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Sun Tzu
on the
Circa 400BC

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 1. Sun Tzu said:  In war, the general receives
    his commands from the sovereign, collects his army
    and concentrates his forces

 2. When in difficult country, do not encamp.  In country
    where high roads intersect, join hands with your allies. 
    Do not linger in dangerously isolated positions. 
    In hemmed-in situations, you must resort to stratagem. 
    In desperate position, you must fight.

 3. There are roads which must not be followed,
    armies which must be not attacked, towns which must
    be besieged, positions which must not be contested,
    commands of the sovereign which must not be obeyed.

 4. The general who thoroughly understands the advantages
    that accompany variation of tactics knows how to handle
    his troops.

 5. The general who does not understand these, may be well
    acquainted with the configuration of the country, yet he
    will not be able to turn his knowledge to practical account.

 6. So, the student of war who is unversed in the art
    of war of varying his plans, even though he be acquainted
    with the Five Advantages, will fail to make the best use
    of his men.

 7. Hence in the wise leader's plans, considerations of
    advantage and of disadvantage will be blended together.

 8. If our expectation of advantage be tempered in
    this way, we may succeed in accomplishing the essential
    part of our schemes.

 9. If, on the other hand, in the midst of difficulties
    we are always ready to seize an advantage, we may extricate
    ourselves from misfortune.

10. Reduce the hostile chiefs by inflicting damage
    on them; and make trouble for them, and keep them
    constantly engaged; hold out specious allurements,
    and make them rush to any given point.

11. The art of war teaches us to rely not on the
    likelihood of the enemy's not coming, but on our own readiness
    to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking,
    but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.

12. There are five dangerous faults which may affect
    a general:
    (1) Recklessness, which leads to destruction;
    (2) cowardice, which leads to capture;
    (3) a hasty temper, which can be provoked by insults;
    (4) a delicacy of honor which is sensitive to shame;
    (5) over-solicitude for his men, which exposes him
        to worry and trouble.

13. These are the five besetting sins of a general,
    ruinous to the conduct of war.

14. When an army is overthrown and its leader slain,
    the cause will surely be found among these five
    dangerous faults.  Let them be a subject of meditation.
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 1. Sun Tzu said:  We come now to the question of
    encamping the army, and observing signs of the enemy. 
    Pass quickly over mountains, and keep in the neighborhood
    of valleys.

 2. Camp in high places, facing the sun.  Do not climb
    heights in order to fight.  So much for mountain warfare.

 3. After crossing a river, you should get far away
    from it.

 4. When an invading force crosses a river in its
    onward march, do not advance to meet it in mid-stream.
    It will be best to let half the army get across,
    and then deliver your attack.

 5. If you are anxious to fight, you should not go
    to meet the invader near a river which he has to cross.

 6. Moor your craft higher up than the enemy, and facing
    the sun.  Do not move up-stream to meet the enemy. 
    So much for river warfare.

 7. In crossing salt-marshes, your sole concern
    should be to get over them quickly, without any delay.

 8. If forced to fight in a salt-marsh, you should
    have water and grass near you, and get your back
    to a clump of trees.  So much for operations in salt-marches.

 9. In dry, level country, take up an easily accessible
    position with rising ground to your right and on your rear,
    so that the danger may be in front, and safety lie behind. 
    So much for campaigning in flat country.

10. These are the four useful branches of military
    knowledge which enabled the Yellow Emperor to vanquish
    four several sovereigns.

11. All armies prefer high ground to low and sunny
    places to dark.

12. If you are careful of your men, and camp on hard
    ground, the army will be free from disease of every kind,
    and this will spell victory.

13. When you come to a hill or a bank, occupy the
    sunny side, with the slope on your right rear. 
    Thus you will at once act for the benefit of your soldiers
    and utilize the natural advantages of the ground.

14. When, in consequence of heavy rains up-country,
    a river which you wish to ford is swollen and flecked
    with foam, you must wait until it subsides.

15. Country in which there are precipitous cliffs
    with torrents running between, deep natural hollows,
    confined places, tangled thickets, quagmires and crevasses,
    should be left with all possible speed and not approached.

16. While we keep away from such places, we should
    get the enemy to approach them; while we face them,
    we should let the enemy have them on his rear.

17. If in the neighborhood of your camp there should
    be any hilly country, ponds surrounded by aquatic grass,
    hollow basins filled with reeds, or woods with thick
    undergrowth, they must be carefully routed out and searched;
    for these are places where men in ambush or insidious
    spies are likely to be lurking.

18. When the enemy is close at hand and remains quiet,
    he is relying on the natural strength of his position.

19. When he keeps aloof and tries to provoke a battle,
    he is anxious for the other side to advance.

20. If his place of encampment is easy of access,
    he is tendering a bait.

21. Movement amongst the trees of a forest shows that the
    enemy is advancing.  The appearance of a number of screens
    in the midst of thick grass means that the enemy wants to make us suspicious.

22. The rising of birds in their flight is the sign
    of an ambuscade.  Startled beasts indicate that a sudden
    attack is coming.

23. When there is dust rising in a high column,
    it is the sign of chariots advancing; when the dust is low,
    but spread over a wide area, it betokens the approach
    of infantry.  When it branches out in different directions,
    it shows that parties have been sent to collect firewood. 
    A few clouds of dust moving to and fro signify that the army
    is encamping.

24. Humble words and increased preparations are signs
    that the enemy is about to advance.  Violent language
    and driving forward as if to the attack are signs that he
    will retreat.

25. When the light chariots come out first and take
    up a position on the wings, it is a sign that the enemy
    is forming for battle.

26. Peace proposals unaccompanied by a sworn covenant
    indicate a plot.

27. When there is much running about and the soldiers
    fall into rank, it means that the critical moment has come.

28. When some are seen advancing and some retreating,
    it is a lure.

29. When the soldiers stand leaning on their spears,
    they are faint from want of food.

30. If those who are sent to draw water begin
    by drinking themselves, the army is suffering from thirst.

31. If the enemy sees an advantage to be gained and
    makes no effort to secure it, the soldiers are exhausted.

32. If birds gather on any spot, it is unoccupied. 
    Clamor by night betokens nervousness.

33. If there is disturbance in the camp, the general's
    authority is weak.  If the banners and flags are shifted
    about, sedition is afoot.  If the officers are angry,
    it means that the men are weary.

34. When an army feeds its horses with grain and kills
    its cattle for food, and when the men do not hang their
    cooking-pots over the camp-fires, showing that they
    will not return to their tents, you may know that they
    are determined to fight to the death.

35. The sight of men whispering together in small
    knots or speaking in subdued tones points to disaffection
    amongst the rank and file.

36. Too frequent rewards signify that the enemy is
    at the end of his resources; too many punishments betray
    a condition of dire distress.

37. To begin by bluster, but afterwards to take fright
    at the enemy's numbers, shows a supreme lack of intelligence.

38. When envoys are sent with compliments in their mouths,
    it is a sign that the enemy wishes for a truce.

39. If the enemy's troops march up angrily and remain
    facing ours for a long time without either joining
    battle or taking themselves off again, the situation
    is one that demands great vigilance and circumspection.

40. If our troops are no more in number than the enemy,
    that is amply sufficient; it only means that no direct attack
    can be made.  What we can do is simply to concentrate all
    our available strength, keep a close watch on the enemy,
    and obtain reinforcements.

41. He who exercises no forethought but makes light
    of his opponents is sure to be captured by them.

42. If soldiers are punished before they have grown
    attached to you, they will not prove submissive; and,
    unless submissive, then will be practically useless. 
    If, when the soldiers have become attached to you,
    punishments are not enforced, they will still be unless.

43. Therefore soldiers must be treated in the first
    instance with humanity, but kept under control by means
    of iron discipline.  This is a certain road to victory.

44. If in training soldiers commands are habitually
    enforced, the army will be well-disciplined; if not,
    its discipline will be bad.

45. If a general shows confidence in his men but always
    insists on his orders being obeyed, the gain will be mutual.
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Chapter X. TERRAIN

 1. Sun Tzu said:  We may distinguish six kinds of terrain,
    to wit:  (1) Accessible ground; (2) entangling ground;
    (3) temporizing ground; (4) narrow passes; (5) precipitous
    heights; (6) positions at a great distance from the enemy.

 2. Ground which can be freely traversed by both sides
    is called accessible.

 3. With regard to ground of this nature, be before
    the enemy in occupying the raised and sunny spots,
    and carefully guard your line of supplies.  Then you
    will be able to fight with advantage.

 4. Ground which can be abandoned but is hard
    to re-occupy is called entangling.

 5. From a position of this sort, if the enemy
    is unprepared, you may sally forth and defeat him. 
    But if the enemy is prepared for your coming, and you
    fail to defeat him, then, return being impossible,
    disaster will ensue.

 6. When the position is such that neither side will gain
    by making the first move, it is called temporizing ground.

 7. In a position of this sort, even though the enemy
    should offer us an attractive bait, it will be advisable
    not to stir forth, but rather to retreat, thus enticing
    the enemy in his turn; then, when part of his army has
    come out, we may deliver our attack with advantage.

 8. With regard to narrow passes, if you can occupy
    them first, let them be strongly garrisoned and await
    the advent of the enemy.

 9. Should the army forestall you in occupying a pass,
    do not go after him if the pass is fully garrisoned,
    but only if it is weakly garrisoned.

10. With regard to precipitous heights, if you are
    beforehand with your adversary, you should occupy the
    raised and sunny spots, and there wait for him to come up.

11. If the enemy has occupied them before you,
    do not follow him, but retreat and try to entice him away.

12. If you are situated at a great distance from
    the enemy, and the strength of the two armies is equal,
    it is not easy to provoke a battle, and fighting will be
    to your disadvantage.

13. These six are the principles connected with Earth. 
    The general who has attained a responsible post must be
    careful to study them.

14. Now an army is exposed to six several calamities,
    not arising from natural causes, but from faults
    for which the general is responsible.  These are: 
    (1) Flight; (2) insubordination; (3) collapse; (4) ruin;
    (5) disorganization; (6) rout.

15. Other conditions being equal, if one force is
    hurled against another ten times its size, the result
    will be the flight of the former.

16. When the common soldiers are too strong and
    their officers too weak, the result is insubordination. 
    When the officers are too strong and the common soldiers
    too weak, the result is collapse.

17. When the higher officers are angry and insubordinate,
    and on meeting the enemy give battle on their own account
    from a feeling of resentment, before the commander-in-chief
    can tell whether or no he is in a position to fight,
    the result is ruin.

18. When the general is weak and without authority;
    when his orders are not clear and distinct; when there
    are no fixes duties assigned to officers and men,
    and the ranks are formed in a slovenly haphazard manner,
    the result is utter disorganization.

19. When a general, unable to estimate the enemy's
    strength, allows an inferior force to engage a larger one,
    or hurls a weak detachment against a powerful one,
    and neglects to place picked soldiers in the front rank,
    the result must be rout.

20. These are six ways of courting defeat, which must
    be carefully noted by the general who has attained
    a responsible post.

21. The natural formation of the country is the soldier's
    best ally; but a power of estimating the adversary,
    of controlling the forces of victory, and of shrewdly
    calculating difficulties, dangers and distances,
    constitutes the test of a great general.

22. He who knows these things, and in fighting puts
    his knowledge into practice, will win his battles. 
    He who knows them not, nor practices them, will surely
    be defeated.

23. If fighting is sure to result in victory,
    then you must fight, even though the ruler forbid it;
    if fighting will not result in victory, then you must not
    fight even at the ruler's bidding.

24. The general who advances without coveting fame
    and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only
    thought is to protect his country and do good service
    for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom.

25. Regard your soldiers as your children, and they
    will follow you into the deepest valleys; look upon them
    as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you
    even unto death.

26. If, however, you are indulgent, but unable to make
    your authority felt; kind-hearted, but unable to enforce
    your commands; and incapable, moreover, of quelling disorder: 
    then your soldiers must be likened to spoilt children;
    they are useless for any practical purpose.

27. If we know that our own men are in a condition
    to attack, but are unaware that the enemy is not open
    to attack, we have gone only halfway towards victory.

28. If we know that the enemy is open to attack,
    but are unaware that our own men are not in a condition
    to attack, we have gone only halfway towards victory.

29. If we know that the enemy is open to attack,
    and also know that our men are in a condition to attack,
    but are unaware that the nature of the ground makes
    fighting impracticable, we have still gone only halfway
    towards victory.

30. Hence the experienced soldier, once in motion,
    is never bewildered; once he has broken camp, he is never
    at a loss.

31. Hence the saying:  If you know the enemy and
    know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt;
    if you know Heaven and know Earth, you may make your
    victory complete.
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 1. Sun Tzu said:  The art of war recognizes nine varieties of ground:
    (1) Dispersive ground; (2) facile ground; (3) contentious ground;
	(4) open ground; (5) ground of intersecting highways;
    (6) serious ground; (7) difficult ground; (8) hemmed-in ground;
    (9) desperate ground.

 2. When a chieftain is fighting in his own territory,
    it is dispersive ground.

 3. When he has penetrated into hostile territory,
    but to no great distance, it is facile ground.

 4. Ground the possession of which imports great
    advantage to either side, is contentious ground.

 5. Ground on which each side has liberty of movement
    is open ground.

 6. Ground which forms the key to three contiguous states,
    so that he who occupies it first has most of the Empire
    at his command, is a ground of intersecting highways.

 7. When an army has penetrated into the heart of a
    hostile country, leaving a number of fortified cities
    in its rear, it is serious ground.

 8. Mountain forests, rugged steeps, marshes and fens--all
    country that is hard to traverse:  this is difficult ground.

 9. Ground which is reached through narrow gorges,
    and from which we can only retire by tortuous paths,
    so that a small number of the enemy would suffice to crush
    a large body of our men:  this is hemmed in ground.

10. Ground on which we can only be saved from
    destruction by fighting without delay, is desperate ground.

11. On dispersive ground, therefore, fight not. 
    On facile ground, halt not.  On contentious ground,
    attack not.

12. On open ground, do not try to block the enemy's way. 
    On the ground of intersecting highways, join hands
    with your allies.

13. On serious ground, gather in plunder. 
    In difficult ground, keep steadily on the march.

14. On hemmed-in ground, resort to stratagem. 
    On desperate ground, fight.

15. Those who were called skillful leaders of old knew
    how to drive a wedge between the enemy's front and rear;
    to prevent co-operation between his large and small divisions;
    to hinder the good troops from rescuing the bad,
    the officers from rallying their men.

16. When the enemy's men were united, they managed
    to keep them in disorder.

17. When it was to their advantage, they made
    a forward move; when otherwise, they stopped still.

18. If asked how to cope with a great host of the enemy
    in orderly array and on the point of marching to the attack,
    I should say:  "Begin by seizing something which your
    opponent holds dear; then he will be amenable to your will."

19. Rapidity is the essence of war:  take advantage of
    the enemy's unreadiness, make your way by unexpected routes,
    and attack unguarded spots.

20. The following are the principles to be observed
    by an invading force:  The further you penetrate into
    a country, the greater will be the solidarity of your troops,
    and thus the defenders will not prevail against you.

21. Make forays in fertile country in order to supply
    your army with food.

22. Carefully study the well-being of your men,
    and do not overtax them.  Concentrate your energy and hoard
    your strength.  Keep your army continually on the move,
    and devise unfathomable plans.

23. Throw your soldiers into positions whence there
    is no escape, and they will prefer death to flight. 
    If they will face death, there is nothing they may
    not achieve.  Officers and men alike will put forth
    their uttermost strength.

24. Soldiers when in desperate straits lose
    the sense of fear.  If there is no place of refuge,
    they will stand firm.  If they are in hostile country,
    they will show a stubborn front.  If there is no help
    for it, they will fight hard.

25. Thus, without waiting to be marshaled, the soldiers
    will be constantly on the qui vive; without waiting to
    be asked, they will do your will; without restrictions,
    they will be faithful; without giving orders, they can
    be trusted.

26. Prohibit the taking of omens, and do away with
    superstitious doubts.  Then, until death itself comes,
    no calamity need be feared.

27. If our soldiers are not overburdened with money,
    it is not because they have a distaste for riches;
    if their lives are not unduly long, it is not because they
    are disinclined to longevity.

28. On the day they are ordered out to battle,
    your soldiers may weep, those sitting up bedewing
    their garments, and those lying down letting the tears run
    down their cheeks.  But let them once be brought to bay,
    and they will display the courage of a Chu or a Kuei.

29. The skillful tactician may be likened to the
    shuai-jan. Now the shuai-jan is a snake that is found
    in the ChUng mountains.  Strike at its head, and you
    will be attacked by its tail; strike at its tail, and you
    will be attacked by its head; strike at its middle,
    and you will be attacked by head and tail both.

30. Asked if an army can be made to imitate the shuai-jan,
    I should answer, Yes.  For the men of Wu and the men
    of Yueh are enemies; yet if they are crossing a river
    in the same boat and are caught by a storm, they will come
    to each other's assistance just as the left hand helps the right.

31. Hence it is not enough to put one's trust
    in the tethering of horses, and the burying of chariot
    wheels in the ground

32. The principle on which to manage an army is to set
    up one standard of courage which all must reach.

33. How to make the best of both strong and weak--that
    is a question involving the proper use of ground.

34. Thus the skillful general conducts his army just
    as though he were leading a single man, willy-nilly, by
    the hand.

35. It is the business of a general to be quiet and thus
    ensure secrecy; upright and just, and thus maintain order.

36. He must be able to mystify his officers and men
    by false reports and appearances, and thus keep them
    in total ignorance.

37. By altering his arrangements and changing
    his plans, he keeps the enemy without definite knowledge. 
    By shifting his camp and taking circuitous routes,
    he prevents the enemy from anticipating his purpose.

38. At the critical moment, the leader of an army
    acts like one who has climbed up a height and then kicks
    away the ladder behind him.  He carries his men deep
    into hostile territory before he shows his hand.

39. He burns his boats and breaks his cooking-pots;
    like a shepherd driving a flock of sheep, he drives
    his men this way and that, and nothing knows whither he
    is going.

40. To muster his host and bring it into danger:--this
    may be termed the business of the general.

41. The different measures suited to the nine
    varieties of ground; the expediency of aggressive or
    defensive tactics; and the fundamental laws of human nature: 
    these are things that must most certainly be studied.

42. When invading hostile territory, the general
    principle is, that penetrating deeply brings cohesion;
    penetrating but a short way means dispersion.

43. When you leave your own country behind, and take
    your army across neighborhood territory, you find yourself
    on critical ground.  When there are means of communication
    on all four sides, the ground is one of intersecting highways.

44. When you penetrate deeply into a country, it is
    serious ground.  When you penetrate but a little way,
    it is facile ground.

45. When you have the enemy's strongholds on your rear,
    and narrow passes in front, it is hemmed-in ground. 
    When there is no place of refuge at all, it is desperate ground.

46. Therefore, on dispersive ground, I would inspire
    my men with unity of purpose.  On facile ground, I would
    see that there is close connection between all parts
    of my army.

47. On contentious ground, I would hurry up my rear.

48. On open ground, I would keep a vigilant eye
    on my defenses.  On ground of intersecting highways,
    I would consolidate my alliances.

49. On serious ground, I would try to ensure
    a continuous stream of supplies.  On difficult ground,
    I would keep pushing on along the road.

50. On hemmed-in ground, I would block any way
    of retreat.  On desperate ground, I would proclaim
    to my soldiers the hopelessness of saving their lives.

51. For it is the soldier's disposition to offer
    an obstinate resistance when surrounded, to fight hard
    when he cannot help himself, and to obey promptly when he
    has fallen into danger.

52. We cannot enter into alliance with neighboring
    princes until we are acquainted with their designs.  We are
    not fit to lead an army on the march unless we are familiar
    with the face of the country--its mountains and forests,
    its pitfalls and precipices, its marshes and swamps. 
    We shall be unable to turn natural advantages to account
    unless we make use of local guides.

53. To be ignored of any one of the following four
    or five principles does not befit a warlike prince.

54. When a warlike prince attacks a powerful state,
    his generalship shows itself in preventing the concentration
    of the enemy's forces.  He overawes his opponents,
    and their allies are prevented from joining against him.

55. Hence he does not strive to ally himself with all
    and sundry, nor does he foster the power of other states. 
    He carries out his own secret designs, keeping his
    antagonists in awe.  Thus he is able to capture their
    cities and overthrow their kingdoms.

56. Bestow rewards without regard to rule,
    issue orders without regard to previous arrangements;
    and you will be able to handle a whole army as though
    you had to do with but a single man.

57. Confront your soldiers with the deed itself;
    never let them know your design.  When the outlook is bright,
    bring it before their eyes; but tell them nothing when
    the situation is gloomy.

58. Place your army in deadly peril, and it will survive;
    plunge it into desperate straits, and it will come off
    in safety.

59. For it is precisely when a force has fallen into
    harm's way that is capable of striking a blow for victory.

60. Success in warfare is gained by carefully
    accommodating ourselves to the enemy's purpose.

61. By persistently hanging on the enemy's flank, we shall
    succeed in the long run in killing the commander-in-chief.

62. This is called ability to accomplish a thing
    by sheer cunning.

63. On the day that you take up your command,
    block the frontier passes, destroy the official tallies,
    and stop the passage of all emissaries.

64. Be stern in the council-chamber, so that you
    may control the situation.

65. If the enemy leaves a door open, you must rush in.

66. Forestall your opponent by seizing what he holds dear,
    and subtly contrive to time his arrival on the ground.

67. Walk in the path defined by rule, and accommodate
    yourself to the enemy until you can fight a decisive battle.

68. At first, then, exhibit the coyness of a maiden,
    until the enemy gives you an opening; afterwards emulate
    the rapidity of a running hare, and it will be too late
    for the enemy to oppose you.
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 1. Sun Tzu said:  There are five ways of attacking
    with fire.  The first is to burn soldiers in their camp;
    the second is to burn stores; the third is to burn
    baggage trains; the fourth is to burn arsenals and magazines;
    the fifth is to hurl dropping fire amongst the enemy.

 2. In order to carry out an attack, we must have
    means available.  The material for raising fire should
    always be kept in readiness.

 3. There is a proper season for making attacks with fire,
    and special days for starting a conflagration.

 4. The proper season is when the weather is very dry;
    the special days are those when the moon is in the
    constellations of the Sieve, the Wall, the Wing
    or the Cross-bar; for these four are all days of rising wind.

 5. In attacking with fire, one should be prepared
    to meet five possible developments:

 6. (1) When fire breaks out inside to enemy's camp,
    respond at once with an attack from without.

 7. (2) If there is an outbreak of fire, but the enemy's
    soldiers remain quiet, bide your time and do not attack.

 8. (3) When the force of the flames has reached its height,
    follow it up with an attack, if that is practicable;
    if not, stay where you are.

 9. (4) If it is possible to make an assault with fire
    from without, do not wait for it to break out within,
    but deliver your attack at a favorable moment.

10. (5) When you start a fire, be to windward of it. 
    Do not attack from the leeward.

11. A wind that rises in the daytime lasts long,
    but a night breeze soon falls.

12. In every army, the five developments connected with
    fire must be known, the movements of the stars calculated,
    and a watch kept for the proper days.

13. Hence those who use fire as an aid to the attack show intelligence;
    those who use water as an aid to the attack gain an accession of strength.

14. By means of water, an enemy may be intercepted,
    but not robbed of all his belongings.

15. Unhappy is the fate of one who tries to win his
    battles and succeed in his attacks without cultivating
    the spirit of enterprise; for the result is waste of time
    and general stagnation.

16. Hence the saying:  The enlightened ruler lays his
    plans well ahead; the good general cultivates his resources.

17. Move not unless you see an advantage; use not
    your troops unless there is something to be gained;
    fight not unless the position is critical.

18. No ruler should put troops into the field merely
    to gratify his own spleen; no general should fight
    a battle simply out of pique.

19. If it is to your advantage, make a forward move;
    if not, stay where you are.

20. Anger may in time change to gladness; vexation may
    be succeeded by content.

21. But a kingdom that has once been destroyed can
    never come again into being; nor can the dead ever
    be brought back to life.

22. Hence the enlightened ruler is heedful,
    and the good general full of caution.  This is the way
    to keep a country at peace and an army intact.
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 1. Sun Tzu said:  Raising a host of a hundred thousand
    men and marching them great distances entails heavy loss
    on the people and a drain on the resources of the State. 
    The daily expenditure will amount to a thousand ounces
    of silver.  There will be commotion at home and abroad,
    and men will drop down exhausted on the highways. 
    As many as seven hundred thousand families will be impeded
    in their labor.

 2. Hostile armies may face each other for years,
    striving for the victory which is decided in a single day. 
    This being so, to remain in ignorance of the enemy's
    condition simply because one grudges the outlay of a hundred
    ounces of silver in honors and emoluments, is the height
    of inhumanity.

 3. One who acts thus is no leader of men, no present
    help to his sovereign, no master of victory.

 4. Thus, what enables the wise sovereign and the good
    general to strike and conquer, and achieve things beyond
    the reach of ordinary men, is foreknowledge.

 5. Now this foreknowledge cannot be elicited from spirits;
    it cannot be obtained inductively from experience,
    nor by any deductive calculation.

 6. Knowledge of the enemy's dispositions can only
    be obtained from other men.

 7. Hence the use of spies, of whom there are five classes: 
    (1) Local spies; (2) inward spies; (3) converted spies;
    (4) doomed spies; (5) surviving spies.

 8. When these five kinds of spy are all at work,
    none can discover the secret system.  This is called "divine
    manipulation of the threads."  It is the sovereign's
    most precious faculty.

 9. Having local spies means employing the services
    of the inhabitants of a district.

10. Having inward spies, making use of officials
    of the enemy.

11. Having converted spies, getting hold of the enemy's
    spies and using them for our own purposes.

12. Having doomed spies, doing certain things openly
    for purposes of deception, and allowing our spies to know
    of them and report them to the enemy.

13. Surviving spies, finally, are those who bring
    back news from the enemy's camp.

14. Hence it is that which none in the whole army are
    more intimate relations to be maintained than with spies. 
    None should be more liberally rewarded.  In no other
    business should greater secrecy be preserved.

15. Spies cannot be usefully employed without a certain
    intuitive sagacity.

16. They cannot be properly managed without benevolence
    and straightforwardness.

17. Without subtle ingenuity of mind, one cannot make
    certain of the truth of their reports.

18. Be subtle! be subtle! and use your spies for every
    kind of business.

19. If a secret piece of news is divulged by a spy
    before the time is ripe, he must be put to death together
    with the man to whom the secret was told.

20. Whether the object be to crush an army, to storm
    a city, or to assassinate an individual, it is always
    necessary to begin by finding out the names of the attendants,
    the aides-de-camp, and door-keepers and sentries of the general
    in command.  Our spies must be commissioned to ascertain these.

21. The enemy's spies who have come to spy on us
    must be sought out, tempted with bribes, led away and
    comfortably housed.  Thus they will become converted
    spies and available for our service.

22. It is through the information brought by the
    converted spy that we are able to acquire and employ
    local and inward spies.

23. It is owing to his information, again, that we can
    cause the doomed spy to carry false tidings to the enemy.

24. Lastly, it is by his information that the surviving
    spy can be used on appointed occasions.

25. The end and aim of spying in all its five varieties
    is knowledge of the enemy; and this knowledge can only
    be derived, in the first instance, from the converted spy. 
    Hence it is essential that the converted spy be treated
    with the utmost liberality.

26. Of old, the rise of the Yin dynasty was due to I
    Chih who had served under the Hsia.  Likewise, the rise
    of the Chou dynasty was due to Lu Ya who had served
    under the Yin.

27. Hence it is only the enlightened ruler and the
    wise general who will use the highest intelligence of
    the army for purposes of spying and thereby they achieve
    great results.  Spies are a most important element in water,
    because on them depends an army's ability to move.


The Art of War The Art of War by Sun Tzu Samuel B. Griffith (Introduction)
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