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Sun Tzu And The Art Of War

1518 words - 6 pages

Throughout the ages of history, there were many wars that were fought. For every victory and defeat, what was it that really determined the outcome of the war? Which army leader had the better or worse battle plan? With the plan they had, did it increase their chances of victory? Were there key factors in an army leader’s plan that lead to their defeat? Or, was the best decision made to completely avoid war? For a lot of the wars that took place and the ones that were avoided many years ago, the mystery still remains unsolved on how and why certain army leaders were victorious or gained a certain advantage because of the choices they made. On the other hand, it is also unknown on how or why an army leader failed to a certain extent and what could have been done beforehand to prevent defeat. However, there was specific information on the subject of warfare documented by one of the greatest military strategists during the Era of Warring States, Sun Tzu, in his writing of The Art of War. Here are some key details of his documentation involving lessons learned and thorough observations about warfare, involving the forces of nature used as an advantage to potentially increase the chances of success or a disadvantage that would potentially lead to failure in a war.
One of the significant lessons on warfare and leadership put forth by Sun Tzu was having the ability to act in dynamic opposites as a tactical advantage when planning an attack. He had stated that “All warfare is based on deception” (Giles). If one’s own army is strong, one must command his soldiers to appear weak. It was of significant importance to create an illusion or a false image, like how soldiers would act weary or injured for the enemy to believe they have the upper hand in fighting. Sun Tzu also mentioned in a statement, “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” (Giles). This was a tactic in attempts to keep the enemy guessing and to cause the enemy to feel threatened and unsafe. It was a good strategy to trick the enemy into always thinking and feeling that an attack would happen at any given moment, something that would cause the enemy to develop stress or become restless with less chances of obtaining a sense of peace or assuming that an attack was not going to happen. If one was able to master the technique of deception, then it was likely that one will increase the chances of victory. In addition, it was crucial to become aware and analyze the enemy in order to determine if a planned and deceptive attack would work. Or, it was better to avoid confrontation if it was determined that the enemy would be stronger. Sun Tzu took into consideration that pacifism was also an important option which would benefit future and better planned attacks. He also made it clear from the beginning of his documentation that he took analytical measurements into account and the one that made more precise...

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