Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Art of War by Sun Tzu

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  • "He who relies solely on warlike measures shall be exterminated; he who relies solely on peaceful measures shall perish."
  • "Military weapons are the means used by the Sage to punish violence and cruelty, to give peace to troublous times, to remove difficulties and dangers, and to succor those who are in peril."
  • "Every animal with blood in its veins and horns on its head will fight when it is attacked."
  • "If I fight, I conquer."
  • "All warfare is based on deception."
  • "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."
  • "If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant."
  • "It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on."
  • "using the conquered foe to augment one's own strength."
  • "to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."
  • "the skillful leader subdues the enemy's troops without any fighting; he captures their cities without laying siege to them"
  • ""Humanity and justice are the principles on which to govern a state, but not an army; opportunism and flexibility, on the other hand, are military rather than civil virtues"
  • "The skillful employer of men will employ the wise man, the brave man, the covetous man, and the stupid man. For the wise man delights in establishing his merit, the brave man likes to show his courage in action, the covetous man is quick at seizing advantages, and the stupid man has no fear of death."
  • "He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight."
  • "He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared."
  • "Knowing the enemy enables you to take the offensive, knowing yourself enables you to stand on the defensive."
  • "Attack is the secret of defense; defense is the planning of an attack."
  • "To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself."
  • "One may KNOW how to conquer without being able to DO it."
  • "clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease"
  • "He who only sees the obvious, wins his battles with difficulty; he who looks below the surface of things, wins with ease."
  • "If you wish to feign confusion in order to lure the enemy on, you must first have perfect discipline; if you wish to display timidity in order to entrap the enemy, you must have extreme courage; if you wish to parade your weakness in order to make the enemy over-confident, you must have exceeding strength."
  • "One mark of a great soldier is that he fight on his own terms or fights not at all."
  • "You can ensure the safety of your defense if you only hold positions that cannot be attacked."
  • "The rules of strategy are few and simple. They may be learned in a week. They may be taught by familiar illustrations or a dozen diagrams. But such knowledge will no more teach a man to lead an army like Napoleon than a knowledge of grammar will teach him to write like Gibbon."
  • "Maneuvering with an army is advantageous; with an undisciplined multitude, most dangerous."
  • "Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt."
  • "Ponder and deliberate before you make a move."
  • "Attacking does not merely consist in assaulting walled cities or striking at an army in battle array; it must include the art of assailing the enemy's mental equilibrium."
  • "Disciplined and calm, to await the appearance of disorder and hubbub amongst the enemy:--this is the art of retaining self-possession."
  • "Do not press a desperate foe too hard."
  • "There are roads which must not be followed"
  • "To begin by bluster, but afterwards to take fright at the enemy's numbers, shows a supreme lack of intelligence."
  • "Carefully study the well-being of your men, and do not overtax them. Concentrate your energy and hoard your strength."
  • "The principle on which to manage an army is to set up one standard of courage which all must reach."

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