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In the Words of Sun Tzu

from Book 2

Care must be taken not to humiliate the enemy troops more than is required for quick victory. The more humiliation you place on the enemy, the more vengeance he will crave, and the more intense his action will be. If you intend to subjugate the enemy, do so within the constraints of intelligent planning for the future. There will be ramifications regardless of the manner in which you operate. Understand this before you make your final decision to overrun a country.

Reward the warriors who have served with distinction to the maximum extent you can. Do not skimp on the rewards you place before them and make sure to do so within the view of the other troops. Do not reward those who have done a half-hearted job regardless of how fervent their half-heartedness was. Levy swift punishment to those who have created difficulty in your process of victory. Do that in front of the troops as well.

Concerning the warriors of the enemy that have not fallen before you: treat them with respect, especially if they have fought with all of their hearts. They can be made into allies and will serve you with great zeal if they learn respect for you. It does not matter that they have fallen. Perhaps their leaders were not as good as they thought they were and did not plan adequately. Perhaps their leader demanded too much of them. The reasons are countless and you can do nothing to enhance your understanding of victory in war by pondering another’s reasons for failure. You must carefully analyze the actions that brought you victory, and in that manner determine where the enemy was weak.

If war is waged, it must be for the benefit of all. This includes the people of the beaten country as well. If this attitude is not understood and prevalent, then perhaps you are just a barbarian. If so, you will eventually fall. Do not think that because you have won in combat that you are invincible. The strength of your victory also depends on the weakness of your enemy, which you must have determined. After victory is attained, be prepared to govern the conquered. The people will do your bidding once you have their trust and if they believe you have done for them as you have done for your own people.

Author’s book is available at:

http://www.hanshi.com and major book retailers

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One comment on “In the Words of Sun Tzu

  1. Thank you for your kind comments. I trust I will continue to work on the level that is of value and is appreciated.

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