BOOK 1 – CONSIDERATIONS AND ESTIMATIONS FOR WAR
Destroy your enemy in any way you can, but never forget that he may have resources as well and may be prepared for your attack. Consider him a fool for self-aggrandizement if it is appropriate, but do not become vain in your estimation of him nor permit yourself to consider him weak-minded, regardless of appearance. Remember, you did not invent war and he may be maintaining his place of power in the same manner that you maintain yours. Never think that he is incapable of destroying you.
If he moves right, you move right in an encircling gesture—leaving some men to move left. If he moves left, you move left in an encircling gesture—leaving some men to move right. Do not permit him to flank you. If he moves back, you move forward-leaving some men in the rear for support. If he moves in, you move in with greater resolve taking care to outflank him. All of your troops must be committed to the battle. They must be well equipped.
Insult the enemy with subtlety where and when you can insult him; degrade where and when you can degrade. Offer fool’s bait and entice him to display his stupidity. Do something that may appear stupid and capitalize on his arrogance. Insult his children and insult his parents-it will anger him and bring about rash acts. Insult his wife-he physically joins with her and it will force him to focus his rage incorrectly. Insult him directly-as a commander he will be forced to protect his face and attack with less than well-thought-out tactics.
If he is not resolute in matters of war, he will easily be kept off guard. He will issue inappropriate orders, and his men will react without conviction and fall in battle. It is always best to let the enemy kill himself. If these actions do not motivate him towards combat, then you had best reconsider your enemy and his sense of beingness.
It is wise to keep the enemy on the move, forcing him to cover areas that ordinarily need no extended care. Create disturbances that force him to settle his mind elsewhere. Create dissension among his troops by providing them with gifts they would not ordinarily receive. Poison his food supplies. Disease his men with unclean women. Create a strain in his thinking and when he is flustered, drive in and destroy him-totally, including the people thought to be his allies who must be intimidated by your ferocity of purpose. If they were his allies, they cannot be your allies; at least in the present time. You will need time to watch them and see how they react to all of your actions and your enemy’s defeat.
Do what I tell you to do. You will then always be successful in war. If you ask what happens if he does the same things to you, you do not understand what I am talking about. Study deeply.
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