Who wishes to fight must first count the cost
“The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.”
“To see victory only when it is within the ken of the common herd is not the acme of excellence.”
“In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.”
“He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.”
“It is the business of a general to be quiet and thus ensure secrecy; upright and just, and thus maintain order.”
“Carefully compare the opposing army with your own, so that you may know where strength is superabundant and where it is deficient.”
“No ruler should put troops into the field merely to gratify his own spleen; no general should fight a battle simply out of pique.”
“If it is to your advantage, make a forward move; if not, stay where you are.”
“Hence in the wise leader’s plans, considerations of advantage and of disadvantage will be blended together.”
Management of many is the same as management of few. It is a matter of organization.
A skilled commander seeks victory from the situation and does not demand it of his subordinates.
“What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease.”
“According as circumstances are favorable, one should modify one’s plans.”
“By altering his arrangements and changing his plans, he keeps the enemy without definite".
“The Commander stands for the virtues of wisdom, sincerity, benevolence, courage, and strictness.”
If we know that our own men are in a condition to attack, but are unaware that the enemy is not open to attack, we have gone only halfway towards victory.
“A clever general, therefore, avoids an army when its spirit is keen, but attacks it when it is sluggish and inclined to return. This is the art of studying moods.”
“Therefore the clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy’s will to be imposed on him.”
Secret operations are essential in war; upon them the army relies to make its every move.
All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.
He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.
“If he sends reinforcements everywhere, he will everywhere be weak.”
“who does not know the evils of war cannot appreciate its benefits”
“The wise warrior avoids the battle.”
“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
“Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.”
Opportunities multiply as they are seized.
To a surrounded enemy, you must leave a way of escape.
If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight.