Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu was a Chinese general, military strategist, and philosopher who lived in the Spring and Autumn period of ancient China. Sun Tzu is traditionally credited as the author of The Art of War, a widely influential work of military strategy that has affected both Western and Eastern philosophy. 

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For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.

Hence that general is skilful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend, and he is skilful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack.

If our soldiers are not overburdened with money it is not because they have a distaste for riches, if their lives are not unduly long it is not because they are disinclined to longevity.

Regard your soldiers as your children and they will follow you into the deepest valleys, look on them as your own beloved sons and they will stand by you even unto death.

The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.

Invincibility lies in the defence, the possibility of victory in the attack.

To fight and conquer in all our battles is not supreme excellence, supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.

Thus what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy's strategy.

Be extremely subtle even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent's fate.

To see victory only when it is within the ken of the common herd is not the acme of excellence.

If fighting is sure to result in victory than you must fight even though the ruler forbid it, if fighting will not result in victory then you must not fight even at the ruler's bidding.

The enlightened ruler is heedful and the good general full of caution.

There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare.

Secret operations are essential in war, upon them the army relies to make its every move.

The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy.

Victorious warriors win first and then go to war while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.

The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign is the jewel of the kingdom.

Of all those in the army close to the commander none is more intimate than the secret agent, of all rewards none more liberal than those given to secret agents, of all matters none is more confidential than those relating to secret operations.

Now the reason the enlightened prince and the wise general conquer the enemy whenever they move and their achievements surpass those of ordinary men is foreknowledge.

For them to perceive the advantage of defeating the enemy, they must also have their rewards.

When envoys are sent with compliments in their mouths it is a sign that the enemy wishes for a truce.

The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.

All war is deception.

The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.

Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?

It is essential to seek out enemy agents who have come to conduct espionage against you and to bribe them to serve you. Give them instructions and care for them. Thus doubled agents are recruited and used.

Opportunities multiply as they are seized.

Prohibit the taking of omens and do away with superstitious doubts. Then until death itself comes no calamity need be feared.

There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited.

All warfare is based on deception.

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