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The Annotated Art of War (Parts 9.29-31: Thinking)

 

Disciplines > Warfare > The Annotated Art of War > Parts 9.29-31: Thinking

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IX. The Army on the March

 

Sun Tzu said: Commentary
If the enemy's troops march up angrily and remain facing ours for a long time without either joining battle or taking themselves off again, the situation is one that demands great vigilance and circumspection.

Lining up against you without further action is an unusual tactic. It may be done to unsettle you. It may be a precursor to an attack. It may be distraction to gain your attention whilst subterfuge is carried on elsewhere.

Consider the situation with care. Be alert on all fronts. Decide on your next moves with care. This could include waiting them out.

40. If our troops are no more in number than the enemy, that is amply sufficient; it only means that no direct attack can be made. What we can do is simply to concentrate all our available strength, keep a close watch on the enemy, and obtain reinforcements. When you have many tactics at your fingertips, then a direct conflict of two equal forces is wasteful and risky. Better to use your superior skill in other ways.
41. He who exercises no forethought but makes light of his opponents is sure to be captured by them. Always think before acting. Battles are won in the planning, even though the plans may have to vary once battle commences.

If you are not prepared for their moves, then their moves will likely be successful. All it takes is one failure on your part and you lose the battle.

 

 

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