The Art Of War By Sun Tzu

1991 words - 8 pages

War has been an aspect of life ever since the earliest civilizations. Whether it be for self-gain, defending your nation or others reasons, it cannot not be avoided in this conflicted world. When that time approaches every military leader must know how to conduct himself with the most efficiency. A leader must have this knowledge so he can lead his troops in a fashion that points towards victory. The critically acclaimed novel, The Art of War, is considered one of the greatest books on military strategy by many, and was written by Sun Tzu, a man who was given the title of one of the greatest military leaders by other military figures, and even though it may be difficult to understand at times, is still a very enjoyable read for anyone interested in military tactics.
The Art of War is full of powerful yet frightening ways that Sun Tzu said war should be fought. The tactics that Tzu used in war were affective, but some leaders today would consider him a warmonger for his actions. In his book he explains that war must be without mercy, but at some points one must give grace. Page upon page told of the slaughtering of entire cities that he invaded. However, the book does contain accounts of Tzu sparing entire armies and letting them return home. Even though he was a ruthless killer on the battlefield, he did seem to keep to his philosophy that he wrote stating, "In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy's country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good. So, too, it is better to recapture an army entire than to destroy it, to capture a regiment, a detachment or a company entire than to destroy them." (pg.32)
The Art of War shows the philosophy of Sun Tzu as he describes how to manage and win battles. He focuses on key points that he considers the best way to win wars. Sun Tzu states in The Art of War that " Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted" and " By holding out advantages to him, he can cause the enemy to approach of his own accord; or, by inflicting damage, he can make it impossible for the enemy to draw near." (Pg. 76) In other words, know your enemies weak and strong points so that you can exploit them. The concept of tactical dispositions is a theory that Tzu strongly believed in. He stated in his book that "To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself." (Pg.56) Tzu is basically saying that a person's victory or defeat is in their own hands. Whether or not one chooses to strive for victory is a choice. The last major theory that Sun Tzu believes is the best way to winning every war is sabotage. He points out that the key factor is hitting where it hurts the most, the homeland. The best way to carry out this theory is to send spies into the enemy's country and...

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