Long overdue for one of our Top Ten Conflict Tips from Great Thinkers, here’s Sun Tzu’s: Why is it that President Bush 2 and Donald Rumsfeld do not come to mind when reading this?
- If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.
- The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
- Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.
- 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.
- There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare.
- In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy’s country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good.
- Thus, what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy’s strategy.
- 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.
- The enlightened ruler is heedful, and the good general full of caution.
- All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”
See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Tzu