Chapter 2 - Waging War

When employing the military in battle, a victory that is long in coming will blunt their weapons and dampen their ardor. If you attack cities, their strength will be exhausted. If you expose the army to prolonged campaign, the state's resources will be inadequate. When our weapons have grown dull and spirits depressed, when our strength has been expended and resources consumed, then the feudal lords will take advantage of our exhaustion to arise. Even though you have wise generals, they will not be able to achieve a good result. Thus in military campaigns I have heard of awkward speed but have never seen any skill in lengthy campaigns. No country has ever profited from protracted warfare. Those who do not thoroughly comprehend the dangers inherent in employing the army are incapable of truly knowing the potential advantages of military actions.

One who excels in employing the military does not conscript the people twice or transport provisions a third time. If you obtain your equipment from within the state and rely on seizing provisions from the enemy, then the army's foodstuffs will be sufficient.
The state is impoverished by the army when it transports provisions far off. When provisions are transported far off, the hundred surnames are impoverished.
Those in proximity to the army will sell their goods expensively. When goods are expensive, the hundred surnames' wealth will be exhausted. When their wealth is exhausted, they will be extremely hard pressed to supply their village's military impositions.

What motivates men to slay the enemy is anger.

The army values being victorious, it does not value prolonged warfare. Therefore, a general who understands warfare is Master of Fate for people, ruler of the state's security or endangerment.

No comments:

Post a Comment