Chapter 12 - Incendiary Attacks

There are five types of incendiary attack: The first is to incinerate men, the second to incinerate supply provisions, the third to incinerate supply trains, the fourth to incinerate armories, and the fifth to incinerate formation.

Now if someone is victorious in battle and succeeds in attack but does not exploit the acheivement, it is disastrous.

If it is not advantageous, do not move. If objectives cannot be attained, do not employ the army. Unless endangered do not engage in warfare. The ruler cannot mobilize the army out of personal anger. The general cannot engage in battle because of personal frustration. When it is advantageous, move; when not advantageous, stop. Anger can revert to happiness, annoyance can revert to joy, but a vanquished state cannot be brought back to life. Thus the unenlightened ruler is cautious about it, the good general respectful of it. This is the Tao for bringing security to the state and preserving the army intact.

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