SUBJECT: Book Report on Sun Tzu The Art of War and its Pertinence to Combat
Sun Tzu was a Chinese military general, strategist, and philosopher from the Zhou Dynasty. He was believed to have lived somewhere in the time period of the Warring States from 476-221 BC. Scholars believe he is the author of The Art of War, an extremely influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy. Other scholars however, believe that Sun Tzu was in fact a combination of different generals and tacticians and that The Art of War was a collection of their combined efforts and wisdom. The Art of War was discovered in the 8th century in Japan where it was released to the masses and saw an explosion in popularity during the 20th century. Prior to that, it was a collection kept under secrecy allowed only to the reigning emperor. The entire work is the foundation for military tactics today. There are three key principles developed by Sun Tzu, know your enemy and know yourself and in 100 battles you will never be in peril. To win 100 battles is not the height of skill, to subdue the enemy without fighting is. Avoid what is strong and attack what is week. Utilizing these three key principles, Sun Tzu focused on achieving his goal with the minimal amount of casualties and resources. In his book, Sun Tzu teaches “winning without conflict.” Conflict is expensive and the cost is ultimately burdened by the people of the states. Beating opponents and winning battles may satisfy the ego, but Sun Tzu considers that goal a foolish one. This belief can be seen through every war that American has been engaged in and the cost it has taken monetarily as well as emotionally on the people. In every conflict that America has been engaged in, tactics and teachings of Sun Tzu were either utilized by American forces, or against American forces. During the Vietnam war, General Vo Nguyen Giap, the military mastermind behind victories over American forces in Vietnam, was an...
References: Sunzi, Ralph D. Sawyer, Mei-chün Sawyer, and Bin Sun. The Complete Art of War. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1996. Print.
Sun Tzu. The Art of War. Tokyo: Project Gutenburg, 1910.
Sun Tzu/ Lionel Giles. The Art of War: Sun Tzu. London: Pax Librorium, 1905.
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