Sunday, November 9, 2008


Sun Zi Said :

War is a matter of vital importance to a nation : a matter relating to life and death of the people, survival or ruin of sovereignty. Hence it demands serious study and should not be neglected under any circumstances.

In assessing the outcome of war , one should analyse the actual situation and compared by the strengths and weakness of both sides with respect to thefive fundamental factors :

  Five fundemental factors

.Morality enables people to be in complete accord with their sovereign, so that they will follow the general into battle regardless of their lives and without the slightest fear.

.Weather refers to climatic conditions such as day and night, cold and heat as well as the change of seasons.

.Terrain refers to geographical conditions such as long or short distances, perilous or level land, open ground or narrow passes as well as impasse or thoroughfare.

.Commander factor refers to whether the commander possesses attributes such as resourcefulness and ability, fairness in rewarding or punishing, kindness to the soldiers, courage and resolutions as well as strictness od discipline.

.Legal system signifies whether reliable systems are established in the organization of military units, division of responsibilities for officials and management of military supplies.

These five fundamental factors are known to every single commander. However, only one who has a through understanding and full command of them can win the war; otherwise he will fail. fundemental factors

 Seven Dimensions

Therefore in order to have a full grasp of the situation of both sides, one should analyse and compare by calculations of the following seven dimensions :

  • Which of the two sovereigns pursues a just cause and has won the support of their people?
  • Which of the two commanders is more resourceful and capable?
  • Which of the two sides holds more advantages in terms of climatic and terrain conditions?
  • On which side is discipline more strictly enforced?
  • Which of the two armies is stronger?
  • Which side has better trained officers and soldiers?
  • Which side is fairer in giving rewards or punishments?

After making a comprehensive analysis based on all the above, one should be able to predict which of the two sides will win the war.

If a commander follows the above , he will surely win. Let him be retained in command! Otherwise he will surely fail, and let him be dismissed.Once a commander has adopted the appropriate stratagems, he should create a readiness to assist the implementation of his war plan. This so called readiness is to take flexible action according to changing circumstances.

  Deceptions and Battle Of Wits

All warfare is based on deceptions and battle of wits.

  • Therefore one should pretend to be unable to make an attack when he is able to.
  • One should hide his readiness for combat when he is ready to.
  • If you plan to attack a nearby place, you should pretend to attack from a far-off place and vice-versa.
  • Lure a greedy enemy with the promise of petty gains. When he is thrown into confusion, seize the opportunity to attack.
  • Take double precautions against enemy with substantial strength
  • Evade enemy of superior strength than you
  • Irritate enemy who is hot temper
  • Make enemy who is mean and low arrogant
  • Fatigue the enemy who is ease and comfort
  • Sow discord in the enemy who is united
  • Attack the enemy where he least expected and prepared
These are subtle devices to the victory of war but cannot be formulated in detail beforehand


Before a war is fought, one should calculate and compare the actual situation of both sides in the ancestral temple.

The side with more superiority is more likely to win, while the side with less superiority has less chance of wining.

Thus doing more calculations and planning will lead to victory, and fewer calculations will lose, what more to no calculations at all !! From this point of view , it is possible to foresee the outcome of a war.

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