The proximity of an army causes prices to go up; and high prices cause people’s substance to be drained away. When their substance is drained away, they will be afflicted by heavy exactions. With this…
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…
It is imperative to contest all factions for complete victory, so the army is not garrisoned and the profit can be total. This is the law of strategic siege.
defeat the enemies strategy
It is only the enlightened ruler and the wise general who will use the highest intelligence of the army for the purposes of spying, and thereby they achieve great results.
There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.
Therefore the skilful leader subdues the enemy’s troops without any fighting; he captures their cities without laying siege to them; he overthrows their kingdom without lengthy operations in the field.
All warfare is based on deception.
All war is based on deception.
Supreme excellence in warfare consists of subduing the enemy without fighting.
The Art of War.
The clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy’s will to be imposed on him.
So it is said that victory can be made.
To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.
Therefore the victories of good warriors are not noted for cleverness or bravery. Therefore their victories in battle are not flukes. Their victories are not flukes because they position themselves where they will surely win,…
The best victory is when the opponent surrenders of its own accord before there are any actual hostilities…It is best to win without fighting.
Therefore a victorious army first wins and then seeks battle; a defeated army first battles and then seeks victory.
To perceive victory when it is known to all is not really skilful. Everyone calls victory in battle good, but it is not really good.
So the important thing in a military operation is victory, not persistence.
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.
To fight and conquer in all our battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.
When envoys are sent with compliments in their mouths, it is a sign that the enemy wishes for a truce.
A wise general makes a point of foraging of the enemy.
A military operation involves deception. Even though you are competent, appear to be incompetent. Though effective, appear to be ineffective.
Do not press an enemy at bay.
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.
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.
The skilful employer of men will employ the wise man, the brave man, the covetous man, and the stupid man.
All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.
If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril.