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An Analysis of Sun Tzu's Art of War Sun Tzu was the author of the ancient treatise on military strategy,

the Art of War. Here is an analysis of the ideas he propounded, and how it is applicable to us even today. Sun Tzu was a Chinese military strategist and General who authored The Art of War, an ancient treatise on military strategy, which was written about 2,500 years back. The central premise of Sun Tzu's Art of War expounds that it is only through strategy that conflicts can be overcome and real victory achieved. This can be applied to our lives even today. Regardless of the kind of challenges that one faces in life, by applying the strategic principles of Sun Tzu one can achieve the following:

Being successful in relationships Becoming a master in your line of work, thus creating wealth Success in achieving whatever goals you have Dealing successfully with unforeseen challenges

The beauty of the kind of strategy, or bing-fa, as it is known in Chinese, taught by Sun Tzu is that you win by circumventing conflicts which usually end up being too costly. In other words, Sun Tzu's philosophy of strategy helps you to make wiser decisions in everyday life. It will train you to get your killer instincts under your control, reshaping it into a winning or profit-making skill. But, how exactly does the Art of War help you to achieve all this? Strategy is the process by which we study exactly what will work in order to overcome challenges. It is a powerful tool which helps you to understand the thinking process of other people, which in turn assists you in predicting how they will behave in a given situation. By training yourself in strategy, you develop the mind of a strategist, which is able to think several steps ahead of the other people you deal with. This is what provides the winning edge. Even though Sun Tzu used a Chinese term which means "planning" to name the first chapter of his book, his connotation is actually nearer to what can be called "competitive analysis" in English. In the first part of the chapter, Sun Tzu explains the main factors that form the basis of competitive structures. However, all through the book, the interrelations between the factors are given as much importance as the factors themselves. There are five basic factors that make up Sun Tzu's philosophy of strategy. They are: 1. Moral Ethics (Tao); 2. Climate or Timing (Tien); 3. Terrain or Ground (Di); 4. Leadership or Command (Jiang); 5. Methods (Fa) Prior to waging war, all these elements need to be examined in order to make a proper evaluation, or planning, to achieve success. Moral Ethics (Tao): Tao, which stands for "philosophy" or "way", is the core of factor of Sun Tzu's principles. In our day-to-day lives tao can be our central mission. It can form the uniting force in a competitive organization. If applied in business, for instance, tao helps to serve the real requirements of people, since the mission of the business becomes centered on them. It helps to attract customers, employees, supporters, and other associating allies. Basically, tao inculcates introspection which points towards the outcome of whatever action you may be contemplating on making before you actually commit to it. When thinking strategically, this is the key factor. Climate or Timing (Tien): The climate, or timing, in Sun Tzu's philosophy implied changes in the

weather, seasons, temperature, etc. Although in warfare conditions the climate can be one of the most uncontrollable factors, a good leader, or general, will know how to utilize them most advantageously. He will pick the most opportune moment to fight, using the bad weather in such a way that it causes the most harm to the enemy. Likewise, this can be applied in our personal lives too. In order to succeed, we must capitalize on whatever the situation may be. Seize opportunities despite the conditions being in a state of fluctuation, beyond our control, and turn them into advantages. The CEO of a business organization, for instance, must be able to modify his strategies according to the fluctuations in the business or economic environment or climate. Terrain or Ground (Di): The terrain or ground is the area in which military operations take place. Although the battlefield can also be an uncontrollable factor, a good leader will know how to use it in such a way that it is most advantageous to his own men, while being the least advantageous for the enemy. Thus, just like the climate, one can make choices which can bring uncontrollable factors under our control. The same principle can be applied to our daily lives. The ground, or the situation we are in, is what we usually have to cope with. It is often where we conduct our daily battles, and what we battle over. In order to deal with situations that are not under our control we must be flexible and adaptable, and be able to turn them into advantages. Leadership or Command (Jiang): By 'leadership' or 'command', Sun Tzu meant the abilities and qualities a general possessed. The commander is a representative of virtues like courage, wisdom, benevolence, sincerity, and strictness. A courageous leader wins by grabbing the opportunities that come his way without hesitating. A wise leader has the ability of recognizing changing situations and act accordingly. If benevolent, he empathizes with his men, and appreciates their toil and diligence. When he displays sincerity, his troops are assured of their just rewards as well as punishments. With strictness, he inculcates discipline in his men. The leader in any situation defines and creates his organizational unit by his skills of making correct decisions and his character. Methods (Fa): All the organizations we belong to, our systems, procedures and processes, are all elements of the methods we adopt to survive and win. The methods we use must be effective and efficient, along with being consistent with the central purpose of our lives or tao. The Art of War is a combination of deep philosophy as well as detailed prescriptions for winning by using correct tactics. The treatise begins with the direction that: "War is a matter of vital importance to the state; the province of life and death; the road to survival or ruin. It is mandatory that it be thoroughly studied." Further on, Sun Tzu goes on to explain that deception forms the basis of all warfare. Hence, in order to triumph, one must pretend to be incapable, although capable, pretend to be inactive, although active. If you are near your enemy, make him believe you are nowhere close, if you are far from him, give him to understand that you are close by. Sun Tzu was the pioneer of the "indirect approach" to winning in wars. Anyone who can master both the indirect and direct approach will be able to triumph over all odds. Although the topic of the treatise is war, but it can be applied broadly to any kind of competitive system in life. According to Sun Tzu, triumphing over any competition was a matter of surviving odds, and that survival was dependent on having particular skills, which can be acquired. Success in life, like in war, is largely based on the kind of relationship we have with the environments we find ourselves in, which are often beyond our control. Sun Tzu instructed that in order to be successful, one must be able to master all the elements that are not under our control, turning them into advantages. As Sun Tzu said: "For just as flowing water avoids the heights and hastens to the lowlands, so an army avoids strength and strikes weakness."

On War Plot Summary Preview of On War Summary: On War (Vom Kriege) is one of the great works of military strategy and theory in history, standing among such great works as The Art of War. On War was written by the Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz following the Napoleonic Wars. Clausewitz had been stunned by how totally Napoleon had dominated Europe and how he had appeared to change the nature of modern warfare, creating a larger scale war than Europe had arguably ever seen. Thus, one purpose of On War is to break war down into its constituent elements so that a comprehensive theory of war can be developed. Clausewitz wrote during the age of the great imperial Nation-States in the West, prior to widespread democratic government and following the medieval period. Thus On War concerns military conflicts between states. It does not speak to the conflicts of civil wars, rebellion, secession or terrorism. Clausewitz focuses on... On War Themes Moral vs. Physical Force One of Clausewitz's innovations in On War is to distinguish sharply between moral and physical forces and emphasize the importance of the moral over the physical. Physical forces include all the standard elements in a theory of war, including strength of numbers, position, type and number of arms, territory and timing. But moral forces include factors like moral, military virtue, military genius and so on. While troops certainly need physical nourishment they also need, for instance, a stable balance between tension and rest. Tension and rest illustrates a particularly important feature of the moral force, as it explains how soldiers often can have their spirits broken through excessive stress through constant fighting. On the other hand, too much rest produces its own sort of fatigue through boredom and loss of focus. Moral forces are much harder to theorize about, in Clausewitz's opinion, as they are more variable and seem to... On War Quotes "War therefore is an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfill our will." (Book I, Chapter I, 2) "If we desire to defeat the enemy, we must proportion our efforts to his powers of resistance. This is expressed by the product of two factors which cannot be separated, namely, the sum of available means and the strength of the Will." (Book I, Chapter I, 5) "War is the mere continuation of policy by other means." (Book I, Chapter I, 23) "Now is there, then, no kind of oil which is capable of diminishing this friction? Only one, and that one is not always available at the will of the Commander or his Army. It is the habituation of an Army to War." (Book I, Chapter III, 81) "The Art of War is therefore, in its proper sense, the art of making use of the given means in...

On War Objects/Places Prussia The major German state that was a world power in the 18th and 19th centuries. Clausewitz was Prussian. France The nation which Napoleon led to many fantastic victories in the early 19th century. The Battlefield For Clausewitz, it is on the battlefield where every aspect of war is ultimately determined. Friction The many obstacles that pop up when applying theory to practice. Strategy The means to achieving the aim of war as a whole. Tactics The means to achieving victory in battle. Military Genius The set of character traits that make up the character of a great military commander. Moral Powers The spirit and energy of a leader, soldier or army which determines most of its effectiveness. Strong spirit and moral consciousness makes an army far more effective. With a broken spirit, no army can fight for long. Battle The actual, concrete acts of violence that comprise war. War The attempt to impose one's will on an opponent by force.

Definition of War War Ware; aware.

A contest between nations or states, carried on by force, whether for defence, for revenging insults and redressing wrongs, for the extension of commerce, for the acquisition of territory, for obtaining and establishing the superiority and dominion of one over the other, or for any other purpose; armed conflict of sovereign powers; declared and open hostilities. A condition of belligerency to be maintained by physical force. In this sense, levying war against the sovereign authority is treason. Instruments of war. Forces; army. The profession of arms; the art of war. a state of opposition or contest; an act of opposition; an inimical contest, act, or action; enmity; hostility. To make war; to invade or attack a state or nation with force of arms; to carry on hostilities; to be in a state by violence. To contend; to strive violently; to fight. To make war upon; to fight. To carry on, as a contest; to wage.


[wawr] Show IPA noun, verb, warred, warring, adjective noun 1. a conflict carried on by force of arms, as between nations or between parties within a nation; warfare, as by land, sea, or air. 2. a state or period of armed hostility or active military operations: The two nations were at war with each other. 3. a contest carried on by force of arms, as in a series of battles or campaigns: the War of 1812. 4. active hostility or contention; conflict; contest: a war of words. 5. aggressive business conflict, as through severe price cutting in the same industry or any other means of undermining competitors: a fare war among airlines; a trade war between nations.