100 Sun Tzu's The Art of War
Sun Tzu said: When you dispatch troops for a battle, you must consider you will require one thousand swift war chariots, one thousand heavy war chariots and one hundred thousand soldiers. Besides, you will require enough provisions for them to cover a thousand miles. Therefore it will spend one thousand pieces of gold a day for the expenditure both at home and on the front, for the entertainment of advisers and counsellors, for the maintenance cost of materials such as glue and lacquer, chariots and armours. After you have had enough money, your hundred thousand bold warriors can go out to battle.
In military operations a long-drawn-out victory will make the whole army dull and tired out, and dampen the spirit and enthusiasm of the soldiers; a drawn-out siege of a city will exhaust their strength; a protracted campaign abroad will deplete the financial resources of the state. If the army is tired out, the soldiers' enthusiasm is dampened and their strength exhausted, and the state's treasury is depleted, the neighbouring princes will take advantage of your difficulty and attack you and do you harm. By that time, not even an able or wise counsellor can steer clear of danger to safety. Though we have heard of criticism of a hasty campaign, we have never seen the cleverness in prolonging a war, and we have never heard a protracted war can benefit a country. It is obvious that he who doesn't fully understand the dangers inherent in military operations cannot fully master the method of conducting the army in a profitable way.
He who is adept in military operations never raises an army twice nor provides food again and again. He brings along military supplies from his own country, and obtains provisions in the enemy state. In this way, the whole army can be sufficiently provided with food.
Generally, transporting supplies to a distant place will impoverish the state that dispatches troops to wage war. At the same time, it will render the common people destitute. Besides, the prices of commodities normally soar near the battleground or the area where the troops are stationed; and the high price will drain away the common people's financial resources; and the financial exhaustion will lead to urgent exactions. With such financial depletion, every household in the country is stripped bare, about seven-tenths of the people's wealth is sent, and six-tenths of the state's revenue is dissipated, with chariots broken, horses worn out, weapons lost or worn, including armours and helmets.arrows and crossbows, halberds and bucklers, spears and shields, draught oxen and heavy wagons and the like.
Hence a wise commander should strive to get provisions in the enemy state. The consumption of one zhong* of food from the enemy is equivalent to twenty zhong from his own land; and the consumption of one dan* of enemy fodder to twenty dan of his.
*zhong: ancient Chinese unit of dry measure for food.
*dan: ancient Chinese unit of dry measure for grain.
If you want to slay the enemy, you must first rouse the hatred of your soldiers for the enemy, if you want to obtain the enemy's property, you must first give your soldiers material reward. If your army captures ten chariots in a chariot battle, you must reward the first who took the enemy's chariot. Replace the enemy's flags and banners with your own and mix the captured chariots with yours. At the same time, you should treat the captives well and know how to choose them for the right positions. As the saving goes, 'The more times you defeat the enemy the stronger you will be!'
Military operations should aim at speedy victory and not prolonged campaigns.
Therefore, the commander who is versed in the art of war is the man to determine the people's fate and to control the security of the nation.
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