Saturday, March 9, 2013

Sun-Tzu: Warrior for Peace

The famous Chinese military strategist Sun-Tzu believed that war was costly and inefficient. He claimed that the best strategy was to win the war before the opponent was engaged on the field. Sun-Tzu writes, “To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting” (Sun-Tzu, 2.2). This principle has been adopted and adapted to modern business commerce with great success but, for some reason, the U.S. government has failed to recognize his brilliance in their efforts concerning the `war on terror'.

Sun-Tzu (if a person of that name really existed) believed that winning over an opponent consisted primarily in knowing that opponent and how one could best use the deficiencies of the enemy to one's advantage in order to end a conflict swiftly with minimal casualties to either side. Today, with international terrorism at the forefront of the news on a daily basis, one would do well to study, and try to learn from, the lessons Sun-Tzu set down in his Art of War.

The link to my article on Sun-Tzu, from Ancient History Encyclopedia, is here:

The piece begins:

Sun Tzu is known as a Chinese military strategist, Taoist philosopher, and general in the 6th century BCE who is widely recognized for his work The Art of War, a treatise on military strategy (also known as The Thirteen Chapters). Whether an individual by the name of `Sun-Tzu’ existed at all has been disputed (in the same way scholars and historians debate the existence of an actual man named Lao-Tzu) but the existence of The Art of War and its profound influence on military campaigns, clearly proves that someone existed to produce said work and that the work is attributed to one Sun-Tzu. The historian Griffith writes:
War, an integral part of the power politics of the age, had become `a matter of vital importance to the state, the province of life and death, the road to survival or ruin’. To be waged successfully, it required a coherent strategic and tactical theory and a practical doctrine governing intelligence, planning, command, operational, and administrative procedures. The author of `The Thirteen Chapters’ was the first man to provide such a theory and such a doctrine. (Griffith, 44).