BOOK 1 – CONSIDERATIONS AND ESTIMATIONS FOR WAR
The wrong weapons placed in the hands of untrained soldiers will result in defeat because of a lack of consideration given the matter by the leader. Generally, men know their own weapons and are comfortable with them. Choose your men with great care and consideration. To let fate choose your situation invites defeat. As a warlord you must be courageous. When you have chosen your men, keep them at your breast, nurture them, and care for them. They will not fail you under these conditions. Never betray them, regardless of your anger at their mistakes. They must know you will die in battle with them if it is required. Think about the following ideas with deep resolve. Meditate with understanding. Preparation for war takes considerable study before orders should be passed to generals and then to the captains and ranks.
1) The morality of the project is essential to the outcome of the project. You must know what it is you wish to accomplish and why. Be firm in your resolve and certain that your generals and captains agree with your desires and can be depended upon to take the matter to the final point. Do they believe strongly enough in your ideal to sacrifice everything that has to be sacrificed for the accomplishment of the goal? Do they believe in you as a leader? Do YOU believe in yourself as a leader? If everything is balanced in your favor then proceed to the next step. If not, rethink your attitudes and desires.
2) The atmosphere and the general attitude is most important. Are the times correct, and can you properly prepare for battle? Have you considered alternatives to the plan of operation? Can you control the needs of your troops with regards to their sustenance? Can your supply lines be made secure? If you investigate these matters and plan correctly, your troops will be secure in your leadership and will not turn on you in mutinous fashion.
3) Are you capable of standing alone when necessary and making decisions that will govern the outcome of the enterprise? Can you penetrate with depth and escape at will? Is there room to renegotiate a situation (should it become necessary), in order to protect the overall condition of your plan? If not, then you must rethink the conditions and put them to your advantage. Once the war begins someone must win and someone must lose, unless both sides are insecure in their desires.
4) Do you have control over those who will wish to be in charge when you have taken your new domain? Will those you delegate authority to be able to deal with the new responsibilities thrust upon them? Do your troops consider you to be compassionate and strong, yet fair, humane, and truly concerned for their welfare? If they do not, then you will never be able to put your plans into motion.
5) Will you do whatever is necessary to accomplish your goals, irrespective of the feelings of others who may otherwise wish you harm? You must be strong enough to confront those who will seek to pull you down. To accomplish your goals, you must consider the reactions of those you are not taking into consideration in your ultimate plan. Even if they believe in you, they will interfere because they know you are not keeping their well-being in mind. If you lie to them, they will know that too. Their attempts at revenge will be sweet to them regardless of your success or failure.
6) The above matters taken into consideration; the warlord’s general philosophy of the ideal must be made manifest before any physical action is taken. Are those to be deposed and reassigned able to maintain their dignity? Have you provided for their needs if you are unable to crush them resolutely? Are the enemy’s men you are saving and delegating authority to able to deal with the changes they must come to terms with?
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