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The Annotated Art of War (Parts 5.19-20: Deceit)

 

Disciplines > Warfare > The Annotated Art of War > Parts 5.19-20: Deceit

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V. Energy

 

Sun Tzu said: Commentary
19. Thus one who is skillful at keeping the enemy on the move maintains deceitful appearances, according to which the enemy will act. He sacrifices something, that the enemy may snatch at it.

Deceit is natural and we have been called the mendacious ape for our tendency towards trickery. It is a skill that, when highly developed, can win wars with little fighting.

It can even be said that all war is deceit.

There is a lot of deceit in business too, from exaggerated advertising to competitive strategy.

20. By holding out baits, he keeps him on the march; then with a body of picked men he lies in wait for him. Baiting is just one form of deceit. By luring the enemy into traps an easy win may be achieved. Ambush is a common and effective tactic.

 

 

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