1. Honorable Chief Instructor, Respected Directing Staff and Members: What happened to Americans in Vietnam could not have happened, as it came about. Kargil conflict could have ended differently. First and Second World Wars would not have been waged as they were conducted and millions of people obliterated unnecessarily would have lived out their lives. But how? To validate what I just said, I’ll quote one of the verses of the personality that we’ll be presenting today: “ Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”
This was written by Sun Tzu in China around two and a half thousand years ago in his extraordinary book ‘The Art of War’. Today, we shall endeavor to present the all time classic work of Sun Tzu who has been revered as the sage of warfare. The sequence of our presentation will be as flashed on the screen.
Gentlemen, in next 45 minutes Shahzad and I will present the Ideas and Strategies of Sun Tzu. The sequence of our presentation will be as flashed. Having given the introduction, I will present the biographical sketch on the personality, and will then cover the salient features of his ideas and strategies. Later, Sqn Ldr Shahzad will dilate upon the impact of his ideas on the conduct of war and will also validate his ideas and doctrine to modern times. In the end he shall conclude by establishing Sun Tzu’s place in history and the panel will then be available to take the questions.
GM, Sun Tzu, is also known as Sun Wu and Sun Zi. In Chinese language "Sun Tzu" means "Master Sun". His surname was Sun. Born in fifth century BC, he was a native of the northern state of Ch'i of ancient China. His date of death is not known. However, it is estimated that he died before the year 473 BC. In fact very little is known about his life. He is best known in the history for his magnificent inscriptions on ‘The Art of war.’
By means of his book ‘the art of war’ Sun Tzu secured an audience with the King of Wu, whose name was Ho Lu. The king said to Sun Tzu, “I have read your thirteen chapters. May I put your theory of managing the soldiers to a slight test? And the soldiers would be women.” Sun Tzu replied in affirmative. Arrangements were made to bring 180 ladies out of the palace.
Sun Tzu divided them into two companies and placed one of the king’s favorite concubines at the head of each company. He then taught them the basics of drill, with halberds in their hands. He trained them on movements like face left, right, front, and back on respective words of command. On his first command to turn right, the girls broke into laughter. Sun Tzu patiently said if the words of command are not clear and distinct, or if the instructions are not understood, it is the mistake of general. So he explained them the drill movements again and then gave them another command to turn left. The girls again broke into laughter. Sun Tzu said if the orders are clear but the soldiers disobey, it is the fault of their officers. He ordered that the leaders of the two companies be beheaded. The king intervened to save his favorite concubines. But Sun Tzu said “Having once received his majesty’s commission to be general of these troops there are certain commands which in this capacity I am unable to accept”. The two girls were then beheaded. Sun Tzu then appointed the next pair in order, as leaders in their place. Soldiers were now given the command and the obedience was complete.
Sun Tzu was appointed by the king, as general of his army. China at that time was not a unified empire, but a group of small states divided into dozens of principalities. These states were all at war among each other and were known as the warring states. Ch’i and Wu were more prominent among these warring states. China at that time was going through transitional stage from slave society to a feudalistic system. Sun Tzu while serving as King Ho Lu’s Commander in Chief was able to put the fear of Wu state and Ho Lu’s authority into its neighbors and flourished as an aggressive general. In the west he defeated the Ch’u state; in north he put fear into the states of Ch’i and Ts’in and later defeated both the states. For almost two decades, the armies of Wu gained victories over their enemies. Sometime in this period Sun Tzu died and the King of Wu also got killed in a battle. And by 473 BC the armies of Wu were defeated and the kingdom was made extinct.
Sun Tzu wrote the Chinese classic, “P ing-Fa”, that is, “ The Art of War” , which is one of the earliest known compilations of military theory and strategy. It provided the principal doctrine for Chinese warfare and heavily influenced the Japanese.
“ The Art of War” was brought to Japan during the eight century AD and established its success among the military elite. A Jesuit missionary (Father Amiot) to Peking was the first to translate his work into French and published it in Paris in 1782. There is a legend that this little book was Napolean’s key to success. He used the Sun Tzu’s treatise to conquer most of the Europe. Later, t he translations in German, Russian, Italian and several other languages were carried-out. The first English translation by the name of “ The Art of Modern Warfare” was published in 1905. Thus little was known about SunTzu to the western world until the start of the twentieth century.
GM Sun Tzu’s work is universal in nature. Unlike other ancient doctrines, his work does not focus on specific tactics or techniques; it can be updated with changing technology. Some of the basic tenants of the “The Art of War” are To prepare adequate defenses to repel any attack To seek ways to defeat the enemy without engaging him in battle. Follow the enemy situation in order to decide on battle Presently the book is used as a text or reference book in a number of military academies, research institutes, and business enterprises around the world.
Gentlemen Sun Tzu said and I quote, “The art of war is of vital importance to the state. It is a matter of life or death, a road to survival or to ruin. Hence it is mandatory that it be thoroughly studied”, I unquote.
I will now give the salient features of Ideas and strategies given by Sun Tzu in the thirteen chapters of his book the Art of war. The thirteen chapters are flashed on the screen Appraisals Waging War Offensive Strategy Dispositions Energy Weaknesses and Strengths Manoeuvre Nine Variables Marches Terrain Nine Grounds Act by Fire, and Secret Agents
War according to Sun Tzu has to be preceded by appraisals or estimates done with extreme care. The five fundamental factors that he considers while laying plans are:- (a) Moral Law (b) Weather (c) Terrain (d) Commander & (e) Doctrine
By moral law he means, “The law which causes the people to be in complete harmony with their leader, so that they accompany him in life unto death, without fear of mortal perils”
By weather he implies the interaction of natural forces; like the effects of winter’s cold and summer’s heat and the conduct of military operations accordingly. I must mention here that Napoleon when failed to follow Sun Tzu’s rules lost most of his army due to the extreme hardships of weather in Russia
By Terrain he means Whether the ground is traversed with ease or difficulty; Whether the distances are great or small; Whether the places are dangerous or secure Whether the lands are open or constricted And also the chances of life or death on a terrain
It’s the appraisal of Commander’s qualities of Wisdom, Sincerity, Humanity, Courage and Firmness which are instrumental in achieving the end results
And lastly among the appraisals, Doctrine means organization and control, assignment of appropriate ranks to officers, regulation of supply routes and provision of principal items used by army
Sun Tzu was a man of great vision and strategic thoughts. His written work is full of thoughts which seem very simple yet applicable. He says Victory is the main object in war. If this is prolonged, weapons are blunted and morale is depressed.
Gentlemen, Sun Tzu has said that he is against the idea of long wars, as long wars tend to wear down the reserves and logistics. He has said No country has ever benefited from prolonged war. On waging war he also writes that, “Speed and swiftness is the essence of victory”. He emphasizes that professional soldiers do not require much provisions and conscripts should not be employed for war. He has also laid emphasis on how to close the war and says Rapidity is of supreme importance in bringing it to a close.
He has also especially mentioned about the treatment of prisoners and says, “ Treat the captives well and care for them”.
Sun Tzu looks at offensive strategy in a prudent manner. He is of the view that all available sources of the state should be used to wage war against the enemy. And calls it the Stratagem. He says that it is important to attack enemy’s strategy and plans. Next is to disrupt his alliances and then to attack his army. He said The best policy is to take a state intact; to ruin it is inferior to this
Sun Tzu said that, “Those skilled in war, subdue the enemy’s army without fighting. They capture his cities without assaulting them and over throw his state without protracted operations” Sun Tzu has also said Know the enemy and know yourself and in hundred battles you will never be in danger
Sun Tzu talks about disposition in different situations of offence and defense. He says, “Invincibility lies in defence, the possibility of victory in attack. He also says that Tactical disposition of the army depends mainly upon the commander’s assessment of the situation. He takes up a position in which he cannot be defeated and misses no opportunity to master his enemy. Thus, “A victorious army wins its victories before seeking battle, an army destined to defeat fights in the hope of winning”. He says, those skilled in war, cultivate humanity and justice, and preserve laws and therefore formulate victorious policies. Here by mentioning preservation of laws he means the preservation of institutes of a system of government
Sun Tzu has dedicated a full chapter to energy. By energy he means force, influence and authority which is exercised in war by the commander. He talks about regiments, groups and brigades and says that, “ To control many is the same as to control few through formations and signals. Sun Tzu has talked of normal force and extra ordinary force in order to achieve victory in war. He talks of using force with timing to express energy on to the enemy. He expresses use of force by saying, “When torrential water tosses the rocks it is because of its momentum. And, “When the strike of a hawk breaks the body of its prey, it is because of timing”.
Comparing skills of a warrior to torrential water and the hawk he says Momentum of one skilled in war is overwhelming, and his attack precisely regulated, and that His potential is that of a fully drawn crossbow; his timing, the release of the trigger
Sun Tzu believes in exploiting the weaknesses of his enemy and utilizing own strengths for victory. Speaking in this regard he says, If enemy is at ease, be able to exhaust him If enemy is well fed, be able to starve him If enemy is settled, be able to move him Appear at places to which enemy must rush to defend Rush to places where he least expects
About utilizing his own strengths he says, An army is like water; just as flowing water avoids heights and hastens to the lowlands, so an army avoids the enemy strength and strikes the weakness He has further emphasized this by saying One able to gain victory by modifying its tactics in accordance with the enemy situation may be said to be divine
Sun Tzu talks of manoeuvre. “It is essential to be able to deceive the enemy by speed and diversion. He mentions about the concept of signaling by flags and torches during day and night. He talks about dispersion and concentration of force to achieve deception. He also talks of morale and suggests to attack when enemy morale is low. He also cautions not to attack when the enemy is organized and advancing. Based on these principles Sun Tzu has stressed to assess the ground reality and to leave some space for a surrounded enemy to escape otherwise the enemy will get desperate and will fight well to reverse the situation
Talking of manoeuvre he says that such is art of manoeuvring that, “He who knows the art of the direct and the indirect approach will be victorious.
Sun Tzu talks about the nine variables of ground which have to be considered by a general before engaging his troops in battle. Prediction of ground and associated problems form an important aspect in any battle. A general must be conversant with these variables. These are:- (a) Not to encamp in low lying ground. (b) On communicating ground unite with your allies. (c) On Isolated ground do not linger. (d) On enclosed ground resourcefulness is required. (e) On death ground, fight.
(f) Some roads are not to follow. (g) Some troops not to strike. (h) Some cities not to assault and (j) Some ground is not to be contested. Based on these nine variables he also says that there are occasions when the commands of the sovereign need not be obeyed.
Sun Tzu considers marches as the advance by the army for battle. Since 2500 years ago there were no mechanized forces therefore the concept of long expeditious marches and selection of battle ground was essential for achieving tactical disposition against your enemy. These concepts are still valid and applicable in any battle. Some of these concepts are:- - encamp on high ground - Fight down hill - When attacking, let half the enemy forces cross the river and then cut him to size
- After crossing a river move away quickly - prefer high ground to low and take position upstream - Keep height to your rear and right and battle in the front He lays great emphasis on reading the ground and deduces different conclusions from it.
Sun Tzu has stressed on foresight in order to judge the enemy and says, “ He who lacks foresight and under estimates his enemy will surely be captured by him”.
Terrains have been classified by Sun Tzu into six types of lands as per their nature, These are Accessible Land –in which both we and enemy can traverse with equal ease. The one who first takes the high sunny positions convenient to his supply routes can fight advantageously. Entrapping Land – where it is easy to get out but difficult to return. Indecisive Land – where its equally disadvantageous to both the sides.
Fourth type of terrain is the Constricted Land – Where If you first occupy the ground you must block the passes and await the enemy Precipitous Land – On such ground one must take position on the sunny heights and await the enemy. If he first occupies the ground one should lure him by marching off. Do not follow the enemy on such ground. Distant Land – When at a distance from the enemy of equal strength, it is difficult to provoke battle and is unprofitable to engage him in his chosen position.
In respect to the employment of troops the ground is classified by Sun Tzu as Dispersive Ground – When a feudal lord fights in his own territory Frontier Ground – When a shallow penetration has been made into enemy territory Key Ground – Equally advantageous for both sides Communicating Ground – Equally accessible for both sides Focal Ground – When a state is enclosed by three other states
Sixth type of ground is Serious Ground – When penetrated deep into hostile territory Difficult Ground – Hard places like swamps, marshlands, mountains, forests etc Encircled Ground – Where access is constricted and even small enemy force can strike Death Ground – Where army fights with the courage of desperation
Sun Tzu was more inclined towards the acts of fire or the guerilla warfare than the direct battle. Some of his principles of act by fire are to hide in inaccessible places where regular troops can not follow. Travel lightly and pay no attention to weather conditions like rain, heat, dust or blizzards. and Exhaust the enemy while pursuing.
Camouflage well and vary your locations frequently. And Lastly, learn to move at night, darkness is your friend.
Sun Tzu said one must remain clear of the fact that Foreknowledge cannot be obtained from spirits, nor from gods, nor by analogy with past events, nor from calculations. It must be obtained from men who know the enemy situation
Sun Tzu appreciates the need to have a system of obtaining and confirming strategic intelligence of a potential adversary. About foreknowledge of enemy he speaks of using 5 types of agents: (a) Native Agents. They are the local inhabitants of the area. (b) Inside Agents. They are the grieved or rejected enemy officials who can be employed for espionage. (c) Doubled Agents. They are the enemy agents used for our own purposes by giving them heavy bribes. (d) Expendable Agents. They are our own spies deliberately utilized to leak false or fabricated information to deceive the enemy. (e) Living Agents. They are again our own clever, talented, tough and loyal spies, who are trained to gain access to the enemy and bring back true useful information.
About secrecy Sun Tzu said “If plans relating to a secret operation are prematurely divulged, then the agents and all those in knowledge should be put to death”. GM, This brings me to the end of part I
I shall now hand over the proceedings to Sqn Ldr Shahzad who shall cover the remaining portion of the presentation as per the sequence flashed.
GM Sun Tzu’s ideas have a profound impact on the conduct of war which he tried himself in various battles and which are applicable to the present era. His Ideas could be organized in seven categories, which are Doctrine Strategy Operations Tactics Deception Limited war Victory
About doctrine, Sun Tzu said that Every state must have a war doctrine of her own in order to defend itself from external aggression. Sun Tzu rightly says, “ It is a doctrine of war not to assume the enemy will not come, but rather to rely on readiness to meet him; not to presume that he will not attack, but rather to make one’s self invincible”.
To fight all wars you have to devise a strategy therefore, you have to be prepared for war all the time. Sun Tzu dictates that, “ when the enemy concentrates, prepare against him, where he is strong avoid him. “ Anger his general and confuse him”. Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance so that he may be misled. Sun Tzu also says that if you can manage, “Keep your enemy under strain and wear him down”. “ When he is united, divide him by spreading suspicion”. “ Attack him where he is unprepared, go forth when he does not expect you”.
Speaking on waging war Sun Tzu talks about operational preparedness, swiftness of operations Speed and emphasizes that operations should have specific aims According to him, “ Victory is the main object in war. If it is delayed, weapons are blunted and morale depressed, when troops attack cities, their strength will be exhausted”. Thus the emphasis on the fact that operations should have specific aims.
In war tactics and numbers matter a lot. Sun Tzu talks about the use of forces in different numbers through varied tactics. Dilating on this he says, When ten to enemy’s one surround him. When five times his strength attack him, If double his strength divide him If equally matched you may engage him, But if weaker numerically, be capable of withdrawing And if unequal, be capable of eluding him
GM Sun Tzu says that all warfare is based on deception therefore, “ When capable, pretend incapacity, “ active inactivity” also, “ When near, make it appear that you are far away and when far, that you are near”, and, “ Offer the enemy a bait to lure him, feign disorder and strike him”
Sun Tzu is in favour of limited and short war and does not profess long protracted wars because he says the state should not be subjected to long protracted wars. He writes, “When the army engages in protracted campaigns, the resources of the state will not suffice”. He also says, “War demands victory, not prolonged operations”, and Therefore the general who understands war, is the master of the peoples fate and arbiter of the nation”.
GM victory in war can be predicted by five circumstances. Sun Tzu says “ He who knows when to fight and when not to fight, will be victorious”. “ He who knows the use of small and large forces, will be victorious”. He whose ranks are united in purpose, will be victorious. He who is prudent and lies in wait for weak enemy, will be victorious”. Lastly, “He whose generals are able and not hindered by the sovereign, will be victorious”.
Sun Tzu says there are five dangerous qualities of a general which are to be watched for. These are (a) A general should not be Reckless (b) Should not be Coward (c) Should not be Short tempered (d) Should not have Delicate sense of honour and lastly (f) Should not be Compassionate
To highlight these qualities of a general, Sun Tzu says “ The ruin of army and the death of the general are inevitable results of these short comings. These must be deeply pondered”.
Gentlemen, No general or Chief of staff in China’s history could afford to ignore Sun Tzu’s doctrine. Well known generals of the past such as Sun Bin, Zhang Liang, Han Xin, Cao Cao, and many others followed Sun Tzu and used to quote him frequently. In the 20th century, Mao Tse Tung also highly praised Sun Tzu’s Art of War. Most of Mao’s military writings are based on the concepts of Sun Tzu. In fact it was Mao’s genius which interpreted Sun Tzu’s thoughts as principles of strategy on warfare. The golden rules given by Mao were “ Fight no battle un-prepared and fight no battle you are not sure of winning”. Influenced by Sun Tzu regarding re-enforcement he said “ Replenish strength with arms and personnel captured from the enemy”.
Gentlemen, I will now validate Sun Tzu’s ideas and doctrine to modern times. For this purpose I shall discuss four military encounters to highlight applicability of his philosophies to modern warfare.
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Sun Tzu wrote, “When the enemy speaks in the humble tone, he continues his preparations and will advance”.
On December 7 1941, at 1 pm Japanese diplomats were to arrive in USA for peace in the Pacific. At approximately the same hour the Japanese started bombing on Pearl Harbor. The Japanese had used SunTzu tactics but simultaneously violated his basic strategy i.e., “ When you are ignorant of the enemy but you know yourself, the chances of winning or losing the battle are equal”. The Japanese overestimated themselves and knew far less about the American potential.
Sun Tzu said, “ To be certain to take what you attack, attack the place where enemy does not protect. And this is what happened during Inchon landing operation by the US Forces during Korean war.
To break the deadlock in the battle at Pusan, General MacArthur along with his Chief of Staff Major General Edward drew plans to attack the North Korean Army from the rear. They conceived an audacious plan - a surprise thrust operation from the west coast to be launched by an amphibious landing at Inchon. Thus, MacArthur achieved surprise by landing his forces on a difficult landing site and that too when the timing for landing was critical due to high tide and rough sea.
Sun Tzu sees war as being the matter of deception and the attainment of psychological dominance. In Vietnam it was hot, dark and wet, the language was strange and the foe was not easily distinguishable from friend. General Giap, the leader of North Vietnamese forces, together with Ho Chi Minh were main architects of victory over the Americans. During the Tet Offensive they learnt that American public was unwilling to tolerate large number of dead whereas the Vietnamese were ready to take the losses. This was a psychological turning point and led to the American evacuation from Vietnam.
In the Soviet-Afghan war the Soviets were unfamiliar with the terrain and they under estimated the will of their opponent. The Afghans knew their country well and displayed guerilla warfare tactics much similar to Sun Tzu’s teaching against an enemy which was equipped with superior weapons having poor knowledge about the terrain. The result was withdrawal of the soviet forces and ultimately collapse of the Soviet infrastructure.
I’ll now establish Sun Tzu’s place in history
GM Acknowledging importance of Sun Tzu doctrine, Field Marshal Montgomery during his visit to China in early 1960s, said, “A compulsory course on Sun Tzu’s strategic thoughts be established in all the military academies throughout the world”.
Gentlemen, In order to establish Sun Tzu’s place in the annals of history, I will now compare him with renowned strategists Jomini and Clausewitz.
All the three great thinkers have had a profound influence on war. Jomini personified the intellectual developments emanating from the Napoleonic era. His writings influenced the result of American Civil War and saw the development of the basic pattern of modern development procedures. Clauswitz influence is clearly perceptible in the First and Second World Wars, where violence was taken to its ultimate pitch. Sun Tzu’s military thoughts have influenced Chinese warfare for more than two thousand years. Most of Mao Tse Tong’s military writings on a closer examination reveal concepts of The Art of War. The Japanese military leadership in the first and Second World Wars also remained focused on Sun Tzu’s thoughts.
For Jomini, war forms a part of the existence of man, instead of trying to find a meaning to war, he tried to discover the secrets behind the art of waging war. For Clauswitz, war and violence are a corollary. He states, “War is an act of violence intended to compel our opponents to fulfill our will. Whereas For Sun Tzu war is not a transitory observation but a recurrent conscious act and, therefore, requires a rational analysis and is not to be fought thoughtlessly or recklessly.
Jomini relates between policy and war by advocating the true Napoleonic tradition of singularity of command, wherein the sovereign and the general are one. Here Jomini fails to understand the inability of one man to be able to handle the complexities of two roles. Clauswitz writes, “War is not to be regarded as an independent thing but as apolitical instrument” However, Sun Tzu clearly defines the relationship between policy and war by saying that, “ The decision to go to war is to be made by the sovereign after necessary deliberations. He however says, “There should be no interference by the sovereign after the war has been declared”.
Skip Slide – time management Jomini recognized that there were two forms of warfare, the offence and the defence. Each is to be considered by its own merits. Clauswitz stresses that defence is the stronger form of warfare. He states, “Almost the only advantage which the defence possesses is the effect of surprise at the opening of the scene.” Sun Tzu does not state whether the defensive or offensive is the stronger form of warfare. He wrote, “Whether to attack or defend must be decided by circumstances”.
Jomini taught Napoleon’s method to the world which brought victory in the American Civil War, but as conditions changed these methods became outdated. Clauswitz does not dwell much on the forms and methods of war. Sun Tzu says, ”Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances”. Tactics are learnt and taught to the succeeding generations but the strategy out of which victory evolves is rarely passed down.
Surprise to Jomini was in terms of time and space. Clausewitz said that surprise lies at the foundation of all undertakings. He strongly advocates that surprise is the most powerful element in victory. Sun Tzu also states that all warfare is based on deception. A skilled general when capable feigns incapacity. When active, inactivity When near, he makes it appear that he is far away, when far away that he is near”.
Jomini on the other hand was fully aware of the psychological and moral aspect of war but does not talk much about it. Clauswitz had a deeper insight into psychological and moral aspect. He said, ”War is a battle of opposing wills-hence the breaching of enemy’s will should be the object of war”. He scoffs at the idea of ’war’ without blood. To Sun Tzu, the moral aspect was the most important. He states, “The primary target in war is the mind of the opposing commander”. To him this is to be done with sheer speed and swiftness. This speed was to create paralysis in the mind of enemy and cause a psychological collapse, which would allow a quick and decisive campaign.
In Jomini terrain is lumped into the type of Napoleonic tactics, though he under stood the importance of it but does not elaborate much. Clausewitz developed a complete chapter in his book, On War. He wrote, “ Geography and the character of ground bear a close and ever present relation to warfare. They have a decisive influence on engagement, both as to its course and its planning and exploitation”. Sun Tzu devotes three chapters to emphasize on various perspectives for consideration of terrain in military planning and operations. According to him “ A general who is unable to use ground properly is unfit for command”.
Efficient espionage coupled with aggressive reconnaissance was Jomini’s formula for obtaining vital information of the enemy upon which a commander could have his battle plan. Clausewitz has not covered the subject in detail Sun Tzu gives a lot of importance to intelligence and the use of secret agents. He says, “What enables the wise sovereign and the good general to strike, conquer, and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men, is foreknowledge”.
Stratagem is something unique to Sun Tzu. It is a concept which is not found in the western theory of war. To Sun Tzu violence in war was a means of the last resort. He says, “In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy’s country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy is not so profitable. He then elaborates, “ The skilful leader subdues the enemy troops without fighting; he captures their cities without laying siege to them, he overthrows their kingdom without any lengthy operations in the field…..With his forces intact his triumph will be complete.” He says this is the method of attacking by stratagem”.
Jomini considers the destruction of the enemy’s armed forces and the capture of territory as the aim of war. Clausewitz never grasped that the true aim of war is peace and not victory. Nowhere does he consider the influence of violence on eventual peace. Sun Tzu warned against such warfare and was totally against prolonged war. He said, “There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare”. He emphasized that war should be declared only as a last resort and once it is declared the campaign should be swift.
As a practitioner Jomini was never given command of a division in his entire life. What he wrote of war was from the view point of an observer. Clausewitz throughout his distinguished career was never given command of a division. Thus he could not validate his theories through practice. Sun Tzu has a unique distinction of having put to test his own theories on war. So, Sun Tzu is probably the only person in history who wrote a treatise on war and had the opportunity to prove his own theories through practice.
Gentlemen to conclude, I must say that Sun Tzu, the pioneer of the ageless principles, enjoys the reputation of being the oldest strategist. The strategies described by the Sun Tzu are as much relevant today as they were two thousand five hundred years ago. Gentlemen, wars, among states can be avoided if the leaders tailor their strategies according to Sun Tzu’s teachings. Though ages have passed but the theme and principles laid by the great strategist are practical, and hence applicable in the present day warfare. In the end I would like to quote Sun Tzu for the last time, I quote “ if you know yourself and you know the enemy you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” I unquote Thank you and now we will be available for your questions after a short while.
The spirit of the ‘nations in Arms’ was exemplified by Napoleonic armies of France. Jomini interpreted this in terms of the morale factor. He considered that a nation frenzied on war raised the morale of the fighting troops and brought victories like those of Napoleon. Clausewitz put forward the concept of Absolute War in which the entire resources of a nation, specially the human resources, geared up for the execution of war. A war in which violence could be taken to its extreme limits. Sun Tzu’s era was more humane era of warfare. It was an era in which armies fought but the populace was not much affected by the wars.
Sun tzu presentation
SUN TZU SCOPE• Introduction• Biographical Sketch• Salient Features of His Ideas and Strategies• Impact of His Ideas on Conduct of War• Validity of His Ideas and Doctrine to Modern Times• Place in History 1
Introduction“Supreme excellence consists in breakingthe enemy’s resistance without fighting” 2
SequenceAdnan • Introduction • Biographical Sketch • Salient Features of His Ideas and StrategiesShahzad • Impact of His Ideas on Conduct of War • Validity of His Ideas and Doctrine to Modern Times • Place in History 4
Biographical SketchIf the words of command are not clearand distinct, or if the instructions are notunderstood, it is the mistake of generalHaving once received his majesty’scommission to be general of thesetroops, there are certain commands,which in this capacity, I am unable toacceptIf the orders are clear but the soldiersdisobey, it is the fault of their officers 8
Ideas and Strategies“ The art of war is of vitalimportance to the state. Itis a matter of life or death, aroad to survival or to ruin.Hence it is mandatory that itbe thoroughly studied.” Sun Tzu 14
Ideas and Strategies1. Appraisals 7. Manoeuvre2. Waging War 8. Nine Variables3. Offensive 9. Marches Strategy 10. Terrain4. Dispositions 11. Nine Grounds5. Energy 12. Act by Fire6. Weaknesses and Strengths 13. Secret Agents 15
Appraisals• Moral Law• Weather• Terrain• Commande r• Doctrine 16
Appraisals• Moral Law To be in complete• Weather harmony with their leader, so that they• Terrain accompany him in life unto death, without fear• Commande of mortal perils r• Doctrine 17
Appraisals• Moral Law Interaction of natural• Weather forces; the effects of winter’s cold and• Terrain summer’s heat and the• Commande conduct of military operations accordingly r• Doctrine 18
Appraisals• Moral Law• Weather • Ground – Ease or Difficulty • Distances – Great or Small• Terrain • Places – Dangerous or• Commande Secure • Lands – Open or Constricted r • Chances – Life or Death• Doctrine 19
Appraisals• Moral Law • Organization & Control• Weather • Assignment of appropriate ranks to• Terrain officers• Commande • Maintenance of supply routes r • Provision of principal• Doctrine items used by army 21
Waging War“Victory is the main object inwar. If this is prolonged,weapons are blunted andmorale is depressed” 22
Waging War• No country has ever benefited from prolonged war• Speed and swiftness is the essence of victory• Rapidity is of supreme importance in bringing it to a close 23
Waging War“Treat your captiveswell and care for them” 24
Offensive Strategy• All the available resources of the state should be used to wage war against the enemy• It is important to attack enemy’s strategy and plans. Next to disrupt his alliances and then to attack his army• The best policy is to take a state intact; to ruin it is inferior to this 25
Offensive Strategy• Those skilled in war subdue the enemy without fighting. They capture his cities without assaulting them and over throw his state without protracted operations• Know the enemy and know yourself; in hundred battles you will never be in danger 26
Dispositions• Invincibility lies in defence; the possibility of victory in attack• A victorious army wins its victories before seeking battle; an army destined to defeat, fights in the hope of winning• Those skilled in war, cultivate humanity and justice, and preserve laws and therefore formulate victorious policies 27
Energy• To control many is the same as to control few through formations and signals Force, influence and• When the torrential water authority which it isexercised tosses the rocks, is because in its momentum of war by the commander• When the strike of a hawk breaks the body of its prey, it is because of its timing 28
Energy• Momentum of one skilled in war is overwhelming, and his attack precisely regulated• His potential is that of a fully drawn crossbow; his timing, the release of the trigger 29
Weaknesses & Strengths• If enemy is at ease, be able to exhaust him• If enemy is well fed, be able to starve him• If enemy is settled, be able to move him• Appear at places to which enemy must rush to defend• Rush to places where he least expects 30
Weaknesses & Strengths• An army is like water; just as flowing water avoids heights and hastens to the lowlands, so an army avoids the enemy strength and strikes the weakness• One able to gain victory by modifying his tactics in accordance with the enemy situation, may be said to be divine 31
Manoeuvre• Speed and diversion• Dispersion and concentration of force to achieve deception• Attack when enemy morale is low• Do not attack when enemy is organized and advancing 32
Manoeuvre“He who knows the art of thedirect and the indirectapproach will be victorious” 33
The Nine Variables1. Not to encamp in low lying ground2. On communicating ground, unite with your allies3. On isolated ground, do not linger4. On enclosed ground, resourcefulness is needed5. On death ground, fight 34
The Nine Variables6. Some roads, not to follow7. Some troops, not to strike8. Some cities, not to assault9. Some grounds, not to be contested 35
Marches1. Encamp on high ground2. Fight downhill3. When attacking, let half the enemy cross the river and then cut him to size 36
Marches4. After crossing a river move away quickly5. Prefer high ground and take position upstream6. Keep height to your rear and right and battle in the front 37
Marches“He who lacks foresight and under estimates his enemy will surely be captured by him” 38
Terrains• Accessible Land – Enemy can traverse with equal ease• Entrapping Land – Easy to get out but difficult to return• Indecisive Land – Ground equally disadvantageous to both sides 39
Terrains• Constricted Land – Block the passes and await the enemy• Precipitous Land– Take position on the sunny heights and await the enemy• Distant Land – When at a distance from the enemy of equal strength, it is difficult to provoke battle and unprofitable to engage him in his chosen position 40
Nine Grounds• Dispersive Ground – When a feudal lord fights in his own territory• Frontier Ground – When a shallow penetration has been made into enemy territory• Key Ground – Equally advantageous for both sides• Communicating Ground – Equally accessible for both sides• Focal Ground – When a state is enclosed by three other states 41
Nine Grounds• Serious Ground – When penetrated deep into hostile territory• Difficult Ground – Hard places like swamps, marshlands, mountains, forests etc• Encircled Ground – Where access is constricted and even small enemy force can strike• Death Ground – Where army fights with the courage of desperation 42
Act by Fire• Hide in inaccessible places• Travel lightly & pay no attention to weather• Exhaust the enemy while pursuing 43
Act by Fire• Camouflage well• Vary your locations frequently• Learn to move at night 44
Secret AgentsForeknowledge cannot beobtained from spirits, nor fromgods, nor by analogy with pastevents, nor from calculations.It must be obtained from menwho know the enemy situation 45
Secret Agents• Native Agents – Local inhabitants of the area• Inside Agents – Grieved or rejected enemy officials• Doubled Agents – Enemy agents used through heavy bribes• Expendable Agents – Own agents deliberately employed to leak fabricated information to deceive enemy• Living Agents – Own clever, talented, tough and loyal agents, who are trained to gain access to the enemy and bring back true useful information 46
Secret Agents“If plans relating to a secret operation are prematurely divulged, then the agents and all those in knowledge should be put to death” 47
SequenceSqn Ldr • IntroductionAdnan • Biographical Sketch • Salient Features of His Ideas and StrategiesSqn Ldr • Impact of His Ideas onShahzad Conduct of War • Validity of His Ideas and Doctrine to Modern Times • Place in History 48
Impact on Conduct of War• Doctrine• Strategy• Operations• Tactics• Deception• Limited War• Victory 50
Impact on Conduct of War • Every state must have a war• Doctrine doctrine of her own to defend• Strategy against external aggression• Operations • It is a doctrine of war not to• Tactics assume the enemy will not• Deception come but rather to rely on readiness to meet him; not to• Limited War presume that he will not• Victory attack, but rather to make oneself invincible 51
Impact on Conduct of War • When enemy concentrates,• Doctrine prepare against him• Strategy • Anger his general and• Operations confuse him• Tactics • Keep him under strain to• Deception wear him down• Limited War • When united divide him• Victory • Attack him where he is unprepared 52
Impact on Conduct of War • Operational preparedness• Doctrine • Swiftness• Strategy • Speed • Operations should have• Operations specific aims• Tactics • Victory is the main object• Deception in war. If it is delayed• Limited War weapons are blunted and morale depressed, when• Victory troops attack cities, their strength will be exhausted 53
Impact on Conduct of War • When ten to enemy’s one, surround him• Doctrine • When five times his• Strategy strength, attack him• Operations • If double the strength,• Tactics divide him • If equally matched, you• Deception may engage him• Limited War • If weaker numerically, be• Victory capable of withdrawing • If unequal, be capable of eluding him 54
Impact on Conduct of War• Doctrine • When capable, pretend• Strategy incapacity; when active,• Operations inactivity • When near, make it• Tactics appear that you are far• Deception away; when far that you• Limited War are near • Offer the enemy a bait to• Victory lure him, pretend disorder and strike him 55
Impact on Conduct of War• Doctrine• Strategy• Operations • Protracted campaigns, lead• Tactics to insufficient resources• Deception • War demands victory, not• Limited War prolonged operations• Victory • Master of the people’s fate and arbiter of the nation 56
Impact on Conduct of War• Doctrine • He who knows when to fight and when not to fight• Strategy • He who knows the use of• Operations small and large forces• Tactics • He whose ranks are united in• Deception purpose• Limited War • Prudent and lies in wait for a weak enemy• Victory • Able Generals not hindered by the sovereign 57
Art of GeneralshipDangerous Qualities • Reckless • Coward • Short tempered • Delicate sense of honour • Compassionate 58
Art of Generalship“The ruin of army and the death of the general are inevitable results of these shortcomings. These must be deeply pondered” 59
Impact on Leadership“Fight no battle unprepared and fight no battle you are not sure of winning”“Replenish strength with arms and personnel captured from the enemy” 60
Validity of His Ideas andDoctrine to Modern Times 61
War in Pacific“When the enemyspeaks in the humbletone, he continues hispreparation and willadvance” 65
War in Pacific• December 7, 1941• Japanese bombing on Pearl Harbour“When you are ignorant of the enemybut you know yourself; the chances ofwinning or losing the battle are equal” 66
Korean War“To be certain to take what youattack, attack the place whereenemy does not protect” 67
Place in History“A compulsory course onSun Tzu’s strategicthoughts be established inall the military academiesthroughout the world” Field Marshal Montgomery 72
Comparison with other strategistsJomini Clausewitz Sun Tzu 73
Influence• Jomini – American civil war• Clausewitz – World Wars I and II• Sun Tzu – Chinese warfare 74
Concept of War• War forms a part of existence of man Jomini• Discovered secrets behind art of waging war Clausewitz• War and violence : A corollary• War is an act of violence to compel the enemy to fulfill our will• War is a recurrent conscious act Sun Tzu• Requires a rational analysis• Not to be fought thoughtlessly or recklessly 75
Relationship – Policy & War• Advocates singularity of command Jomini• Sovereign and general are one• Fails to understand the roles of ruler and general Clausewitz• War is to be regarded as a political instrument• War decision to rest with sovereign Sun Tzu• No interference by the sovereign after declaration of war 76
Tactics• Taught Napolean’s method of war but as conditions Jomini changed the methods became outdated Clausewitz• Does not dwell much on the forms and methods of war• Do not repeat the tactics which have Sun Tzu gained you one victory but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances 78
Surprise and Deception Jomini• In terms of time and space Clausewitz• Surprise lies at the foundation of all undertakings• All warfare is based on deception Sun Tzu – When capable feign incapacity; When active, inactivity – When near make it appear you are far 79
Psycho-Moral Aspects Jomini• Hasn’t mentioned much about it Clausewitz• War is a battle of opposing wills, hence the breaching of enemy’s will should be the object of war Sun Tzu• Primary target in war is the mind of the opposing commander 80
Terrain Jomini• Hasn’t elaborated• Geography and the character of ground Clausewitz bear a close relation to warfare. They have an influence on engagement, its planning and exploitation Sun Tzu• A general who is unable to use ground properly is unfit for command 81
Intelligence Jomini• Efficient espionage and aggressive reconnaissance is vital for battle plan Clausewitz• Hasn’t covered• What enables the wise sovereign and the Sun Tzu good general to strike, conquer and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men, is foreknowledge 82
Stratagem“The skillful leader subdues the enemy troops without fighting; he captures their cities without laying siege to them; he overthrows their kingdom without any lengthy operations in field. With his forces intact, his triumph will be complete” 83
Aim of War Jomini• Destruction of enemy forces and capture of territory Clausewitz• Never grasped that true aim of war is peace and not victory Sun Tzu• There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare 84
Application of theory• Never commanded a division Jomini• Wrote about war from an observers viewpoint Clausewitz• Never commanded a division• Could not validate his theories through practice• Has put his own theories to test Sun Tzu• Wrote a treatise on war and proved his own theories 85