|13. (1) Which of the
two sovereigns is imbued with the Moral law? (2) Which of the two
generals has most ability? (3) With whom lie the advantages derived
from Heaven and Earth? (4) On which side is discipline most
rigorously enforced? (5) Which army is stronger? (6) On which side
are officers and men more highly trained? (7) In which army is there
the greater constancy both in reward and punishment?
||This uses the
Five Constant Factors to compare both
yourself and your opponents against the same standard. If one of you
has a better understanding of these, then this will confer a huge
understanding. If one has a weakness in just one area, then this is
where attack will be most successful.
morals start from the very top and filter down. What the leader
does, others will copy.
(2) War is not won by fine words and dress, but by cunning and
command. The true ability of generals will only be found out in
(3) Understanding of opposites and geography can be usefully
compared. Beware of enemies who have strength in either.
(4) Discipline is at the root of all action. Even with the finest
strategy, an ill-disciplined force will fail. Build and sustain
discipline from day one.
(5) When two armies are pitted against one another on equal
terrain, the strongest will win. If you are weaker, avoid a direct
fight. If you are stronger, seek it.
(6) Discipline comes out of training. So also does cunning and
knowledge of strategy and tactics. If your enemy's forces are
learning faster than yours, you are in trouble.
(7) Discipline is only effective if it is
of the leaders are only transmitted if they are consistently
displayed. Troops are clearly
when they know that night follows day and consequences follow
|14. By means of these
seven considerations I can forecast victory or defeat.
||In our attempts to
understand the complexity of the world around us, we tend to
simplify. This is both natural and potentially very dangerous. Although this is a
simple model, it takes a deeper
understanding of the many sub-factors to make such forecasts.
It is always a good exercise to use such models to compare both
yourself and the other side against such models. Although this will
not tell you everything, it can tell you much, especially where you
have a weakness.
Always remember that the other side may also have read Sun Tzu
and be applying his advice.