In this essay, I want to analyze at least some theses I discovered in The Art of War, the great work by the Chinese military commander, military theorist, and philosopher Sun Tzu, who lived in the 5th century BC. I considered the basic ideas, concepts, and criteria presented in the treatise, which might come in handy for a commander in his performance. This topic is relevant not only in a military environment, as the ability of units in the combat depends on commander skills, which largely determines the outcome of the battle, but also among the civilian population, as it certainly seeks safety, and the State as a whole.
In his treatise, Sun Tzu outlined the basics of waging war, as much as he could at the time, taking into account the level of science development. This level did not let Sun Tzu dissect the actual factors that determine the outcome of a war, moreover he could not create criteria, by which it would be possible to predict the course of a war.
In laying out the basics of waging war, Sun Tzu attempted to expand its strategic content.
The warfare, he said, is based on five factors: The Moral Law; Heaven; Earth; The Commander; Method and discipline. .
When examining the contents of the five factors that Sun Tzu put in the basis of warfare, you can see that the Moral Law is a moral unity between the ruler and his people, Heaven is the timing, Earth is the military and geographical element, The Commander is the qualities of the high command, Method and discipline are about training troops and supplying them.
For the successful waging of a war, according to Sun Tzu, you need a timing and knowledge of military geography. Almost half of his treatise is dedicated to the identification of values on the war and the rules of its use. Here the ancient theorist had many interesting thoughts. However, talking about Earth, Sun Tzu did not distinguish between the battlefield and the theatre of war as well as between political-geographical and tactical-topographic evaluation of terrain. This is due to the fact that there was no such differentiation in the ancient science at all.
Sun Tzu gave the Commander of all the talents and glory. The Commander, said he, who understands the war is the ruler of people destinies, and the protector of the State security.
Understanding the role of idealistic Commander led to an underestimation of the value of Sun Tzu’s military masses and their creative activity. The status of their forces, said Sun Tzu, is just one of the elements of the environment, which the military commander should take into account. The Commander responsibilities is the ability to assess an opponent, to win, be able to use terrain and distance. The skills for success in the war, crucial to Sun Tzu, are knowledge of the enemy and his troops.
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