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Grand Strategy Essay

2586 words - 11 pages

Analyze of Sun Tzu “The Art of War” Thucydides, “ The Peloponnesian War” and
The Polybius “ The Rise of the Roman Empire”
Scholars believe that Sun Tzu probably lived in the fourth century b.c. They also have some indications that he was born in the state of Ch'i, that he prospered in Wu, where he became a general, but some scholars have even contended that Sun Tzu is a mythical character who never existed as an individual.
Sun Tzu's only known work is The Art of War. It is divided into thirteen chapters, with each chapter treating a different topic, such as calculating the strength of the enemy's forces, planning attacks, the nature of force, ...view middle of the document...

“Waging War” is the title of the second essay. These themes include being swift in war; never prolong war because it is expensive. Proximity of the army determines the cost. If prices go up, the poor lose. Therefore, use the enemy’s resources. Victory is the main object of war. If war is long delayed, weapons are blunted and morale depressed. There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited.
Sun Tzu’s third essay is titled “Offensive Strategy” and states that to capture is better than destruction. Take the country whole and intact. To win without fighting and to break the enemies resistance without the shedding of blood is excellence. The most brilliant scheme is to: recoil the enemies plans, isolate him from his allies, attack in the field the worst is to besiege walled cities because this leads to a prolonged war.
Essay four, “Dispositions,” states that one may know how to conquer without being able to do it; knowledge must be coupled with wisdom. One must be skilled in defense to hide and be skilled in offense to attack and burst forth. A clever fighter not only wins but also excels at winning with ease. He wins battles by making no mistakes. Get the power of knowledge to control success.
“Energy” is the title of Sun Tzu’s fifth essay. In general, he says control of a large force is the same as a few; it is merely a question of dividing their numbers, managing, and organization. Using a large army requires better, sophisticated communications. Keep the army unshaken while under attack by direct and indirect methods. Know the science of weak points and strong.
In essay six, “Weaknesses and Strengths,” he writes whoever is first in the field is strong.
Therefore, the clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy. By holding out baits, we can cause the enemy to approach and inflict damage, while the enemy cannot approach. If the enemy rests, harass him; if he has food, starve him out. Be swiftly on the move to places you are least expected. An army can march great distances of there is no enemy in the territory. You can be assured of victory if you attack undefended places.
“Maneuver.” The general receives his commands from the sovereign. Having collected an army and concentrated his forces, he must blend all and harmonize. Then comes the extreme difficulty of tactical maneuvering. Maneuvering with an army is advantageous, with an undisciplined mob, disastrous. If you send a fully equipped army to snatch a single advantage, the chance is you will be too late. To push the men in forced marches will suffer lose.
“The Nine Variables” is the title of essay eight. In war, the general receives his commands, collects the army, and concentrates his forces. In difficult country, Sun Tzu writes, do not encamp. Sometimes unite with allies; there are roads, which must not be followed, army's that must not be attacked. Understand the advantages of variations of tactics. Hence, the wise leader considers...

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