Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Art of War Against ISIS

By Ronald Tiersky  
Ancient Chinese warrior-philosopher Sun Tzu’s slim treatise, “The Art of War,” has been read in military colleges for over two millennia. Immensely influential, its laconic considerations on how to prevail in war provide modern strategists with unexpected points of view.  The key to victory, writes Sun Tzu, is that “[y]ou should take away the energy of their armies, and take away the heart of their generals … When you do battle, it is necessary to kill people, so it is best to win without fighting.  “The best policy is to use strategy, influence, and the trend of events to cause the adversary to submit willingly…Therefore those who win every battle are not really skillful -- those who render others’ armies helpless without fighting are the best of all…” The translator, Thomas Cleary, says “the paradox of ‘The Art of War’ is its opposition to war. And as ‘The Art of War’ wars against war, it does so by its own principles; it infiltrates the enemy’s lines, uncovers the enemy’s secrets, and changes the hearts of the enemy’s troops.”

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