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Sun Tzu (SunZi), Chap 1
Project Gutenberg ^ | Circa 500 BC, translated 1910 | Sun Tzu (translated by Lionel Giles)

Posted on 10/01/2001 3:54:21 PM PDT by Clive

1. Sun Tzu said: The art of war is of vital importance to the State.

2. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.

3. The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

4. These are:

(1) The Moral Law;
(2) Heaven;
(3) Earth;
(4) The Commander;
(5) Method and discipline.

5,6. The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger.

7. Heaven signifies night and day, cold and heat, times and seasons.

8. Earth comprises distances, great and small; danger and security; open ground and narrow passes; the chances of life and death.

9. The Commander stands for the virtues of wisdom, sincerely, benevolence, courage and strictness.

10. By method and discipline are to be understood the marshaling of the army in its proper subdivisions, the graduations of rank among the officers, the maintenance of roads by which supplies may reach the army, and the control of military expenditure.

11. These five heads should be familiar to every general: he who knows them will be victorious; he who knows them not will fail.

12. Therefore, in your deliberations, when seeking to determine the military conditions, let them be made the basis of a comparison, in this wise:--

13.

(1) Which of the two sovereigns is imbued with the Moral law?

(2) Which of the two generals has most ability?

(3) With whom lie the advantages derived from Heaven and Earth?

(4) On which side is discipline most rigorously enforced?

(5) Which army is stronger?

(6) On which side are officers and men more highly trained?

(7) In which army is there the greater constancy both in reward and punishment?

14. By means of these seven considerations I can forecast victory or defeat.

15. The general that hearkens to my counsel and acts upon it, will conquer: let such a one be retained in command! The general that hearkens not to my counsel nor acts upon it, will suffer defeat:--let such a one be dismissed!

16. While heading the profit of my counsel, avail yourself also of any helpful circumstances over and beyond the ordinary rules.

17. According as circumstances are favorable, one should modify one's plans.

18. All warfare is based on deception.

19. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem 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.

20. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.

21. If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him.

22. If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.

23. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them.

24. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.

25. These military devices, leading to victory, must not be divulged beforehand.

26. Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought. The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. Thus do many calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat: how much more no calculation at all! It is by attention to this point that I can foresee who is likely to win or lose.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS:
This is chapter 1 of the thirteen chapters of the Sun Tzu.
1 posted on 10/01/2001 3:54:21 PM PDT by Clive
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To: Travis McGee
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2 posted on 10/01/2001 3:54:48 PM PDT by Clive
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To: Clive
Keep 'em coming, great stuff.
3 posted on 10/01/2001 3:55:42 PM PDT by Republic of Texas
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: Clive
Great timing. The peaceniks are out again, preaching tolerance and education to understand why the terrorists hit us. We need to understand Islam and the Afghani people, we're being told.

Problem is, these peaceniks do not understand how wars are fought, or how they begin. Sun Tzu's writings are a great lesson in the basic psychology of warfare.

Keep it up!

5 posted on 10/01/2001 4:04:39 PM PDT by mukraker
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: Clive
My Shih-Tzu Reads Sun-Tzu.


"THE ART OF GRABBING A STEAK OFF YOUR OWNERS COFFEE TABLE"
7 posted on 10/01/2001 4:11:20 PM PDT by cmsgop
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To: Otto DeFay
Sun Tzu was referring to leaving the enemy an escape route.

He said that a cornered enemy has no choice but to fight to the death, but a surrounded enemey left with an "out" will take it.

He also felt that the successful general will outmaneuver the opposing general and be able to decide where the battle will be fought. Sun Tzu felt that by doing this, the successful general will win the battle before it is fought.

-PJ

8 posted on 10/01/2001 4:12:13 PM PDT by Political Junkie Too
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To: Political Junkie Too
Wise words, but even Sun-Tzu could not anticipate an enemy without a will to live, or more importantly, a willingness to suicide. He assumes they will retreat when given an opening, but we cannot assume that any longer. They must be wiped out.
9 posted on 10/01/2001 4:29:04 PM PDT by Demosthenes
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To: Clive
Here is another translation...

Warfare is the greatest affair of state, the basis of life and death, the Way (Tao) to survival or extinction. It must be thoroughly pondered and analyzed.
...
Therefore, structure it according to [the following] five factors, evaluate it comparatively through estimations, and seek out its true nature. The first is termed the Tao, the second Heaven, the third Earth, the fourth generals, and the fifth the laws [for military organization and discipline].
The Tao causes the people to be fully in accord with the ruler. [Thus] they will die with him; they will live with him; they will live with him and not fear danger.
Heaven encompasses yin and yang, cold and heat, and the constraints of the seasons.
Earth encompasses far or near, difficult or easy, expansive or confined, fatal or tenable terrain.
The general encompasses wisdom, credibility, benevolence, courage, and strictness.
The laws [for military organization and discipline] encompass organization and regulations, the Tao of command, and the management of logistics.
There are no generals who have not heard of these five. Those who understand them will be victorious; those who do not understand them will not be victorious.
...
Thus when making a comparative evaluation through estimations, seeking out its true nature, ask:

Which ruler has the Tao?
Which general has greater ability?
Who has gained [the advantages of] Heaven and Earth?
Whose laws and orders are more thoroughly implemented?
Whose forces are stronger?
Whose officers and troops are better trained?
Whose rewards and punishments are clearer?
From these I will know victory and defeat!
...
If a general follows my [methods for] estimation and you employ him, he will certainly be victorious and should be retained. If a general does not follow my [method for] estimation and you employ him, he will certainly be defeated, so dismiss him.
...
After estimating the advantages in accord with what you have heard, put it into effect with strategic power (shin) supplemented by field tactics that respond to external factors. As for strategic power, [it is] controlling the tactical imbalance of power (ch'uan) in accord with the gains to be realized.
...
Warfare is the Way (Tao) of deception. Thus although [you are] capable, display incapability. When committed to employing your forces, feign inactivity. When [your objective] is nearby, make it appear as if distant; when far away, create the illusion of being nearby.
...
Display profits to entice them. Crate disorder [in their forces] and take them
If they are substantial, prepare for them; if they are strong, avoid them.
If they are angry, perturb them; be deferential to foster their arrogance.
If they are rested, force them to exert themselves.
If they are united, cause them to be separated.
Attack where they are unprepared.
Go forth where they will not expect it.
These are the ways military strategists are victorious. They cannot be spoken of in advance.
...
Before the engagement, one who determines in the ancestral temple that he will be victorious has found that the majority of factors are in his favor. Before the engagement on who determines in the ancestral temple that he will not be victorious has found few factors are in his favor.
If one who fins that the majority of factors favor him will be victorious while one who has found few factors favor him will be defeated, what about someone who finds no factors in his favor?
If I observe it from this perspective, victory and defeat will be apparent.

10 posted on 10/01/2001 4:30:34 PM PDT by Redcloak
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To: Redcloak
Thank you. Whose translation is it?

My preference is the translation by J.H. Huang. I obtained an oversize paperback version at Indigo in Toronto, published by Quill

It is much more readable than the Giles translation, but it is formatted as a double column with the translation of the Sun Tzu text on the right and Huang's interpretations on the left, and my knowledge of HTML is not up to the job.

Western translations seem to have trouble with the Tao character and with Yin and Yang.

I find that reading several different translations is most helpful.

So far, I prefer the Huang and the Giles translations but I also have a neat little shirt pocket size translation by Thomas Cleary.

11 posted on 10/01/2001 5:34:40 PM PDT by Clive
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To: Demosthenes
The bin Laden cadre may have a willingness to suicide, but they depend on people less fanatical to give them a safe haven and provide logistics, money and intelligence.

Also, I doubt that their command and control have the same suicidal fervour that they have instilled in their shock troops.

We have dealt with kamakazi before.

12 posted on 10/01/2001 5:42:02 PM PDT by Clive
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To: ALL
I forgot to set out the Chapter Title.

The chapter is entitled "Laying Plans" in the Giles translation above.

The Huang translation titles it "Surveying"

The Cleary translation calls it "Strategic Assessments"

13 posted on 10/01/2001 5:51:19 PM PDT by Clive
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To: ALL
Here is chapter 2 of the Sun Tzu.
14 posted on 10/01/2001 6:41:33 PM PDT by Clive
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To: Political Junkie Too
Sun Tzu is a great guy, but those old Romans also knew a thing or two about warfare. I especially like this exchange, between the invading Hannibal and the Roman general Quintus Fabius Maximus, who prosecuted the ultimately victorious strategy of avoiding battle and wearing the enemy down.

Hannibal: If you are such a great general, come and fight me.

Fabius: No, if you are such a great general, force me to fight against my will.

I suspect George Bush is familiar with this principle, too.

15 posted on 10/01/2001 6:52:10 PM PDT by John Locke
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To: tonycavanagh
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16 posted on 10/01/2001 8:06:31 PM PDT by Clive
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To: Clive
"All warfare is based on deception."

That's always been my favorite line from the Art of War.

17 posted on 10/01/2001 8:10:36 PM PDT by Psycho_Bunny
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To: gcruse
bttt
18 posted on 10/01/2001 8:17:16 PM PDT by JMJ333
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To: Clive
bump for an almost ancient Classic.

Also, Von Clausewitz, etc.

19 posted on 10/01/2001 8:21:02 PM PDT by FReethesheeples
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To: Clive
Selections from the Art of War
20 posted on 10/01/2001 8:24:38 PM PDT by super175
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To: FReethesheeples
And Delbrück.
21 posted on 10/01/2001 8:43:42 PM PDT by Clive
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To: Clive
bump.
22 posted on 10/01/2001 8:47:36 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: Clive
"All warfare is based on deception."


I really think this is the main strategy for ENDURING FREEDOM.

23 posted on 10/01/2001 8:51:55 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: Clive
George Patton had this book memorized. Indeed, Patton thought he was Sun Tzu.

Where is Patton when you really need him?

24 posted on 10/01/2001 8:55:23 PM PDT by P-Marlowe
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To: Clive
Hi, Clive. I yield to your superior eruditon.
25 posted on 10/01/2001 9:17:19 PM PDT by FReethesheeples
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To: JMJ333
Thank you for the bump.  I would add
what Napoleon said.  "If you're going
to take Vienna, then take Vienna."

In other words, no half-assed measures.
Prosecute the war to you fullest extent.
This we neglected to do in Viet Nam.
And as for terrorists, I would posit it
means using the very tools of terrorism
against this enemy.  But that's just me.
 

26 posted on 10/01/2001 11:50:47 PM PDT by gcruse
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To: Big Steve, deport, Irma, PhiKapMom,Wait4Truth,blackie, Deb
bump
27 posted on 10/02/2001 7:53:26 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: Hugh Hewitt, GeneralissoDuane
Bump
28 posted on 10/02/2001 7:54:03 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: Clive
Did ST/SZ write on 'litigation'? and NUKE warfare?
29 posted on 10/02/2001 7:59:30 PM PDT by maestro
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To: Andrew Byler
ping!
30 posted on 10/02/2001 8:57:15 PM PDT by JMJ333
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To: maestro
Sun Tzu did not write on litigation or on nuke warfare

The Sun Tzu is a textbook for military officers.

Yet, it is being applied, with commentaries, in the study of endeavours such as business or litigation.

As to nuke warfare, I suspect that Tun Tzu would disapprove of reliance on it except as a last ditch defence. His thesis does not contemplate the mere destruction of the enemy or the mere killing of its soldiers or civilians as being a valid objective of war. Neither, I submit, does the Strategic Air Command.

Note that nuke warfare is of extremely limited application. As such, the PBI is still queen of battle.

Killing is not the purpose of war. It is merely one of the means of war.

Those who got sucked into defining success by "kill ratios" were making a very egregious error.

I would make book that Bush has read the Sun Tzu.

It is almost a certainty that his strategic and tactical advisors have done so.

31 posted on 10/03/2001 3:36:25 AM PDT by Clive
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To: Lady In Blue
Thanks Lady, I'm reading a copy of "The Art of War" right now, it's the new translation by The Denma Translation Group.
32 posted on 10/03/2001 10:40:12 AM PDT by blackie
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To: Clive; Jeff Head; Travis McGee; Squantos; spetznaz; ApesForEvolution; DoughtyOne; dighton
Thank you very much for your thorough treatise on Sun Tzu. It is a matter that very much needs attention at this junction in destiny.
33 posted on 01/30/2003 9:20:05 PM PST by Alpha One
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To: Alpha One
Thank you for retreiving this chapter.

I had thought that I had posted all 13 chapters but I can only find links up to paragraph 19 of Chap. 11 (I had to split that one as the system choked when I tried to post the whole chapter)

I cannot find links to postings of the remainder of Chapter 11 or Chapters 12 or 13.

Perhaps I ought to do another posting of the 13 chapters, perhaps a different translation or perhaps a new posting of the Giles translation.

How say you?

34 posted on 01/31/2003 2:37:58 AM PST by Clive
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To: Clive
It's up to you if you want to post either the missing material or another translation. I myself have the Huang translation, and find it quite useful.

I don't think if it'd be necessary to repost the entire Giles translation though, just the parts that are missing would suffice.

35 posted on 01/31/2003 7:18:02 AM PST by Alpha One
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To: Clive
Oops. That should have said;

I don't think if it'd be necessary to repost the entire Giles translation..

36 posted on 01/31/2003 7:29:15 AM PST by Alpha One
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To: Clive
BTW, I had found an online version of the Giles translation a while back. To save you the trouble of posting the missing chapters, either you or I could simply post the home page of that translation.

How say you?

37 posted on 01/31/2003 7:45:16 AM PST by Alpha One
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Yes, if i simply posted the missing chapters, there would be a complete Sun Tzu on Free Republic.

However, I had posted the work to provoke discussion and it is now effectively in the back shelves so far as discussion is concerned.

Also, I had made a decision to post only the sayings of Sun Tzu and to omit the commentary.

At the time it was necessary to manually format each paragraph with paragraph endings, so the job was time consuming even without including the commentary. Now, it is much easier to post a lengthy treatise.

My thought is that if I post the whole of a translation with the commentary it might provoke more discussion today in the context of the ongoing preparation for war against Iraq.

The Giles translation is the easiest to post as it is in the public domain and there are online Gutenberg copies available. It is also a translation in which I have a reasonable degree of confidence.

Huang should be mentioned for the benefit of those who want to read further as I have more confidence in his translation, but it is not available for copying as it is not yet in the public domain.

I must admit that I was a bit disappointed that there was not more discussion provoked, especially in a group so heavily populated with people who still understand the uses and limitations of military force.

I think that Sun Tzu is relevant to the Iraq situation (of course it has perpetual relevance).

For insatance, there is much talk about fighting within the city of Baghdad and Saddam boasts about his intention to present a large butcher's bill to anyone who tries to take it.

Sun Tzu has insights on the taking of cities and on the mounting of sieges of cities.


38 posted on 01/31/2003 11:58:11 AM PST by Clive
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To: Alpha One
Reply 38 was intended for you, but somehow I deleted the To: field.
39 posted on 01/31/2003 1:54:55 PM PST by Clive
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To: Clive
I was thinking of posting the main page of the Gutenburg text. Would you mind if I did? You were the first to post this material, so I thought I'd ask first. The main page has hyperlinks to all of the chapters and commentaries.

40 posted on 01/31/2003 3:57:43 PM PST by Alpha One
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To: Alpha One
No problem.

Might be a good idea to post a few excerpts having particular relevance to the Iraq job.

41 posted on 01/31/2003 4:03:10 PM PST by Clive
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To: Alpha One
No problem.

Might be a good idea to post a few excerpts having particular relevance to the Iraq job.

42 posted on 01/31/2003 4:05:28 PM PST by Clive
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