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Principles for Competition: Warfare & Business

THE ART OF WAR


By
SUN TZU
(c. 400-320 B.C.)

Summarized and Compiled


by
Ike Sweesy

Commentary by

A. Brig.Gen. Samuel B. Griffith, USMC


B. General Tao Hanzhang, Chinese PLA
_______________

Ref. A. Griffith, Samuel B. Brig. Gen., SUN TZU - The Art of War, Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 1963.

Ref B. Hanzhang, Tao, General, SUN TZU'S ART OF WAR, A Modern Chinese
Interpretation, New York: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. 1987.
INTRODUCTORY, FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS - A rational basis for the
planning and conduct of operations. Systematic and Objective (pg. 79B). Observe and infer
(discern, judge) pg. 113B.

Applicable to all areas of human relationships: Business, leadership,


government, interpersonal conflict, personal development, counseling,
child-raising.
War is an integral part of power politics. pg25A
'purpose of stopping tyranny and getting rid of injury" pg. 16A

FIVE CAUSES OF FIVE PURPOSE, pg. 153A


WAR CATEGORIES
Struggle for fame Righteous war suppress violence, quell
disorder
Struggle for Aggressive war dependence upon force
advantage
Animosity Enraged war anger
Internal Disorder Wanton war greed
Famine Insurgent war stir up trouble

PREVENTION OR CORRECTION
proper government
humility
reason
deception and treachery
authority

ELEMENTS OF VICTORY pg. xiA ELEMENTS OF DEFEAT


pg. 7A
The Spring and Autumn Armies
were:
organization Corporate & Operational inefficiently organized
Structure
maneuver Innovation - ideas troops badly trained,
plans Marketing plans poorly conceived
Operations - execution & poorly executed
C3I Command, Control,
Communications,
Intelligence
geography the industry & political
terrain
weather the business climate &
changes
logistics equipment & systems poorly equipped, haphazardly
supplied
Leadership - the General, Management Development, ineptly led
and/or Lieutenants and Recruiting, Training,
Sergeants Development
Five Circumstances Leading to Victory pg. 82A
1. Knowing when he can fight and when he cannot
2. Understanding how to use both large and small forces
3. When the ranks are united in purpose (pg. 106A)
4. He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not
5. He whose generals are able and not interfered with by the Sovereign

5 Taboos Do Not Fight: pg. 16B


1. if the country is not powerful enough (manpower, financial, military strength)
2. if situation is unfavorable (international climate, attitudes of neighboring countries.
3. without domestic tranquillity.
4. without domestic support for the war. (Vietnam)
5. on two or more fronts. (Napoleon, Hitler)
PRINCIPLES AND ELEMENTS OF WAR
Know your purpose - "one who is confused in purpose cannot respond to
his enemy." [Goals]

Find - the Key Elements or Key Difficulties in a problem and focus on the
solution. [Objectives]

The 5 Fundamental Factors:


pg. 63A pg. 13B/81B
1. Moral Influence 1. Politics (national
(righteousness) unity)
2. Weather, Climate, Seasons 2. Weather
3. Terrain 3. Terrain
4. Command (Commanders 4. Leadership
and C3)
5. Doctrine 5. Doctrine

Key Factors
pg. 40A
Human (morale and generalship)
Physical (terrain and weather)
Doctrinal
pg. 32A,3B,50B,85B
The Initiative
Flexibility
Intelligence
Surprise
Speed
Concentration of Forces

Four Indispensable Factors


Geography
Enemy Situation
Friendly Situation
Time

Analysis of the Situation pg. 19B


Advantages
Disadvantages - Sun Tzu originated SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities,
Threats
Favorable Factors
Unfavorable Factors

Planning Factors The 7 Elements pg. 14B


Calculations (planning) 1. which ruler is wisest
Quantity not decisive, to Sun 2. which commander is
Tzu) wiser/abler
Quality 3. Nature and Terrain
advantage
Discipline 4. discipline
5. stronger
Training 6. better trained officers/men
Equity of rewards and 7. rewards and punishments
punishments
TYPES OF FORCES THE TWO FORCES pg.
42A/91A/35B
Cheng Ch'i
normal, usual extraordinary
direct indirect
fixing flanking, encircling
decision distraction
obvious unexpected, strange,
unorthodox, stealthy

NINE VARIETIES OF GROUND pg. A131ff/119B


Dispersive fighting in your own territory, the men want to return home
do not fight in dispersive ground
unify the determination of the army
Frontier shallow penetration into enemy territory
do not stop in frontier borderlands
keep forces closely linked up
Key ground equally advantageous to occupy
do not attack an enemy who is in key ground
set out after the enemy but arrive before him -Chang Yu
Communicati equally accessible, level and extensive, sufficient (open) in
ng extent for battle to erect opposing fortifications
don't allow formations to become separated, close 'em up
pay strict attention to defenses
Focal a state enclosed by three other states.
He who gains control will gain the support of the empire
ally with neighboring states
reward allies, abide firmly by treaties
examples are Straits of Gibraltar, Bosphorus, Malacca; Suez
and Panama Canals; the three passages in the Med; Persian
Gulf and Gulf of Mexico
Serious deep penetration into hostile territory. Difficult to return from.
{Russia, Stalingrad}
(one says 'plunder', another 'don't plunder')
ensure continuous supply of provisions
Difficult any place where the going is hard. Mountains, forests,
defiles, marshlands, swamps
press on, don't delay
use roads if possible
Encircled access is constricted, the way out is tortuous, where a small
enemy can ambush my larger one.
devise stratagems
if the enemy opens a road, I close it to force my troops to
fight with desperation to the death
if I am encircling an army, I open a road of escape to avoid
their fighting to the death
Death where the army must fight with the courage of desperation.
(Desperate, (see above).
see above)
fight
troops will follow orders implicitly if the situation is known &
understood
SIX TYPES OF GROUND pg. 124A/116B
Accessible ground which both we and the enemy can traverse with ease
Entrapping easy to leave but difficult to return to
Indecisive equally disadvantageous to both armies
Constricted do not follow the enemy into these passes or defiles
Precipitous take the sunny heights but don't attack into them, lure him
away first
Distant it's difficult to provoke battle at a distance from an enemy

TYPES OF GROUND pg. 111A


Low-lying don't encamp
ground
Communicatin unite with allies
g
Desolate don't delay
here
Enclosed be resourceful
ground
Death Ground fight

PRINCIPLES OF LEADERSHIP
Personal, Direct Leadership, understand the soldier's psychological states. pg. 121B
[Management by Wandering Around

Characteristics of a Commander
pg. 65A pg. 14B
wise wisdom
sincere sincerity
humane benevolence
courageous courage
strict (disciplined) Tenacity, strictness
(discipline )

The Excellent General pg. 162A


Majesty - He awes his enemy, none dare disobey him, no rebel opposes him
Virtue-
Humanity-
Courage-

The Ruler pg. 83B


Humanity-
Justice-
Virtue-
Civility-
Strength-
Some General Principles of Leadership

- generally, Management of Many is the same as management of


Few. It is a matter of Organization and effective Communication.
pg. 90A/106A (See also, “Management Principles of Attila the Hun”)
- be of high character and intelligence
- know the right man, place the responsibility on him, expect results pg. 83A; then reward him
for it. pg. 35A - do not give responsibility to one who cannot fulfill it. pg. 94A/56B
- you can make use of all men wise or stupid, brave or cowardly, by giving responsibility to each
in situations that suit him. pg. 94A/49B
- It is proper discipline that enables them to win victories. pg. 158A

- Know others (the enemy) and Know Yourself pg. 84A/42B/100B

Requirements of Generalship pg. 87 - 89A


clear perception [observation and inference, See Sherlock Holmes]
harmony
profound strategy
far-reaching plans (depth, breadth, contingencies)
understanding of seasons (climate, moods, cyclical factors) [both physical and psychological]

Leader’s Ability to estimate strengths and capabilities


Measurements yield
Figures which yield
Comparisons which yield
increased chances of Victory

The Leader:
comprehends expediency and flexibility
not credulous of unreliable intelligence
not timorous
law abiding

The Victorious General possesses: pg. 92A/103B


Momentum
Control (regulation)
Potential (strength)
Timing

The General must be: pg. 136A


serene if serene, he is not
vexed;
inscrutable if inscrutable,
unfathomable;
upright if upright, not improper;
impartial
self-controll self-controlled, not
ed confused
The Foolish General
pg. 162,3A,57B,112B Examples:
Stupid places his confidence in others (deceive him and lure
him into traps)
Covetous careless of his reputation (you can bribe him)
Changeable lacks plans, [or objectives, or goals] (tire him and
wear him down)
Opulent superiors are rich and arrogant, subordinates poor and Bill Agee,
resentful MK
(you can divide and separate them)
Hesitant in advancing or retiring then his troops will have no
confidence (he can be stampeded and put to flight)
Unrespected Officers are contemptuous of him.
Careless (of take the advantage he leaves. block the easy routes,
routing/encampm open the difficult ones then intercept and capture them.
ent topography)
Lazy remains long in one place, indolent, remiss, unprepared
(approach secretly and strike) [Business: relying upon
old, traditional products]
pg. 57B
Arrogant you can lure him
Grandiose predictable
Showy desiring acclaim
pg. 112B
Reckless he can be killed
Cowardly he can be captured
Quick-Tempered provoked to rage (and not think straight)
Foolish
High Minded too delicate a sense of honor, he can be easily insulted
Soft Hearted he can be harassed

Character Traits to Avoid pg. 114A/112B


Reckless
Cowardly (fearful of consequences)
Quick-tempered Rage and resentment lead to rash
action. pg. 143A
Conscious of
Reputation
Soft Hearted

Points of Observation
Observation: Condition:
an army that sees an advantage but Fatigue
doesn't take it
if troops are clamorous Fearful
if they are disorderly Loss of Prestige of the general
if they are short-tempered Exhausted
with whispered conversation the General has lost the confidence
of the men
The Wise General, pg. 43A - weighs the situations before he moves.
"With many calculations, one can win; with few one cannot." pg. 71A/8B

Be Discerning. There pg. 43A/111A/111B


are:
some roads not to follow
some armies not to be attacked
some cities not to be besieged
some positions not to be contested
some commands of the not to obey (cf. 92B, this can be dangerous to
sovereign your head)

Don't try to defend every square foot. pg. 177A/32B

THE WISE GENERAL -


takes calculated risks but not needless ones
when he sees an he acts swiftly and
opportunity decisively
he is Adaptive and Flexible - Partial avoid absolutes and not rigidly adhere
Modifications or even Complete Change to principles or articles in military
in Plan (pg. 53A) books, 43B

he bases his plan upon not Wishful Thinking,


Reality (pg. 54A/9,28B)
he reads what the enemy says about his (we should have read Hitler's and
own objectives and methods pg. 55A Mao's works)
he is Observant of Details pg. 60A (see also Sherlock Holmes)

Matters a wise General pays strict attention to: pg. 161A


Administration control of many same as the control a few
(organization)
Preparedness confident knowledge and readiness for the enemy
Determination worried about life, placing purpose above life
Prudence not relaxing or getting over confident
Economy sparing in laws and orders so that they are not
vexatious. see also pg. 168A, a prevalent
problem of the modern military

Diplomats must be: pg. 23B


- eloquent
- courageous
- resourceful

APPLICATION TO TROOPS (subordinates) pg. 121-123A


Administration of punishments and rewards must be reliable. pg. 158A
Too frequent rewards indicate desperation by the parent
If punishments are not enforced, you cannot have obedience
Command with civility and imbue them with consistent discipline
Trustworthy rules and requirements lead to obedience
If troops are punished before their loyalty is secured, they will be disobedient. If not obedient, it
will be difficult to employ them. Command them with civility but keep them under control by iron
discipline. pg. 115B

When the general is morally weak and his discipline not strict, when his instructions and
guidance are not enlightened, when there are no consistent rules to guide the officers and men
and when the formations are slovenly, the army is in disorder. pg. 126A/7A/117B

"The general must be the first in the toils and fatigues of the army. In the heat of summer he
does not spread his parasol nor in the cold of winter don thick clothing. In dangerous places he
must dismount and walk. He waits until the army's wells have been dug and only then drinks;
until the army's food is cooked before he eats; until the army's fortifications have been
completed, to shelter himself." pg. 129A

Chang Yu: If one uses kindness exclusively, the troops become like arrogant children and cannot
be employed. Good commanders are both loved and feared. That is all there is to it. pg. 129A

The general lays his own plans with no help (other than information) from the men or officers pg.
136A
Rewards and punishments clearly fixed and equitably administered. Arbitrary terrorism could
not be relied upon to produce the will to fight. pg. 35A Mao outlawed physical brutality. pg. 47A

Anticipate problems and prevent them. pg. 77A


don't be impatient pg. 78A

If a general indulges his troops but is unable to employ them; if he loves them but cannot
enforce his commands; if the troops are disorderly and he is unable to control them, they may be
compared to spoiled children and are useless. pg. 117B

Exterminate superstitions and all talk of luck. pg. 137A/61B/121B

MORALE
Sharp VS Sluggish
Single-Minded VS Homesick
Disciplined VS Disorderly
Serene VS Clamorous
At Rest VS Tired
Fed VS Hungry

VALUABLE CONCEPTS IN WAR


National unity was deemed by Sun Tzu to be an essential requirement of victorious war. This
could be attained only under a government which was devoted to the people's welfare and did
not oppress them. Sun Tzu's theories were based upon benevolence and righteousness. pg. 39A
This is applicable to Business and the family also!!!

Early warfare was characterized by superstitious timing, head on attack, limited pursuit, spoils,
withdrawal. Later this developed into standing armies, officered by professionals, manned by
conscripts who were disciplined, well trained, and preceded by elite shock troops known for their
courage, skill, discipline, and loyalty. (c.500 BC) p33A

Element of the new armies, capable of coordinated movement in accordance with detailed plans,
were responsive to systematic signals. Tactics was born centered around the Normal Force and
the Special Force. Enemy's communications became a primary target. pg. 34-35A
Technological improvements changed the character of war. The crossbow put the
chariot out of business. pg. 36A

Make alliances in order to fight a common enemy. pg. 21B [Business Associations &
Partnerships]
Disrupt the other's alliances. pg. 22B/73B

Mao and Chu Teh realized the need for a literate and well-indoctrinated (trained) force. pg. 47A

Don't leave yourself without an alternative if your strategy fails. pg.


46B [Morrison-Knudsen]

Resolute. The half-hearted attempts of the Nationalist forces failed. pg. 47A
Those deprived of the initiative generally lose. pg. 50A/85B
Defend when your strength is inadequate - Attack when it is abundant

Constant Movement - avoid all passive and inflexible methods pg. 51A/96A {observed
“Apple” vs “MS”}
when the enemy advances, we retreat
when the enemy halts, we harass
when the enemy seeks to avoid we attack;
battle,
when the enemy retreats, we pursue
In the art of war there are no fixed rules. These can only be worked out according to
circumstances. pg. 93A

Some Important Principles:


Overcome the enemy by wisdom and not force alone. pg. 13B
Deception and Surprise- "All warfare is based on deception." pg. 66A

The worst policy is to attack cities. pg. 78A

If weaker numerically, be capable of withdrawing. pg. 80A

Create a situation to which he must conform or respond, entice him with something he is sure to
take, lures of ostensible profit. pg. 93A
those skilled in war are able to bring the enemy to the field of battle and are not brought there
by him. pg. 96A

If I concentrate while he divides, I can use my entire strength to attack a fraction of his.
The enemy must not know where I intend to give battle.
When he prepares everywhere he will be weak everywhere. pg. 98A

Do not repeat your tactics. No fixed formulae for employing troops. pg. 100A/42B/52B/107B
[‘Formula war games’, RED
FLAG]
Focus the attention of the troops pg. 106A

When you see the correct course ACT, don't wait for orders. pg. 112A; {This requires broad
knowledge.}

The good general makes it impossible for the enemy to unite his van and rear; for varied
elements to support each other pg. 133A
Speed is the essence of war, travel by unexpected routes, strike him where he has taken no
precautions. Do not unnecessarily fatigue the troops (extensive travel or unnecessary work),
conserve their strength, unite them in spirit, don't reveal your plans. pg. 134A/120B

When officers and men care only for worldly riches, they will cherish life at all costs. Put them in
a situation with no escape and they will fight with great courage. pg. 135A

Concentrate your forces. pg. 139A


Numbers alone confer no advantage. Moral, intellectual and circumstantial elements of war are
more important.

The decisive influence of LOGISTICS

Principle of Void and Actuality pp. 44B ff/105B ff.

A ruler may bring misfortune upon the army by interfering with its operations and administration.
pg. 8A/ 81A (demonstrated in Vietnam where the State Department chose the strategy, tactics
and even the targets)

Eliminate government monopolies in salt, iron, and liquor. pg. 16A


Ever expanding bureaucracy leads to the science of organization. pg. 28A

EMPLOYMENT OF SECRET AGENTS


Intelligence is worth paying for. pg. 145A

Analogy w/ past events (or tactics) is not sufficient, you must know the enemy’s current
situation. pg. 145A

Look for worthy men who have been wronged or been denied office or rank, those who have
committed error and have been punished, sycophants and minions who are covetous of wealth,
two-faced, changeable, and deceitful fence sitters. Ask how they are doing, reward them.

We leak information which is actually false and allow our agents to learn it. pg. 146A

He who is not sage, wise, humane, and just cannot use secret agents. He who is not delicate and
subtle cannot get the truth out of them. pg. 147A

You must get the names of commanders, staff officers, etc. You must know the men employed
by the enemy, are they wise or stupid, clever or …

Those who do not use local guides (resident experts) are unable to obtain the advantage of the
situation. pg. 104A

MISCELLANEOUS OBSERVATIONS

When aware of the danger, misfortune is kept at a distance. pg. 155A

Fundamental Occupations pg. 24A


Agriculture and Manufacturing
Trade and Distribution
Mining
Transportation
Services
Education
War
Government
The Five Basic Elements- Earth, Wood, Fire, Metal, Water, (Air, Greek) pg. 10A