a general who understands warfare is Master of Fate for the people, ruler of the state's security or endangerment."

Planning Offenses

"In general, the method for employing the military is this: Preserving the enemies state capital is best, destroying their state capital second-best. Preserving their army is best, destroying their army second-best. Preserving their battalions is best, destroying their battalions second-best. Preserving their companies is best, destroying their companies second-best. Preserving their squads is best, destroying their squads is second-best. For this reason attaining one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the pinnacle of excellence. Subjugating the enemy's army without fighting is the true pinnacle of excellence.

"Thus one who excels at employing the military subjugates other people's armies without engaging in battle, captures other people's fortified cities without attacking them, and destroys other people's states without prolonged fighting. He must fight under Heaven with the paramount aim of 'preservation.' Thus his weapons will not become dull and the gains can be preserved. This is the strategy for planning offenses.

""Thus there are three ways by which an army is put into difficulty by a ruler:

"He does not know that the Three Armies should not advance but instructs them to advance or does not know that the Three Armies should not withdraw and orders a retreat. This is termed 'entangling the army.'

"He does not understand the Three Armies' military affairs but [directs them] in the same way as his [civil] administration. Then the officers will become confused.

"He does not understand the Three Armies' tactical balance of power (ch'uan) but undertakes responsibility for command. Then the officers will be doubtful.

"When the Three Armies are already confused and doubtful the danger of the feudal lords [taking advantage of the situation] arises. This is referred to as a 'disordered army drawing another on to victory.'

"Thus there are five factors from which victory can be known:

"One who knows when he can fight, and when he cannot fight, will be victorious.

"One who recognizes how to employ large and small numbers will be victorious.

"One whose upper and lower ranks have the same desires will be victorious.

"One who, fully prepared, awaits the unprepared will be victorious.

"One whose general is capable and not interfered with by the ruler will be victorious.

"These five are the Way (Tao) to know victory.

"Thus it is said that one who knows the enemy and knows himself will not be endangered in a hundred engagements. One who does not know the enemy but knows himself will sometimes be victorious, sometimes meet with defeat. One who knows neither the enemy nor himself will invariably be defeated in every engagement."

AstirRelicLatah 66M
1993 posts
8/14/2006 5:28 am

One of the great books of all times...I guess we're in a world of shit, we don't know ourselves or the enemy...Although I think the country has been in a down slide for at least forty and maybe fifty years. BTW, I did make a post on my eulogy, hopefully it will spring a few more people to action...Great post..Thanks.

sparkee58 replies on 8/15/2006 1:57 am:
I read your post and I'm glad you're so eloquently speaking out.
With any luck the republicans will soon be banished to the political wilderness.

wickedeasy 68F  
31329 posts
8/14/2006 7:20 am

excellent post

it appears we are "second best"

You cannot conceive the many without the one.

sparkee58 replies on 8/15/2006 1:57 am:
only our present leadership

canyaz 50F
17104 posts
8/14/2006 7:41 am

The whole situation has me burying my head. I am too close to the conflict in Israel. I quit watching news about it. The rest of the stuff going on is getting too depressing. I speak out against our government, I tell people to use their voice and vote! What else can I do? Oh and I have over the years become as environmentally aware as I am can.

There is a difference between a good BJ and a bad BJ.

sparkee58 replies on 8/15/2006 2:00 am:
you are doing your part, in fact, more than your part.
and for that, I salute you.
keep rolling that stone up the mountain.

FrankPicasso 53M

8/14/2006 2:52 pm

Identifying the enemy can often be the greatest obstacle. And when someone is their own worst enemy, as has been the case lately, then he can never win, no matter how many of his perceived enemy he is able to kill. The enemy lies within. Blowback's a real bitch.

sparkee58 replies on 8/15/2006 2:01 am:
it's amazing how much damage one man can do
it will take a half century to undo it

rm_1hotwahine 64F
21091 posts
8/15/2006 2:23 am

The last time I referenced Sun-tzu was for a management class I was teaching. Yikes, I wonder what that says about the state of American business theory?

Yeah, I'm still [blog 1hotwahine]

sparkee58 replies on 8/15/2006 4:23 am:
i think junior might be referencing him in his notebook come friday

american business theory?
the one with the most toys wins.

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