This is a short chapter. Tzu has established in the last chapter how war is to be framed, and now he discusses how war is to be waged. The goal is not to be in the battle long – the goal is to win. It is the general’s role to win the war.
“6. There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.” Loc 122
Violence is rarely the right answer, and even when it is – it should be used aggressively to bring itself to a halt. If you’re in a fight – win the fight. Don’t build a country – or a life – that depends on being in a state of prolonged warfare and battle.
“18. In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.” Loc 142
In Moore’s Crossing the Chasm, the book is oriented around the metaphor of an invasion fleet. If you’re in a battle – win the battle. If you stretch out the battle, let that be for the purpose of winning.
Page by Page, Screen by Screen
All numbers below refer to the Amazon Kindle location.
“6. There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.”
“14. Hence a wise general makes a point of foraging on the enemy.”
“18. In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.”
“19. Thus it may be known that the leader of armies is the arbiter of the people’s fate, the man on whom it depends whether the nation shall be in peace or in peril.”