16 votes

Sun Tzu's Art of War

I was reading Sun Tzu's art of war. I think it may be worth reading in light of our current involvement with several wars and our economic situation. I would suggest it is a worthwhile read if you want to understand what's happening now. As we fight a prolonged war in the middle east Sun Tzu says:

"If the campaign is protracted the resources of the state will not be equal to the strain" and "There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare." As we deplete our resources, incur huge debts, could there be another war we are not aware of? Are we at war with China? An economic war?

More from Sun Tzu: "The skilled leader subdues the enemy's troops without fighting, he captures their cities with out laying siege, he over throws their kingdom with out fighting." and, "The opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself," and "The General is skillful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend," also "All warfare is based on deception, pretend to be weak that your opponent may grow arrogant, if his forces are united separate them."

"Thus it is in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory."

As we fight the wars in the middle east and squandered trillions in bail outs China has amassed a huge surplus of cash. They are buying oil leases, minerals, metals, farm land, enticed our companies to build their factories, taken our manufacturing technology and left us with high unemployment as our jobs are out sourced and we drown in debt with a huge trade deficit. We are at war with China and don't even know it.

I would like to add a Sun Tzu tactic of my own. The victorious strategist wages war with his opponent best when his opponent is not aware there is a war.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Sun Tzu Legend , China circa 544 BC - 496 BC

Historians argue that Sun Tzu's work did not advocate war but, instead, told of strategies to employ should conflict arise. Sun Tzu's philosophies avoided war whilst controling an enemy in tight situations rather than war itself.

Legend has it that Sun Tzu was born into minor nobility north of Shanghai. Born "Sun Wu", he was given a good education and like Machiavelli, he wrote a military treatise in order to get noticed and hired by royalty. Unlike Machiavelli, his plans worked.

Sun Wu expanded his 13 chapter Art of War into 82 chapters and trained the army. Eventually he broke the peace by invading the southern state of Yue. Other conflicts ensued but although his troops were once outnumbered 30,000 to 200,000, he always prevailed in legend. Many successes followed and continued after his death. Some considered his death... Perhaps another of his deceptions.

The kingdom was defeated several years after his reported death. 100 years later his descendant, Sun Bing, lead troops to victory again and wrote his own treatise. Sun Wu's name was changed to Sun Tzu on the Art of War as a sign of his status a master of philosophy. The "Tzu" Chinese character is shared amoung Lao Tzu and Confucius (whose Chinese name is Kon Tzu).

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul

Sun Tzu's the Art of War is

Sun Tzu's the Art of War is for beginners. You want an in-depth look at war, read Carl von Clausewitz' On War.

"CLAUSEWITZ and HIS WORKS," by Christopher Bassford, Biography

“All warfare is based on deception.”
– Sun Tzu, The Art of War, Chinese circa 544 BC-496 BC

“Politics is the womb in which war is developed.”
– General Karl von Clausewitz, Prussian 1780-1831

"All war must be just the killing of strangers against whom you feel no personal animosity; strangers whom, in other circumstances, you would help if you found them in trouble, and who would help you if you needed it." - Mark Twain, American 1835-1910

"CLAUSEWITZ and HIS WORKS," by Christopher Bassford, 2008 (about 200 pages)


On War 82 Chapters
His most famous book, On War, first published (as Vom Kriege) in 1832.

  • Short Biography
  • On War
  • Clausewitz on History and Military History
  • Three Competing Theorists
  • Clausewitz and the Nature of War
  • Conclusions
  • Notes

On War is a hefty work. It is difficult reading, not because Clausewitz was a poor or disorganized writer but because the subject is a difficult one and his drafts unfinished. ... the newest single-volume English-language edition runs about 580 pages (not counting the accompanying commentaries). It is internally divided into eight books. In total, 82 chapters.

      I. On the Nature of War.
      II. On the Theory of War.
      III. On Strategy in General.
      IV. The Engagement.
      V. Military Forces.
      VI. Defense.
      VII. The Attack.
      VIII. War Plans.
    It is insightful writing by a Prussian general up until his passed away. Posthumously edited to complete unfinished passages by his wife. One year later, On War was published.

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul

Older men declare war.

The youth must fight and die. What else can the youth do? Think fast youth of America. You have a choice either get Ron Paul elected or else suffer the inevitable fate that serfdom has to offer.

I urge everyone, as if their life depended upon it, (because it does) to peacefully persuade all for Ron Paul. Never surrender!

and then you die

Very persuasive message to the youth! Superb.

Here is my advice to youth:
"The young ought to be temperate in the use of this great art until practice and experience shall give them that confidence, elegance, and precision which alone can make the accomplishment graceful and profitable. Patience, diligence, painstaking attention to detail -- these are the requirements; these, in time, will make the student perfect; upon these, and upon these only, may he rely as the sure foundation for future eminence. Think what tedious years of study, thought, practice, experience, went to the equipment of that peerless old master who was able to impose upon the whole world the lofty and sounding maxim that "Truth is mighty and will prevail"-- the most majestic compound fracture of fact which any of woman born has yet achieved. For the history of our race, and each individual's experience, are sewn thick with evidences that a truth is not hard to kill, and that a lie well told is immortal."
- "Advice to Youth," Mark Twain 15 April 1882

Yours is more helpful.

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul

It's not China. It's Israel.

Israel and pan-Israeli nationalists are the ones waging SunTzu-like warfare against us. China is just smart of enough to capitalize on the turmoil.

This was the first comment

This was the first comment that I thought was totally out of place, Even if Israel is waging Sun Tzu like war, they are such a tiny country and small civilization that..IMO, who cares, stop trying follow the same path as the Nazi's, The Jews have no power, but what you make of it.

Su Tsu's Art of War

It could be anybody and this administration would still be oblivious about it, regardless. Having said that, however, I believe there are some within this administration, if not all, who are intentionally misleading about being oblivious, and are in fact purposefully waging a Sun Tzu-like war against the United States from within.

I think China is for sure

I think China is for sure waging Sun Tzu war on the USA. And doing it effectively. I work every closely with the Chinese and I can say without a doubt they have a very strong foothold in the USA. I believe they have surpassed us as the de-facto super power, if not only with their initiative.

Perfect description of USA

in the last quote you present from Sun Tzu (my emphasis added):

"Thus it is in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory."

Phil. 4:13

We should win

We can win the fight in the long run. We have two out of the three necessary elements of victory. We're building a third and the last two deal more with terrain, which we are also taking.

::: The MORAL LAW causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger.

:::The COMMANDER stands for the virtues of wisdom, sincerity, benevolence, courage and strictness

:::HEAVEN signifies night and day, cold and heat, times and seasons.

:::EARTH comprises distances, great and small; danger and security; open ground and narrow passes; the chances of life and death.

:::By METHOD AND DISCIPLINE are to be understood the marshaling of the army in its proper subdivisions, the graduations of rank among the officers, the maintenance of roads by which supplies may reach the army, and the control of military expenditure.

:::These five heads should be familiar to every general: he who knows them will be victorious; he who knows them not will fail.

Sun Tzu's Art of War

We cannot win the fight, even in the long run, so long as our commander, supposedly, leading our military is a traitor to the cause of victory. There can be no victory when our Commander has not even one ounce of virtue or wisdom, sincerity, benevolence, courage or strictness. These should also be familiar to every general: he who knows them understands what must be done; he who knows them, yet ignores them shall have failed himself and his country.

I meant the revolution can

I meant the revolution can win, not the USA in our wars. Sorry for the confusion.


The writing on the wall!

I have read the Art of War

I have read the Art of War and long believed that these tactics were being used against the American people. It seems that some of our military leaders and most of our interventionist politicians are not too keen on keeping up with the classics!

Then again...maybe they understand the Art quite well ;-)

"To win without fighting is

"To win without fighting is best" - Sun Tsu. This country's leaders know or accept almost nothing from The Art of War.


Sun Tzu’s Art of War
16. Amid the turmoil and tumult of battle, there may
be seeming disorder and yet no real disorder at all;
amid confusion and chaos, your array may be without head
or tail, yet it will be proof against defeat.

17. Simulated disorder postulates perfect discipline,
simulated fear postulates courage; simulated weakness
postulates strength.

18. Hiding order beneath the cloak of disorder is
simply a question of subdivision; concealing courage under
a show of timidity presupposes a fund of latent energy;
masking strength with weakness is to be effected
by tactical dispositions.

19. Thus one who is skillful at keeping the enemy
on the move maintains deceitful appearances, according to
which the enemy will act. He sacrifices something,
that the enemy may snatch at it.

20. By holding out baits, he keeps him on the march;
then with a body of picked men he lies in wait for him.


"Art of War,"- Sun Tzu.

Time immemorial wisdom. Sun Tzu oft won battles sans physical conflict. His words have shaped the thoughts of many a wise soldier... perhaps a few politicians.

When prayer is finished, other reminiscence comes to me.

... "Lying is universal—we all do it; we all must do it. Therefore, the wise thing is for us diligently to train ourselves to lie thoughtfully, judiciously; to lie with a good object, and not an evil one; to lie for others' advantage, and not our own; to lie healingly, charitably, humanely, not cruelly, hurtfully, maliciously; to lie gracefully and graciously, not awkwardly and clumsily; to lie firmly, frankly, squarely, with head erect, not haltingly, tortuously, with pusillanimous mien, as being ashamed of our high calling. Then shall we be rid of the rank and pestilent truth that is rotting the land; then shall we be great and good and beautiful, and worthy dwellers in a world where even benign Nature habitually lies, except when she promises execrable weather. Then—but I am but a new and feeble student in this gracious art; I can not instruct this Club.

Joking aside, I think there is much need of wise examination into what sorts of lies are best and wholesomest to be indulged, seeing we must all lie and do all lie, and what sorts it may be best to avoid—and this is a thing which I feel I can confidently put into the hands of this experienced Club — a ripe body, who may be termed, in this regard, and without undue flattery, Old Masters." - "ON THE DECAY OF THE ART OF LYING," by Mark Twain

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul

All that wealth is worthless unless

you have consumers. which is why China loans to the U.S.

All you end up with is a pile of bricks. Un saleable pile of bricks.

Therefore you must create demand. How is that done? I wonder. NOT!!!

[pssst, you need to read it]

your post makes it clear that you have not. it is only 38 pages long. and has been around for 2500 years.

and btw, my customers are not consumers.

i know it's hard to believe...

but there are other consumers on the planet besides Americans. There are emerging economies happening, it's just not us.

you bring up a great truth

you bring up a great truth with your post i agree with your thought process i admire how you are a free thinker and thank you for linking the writings of the art of war with our current situation it provides alot of perspective and wisdom to our readers, great post, your right on the money.

Thanks for your courteous reply

I don't have any animosity against China, free and open trade is good for all, however we should be aware of whats happening. If not for the FED neither the debt nor the huge war costs would be possible. China is just quietly taking advantage. Like Sun Tzu said "if your opponent is weak on his left and strong on his right attack his left" "Avoid what is strong strike what is weak" The Federal Reserve by facilitating the massive government debt has given China this tactical advantage. Ron Paul is the ONLY one that understands the FED and willing to address it.

A good American quote is appropriate here "The borrower is always the slave to the lender"