Friday, January 28, 2011

Sun Tzu: Waging War

"When employing [an army] in battle, a victory that is long in coming will dampen their ardor. If you attack cities, their strength will be exhausted. If you expose the army to a prolonged campaign, the state'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 actions."

--Sun Tzu

from Sun Tzu, The Art of War. Ralph D. Sawyer, (Trans.) and Mei-chun Sawyer. Barnes & Noble Books, by arrangment with Westview Press, 1994 (pp. 173, paragraphs 2-4). I recommend it!

Part of the Terra-cotta Army of Xi'an. Picture by Maros at Wikipedia.

4 comments:

Bob G. said...

Ann:
This book has been an integral part of my "library" since the mid1980s...bet'cha couldn't tell...LOL.

Great quotes from a great book.

Have yourself a safe and warm weekend.

Ann T. said...

Dear Bob,
Yes, it's about time for me to return to the basics!!!

Ann

the observer said...

Ann T:

Some implications for our nation and Iraq/Afghanistan here? Hmmm?

The Observer

Momma Fargo said...

Very awesome, Ann T.!