The Art of War: Lessons Forgotten?July 3, 2007
For a nation at war, the lessons seem painfully clear. From the text…
Seek quick victory;
Engage in campaigns that are swift,
Even if they are clumsy as a result.
Protracted war exhausts resources and reduces morale.
If a protracted war should occur,
People will try to take advantage —
No leader will be able to prevent the calamities that follow.
Seek to take an enemy’s country intact rather than destroy it.
Seek to capture an enemy’s armies rather than destroy them.
To fight and conquer is not excellent strategy.
Excellent strategy is to achieve victory without violence.
The skillful leader embraces moral purpose,
And applies it through method and policy.
It is his means to victory.
The application of these principles has changed much since the early days of the present conflict. It seems that many of the lessons were well-applied in the early tactical thinking. But if such principles ever drove the grander strategic vision, how much remains now amidst the smoke and the blood?