In Chapter 1 – Making of Plans, You learned to not hasten into war in a fit of anger. Take the necessary time to analyze Your 5 Fundamentals against those of Your Enemy. Only when complete, exhaustive and honest analysis proves beyond a doubt that You will be victorious, and only after you have designed and tested infinite strategies, should You make the final decision to wage war.
In Chapter 2 – Waging of War, You learned to not under estimate the prohibitive cost of war. It is an ongoing cost, piling up daily, and borne by You – unless You can shift the cost to The Enemy. A supersonic, wicked strong and single-minded war will end quickly and inexpensively, leave Your reputation intact and Your allies still Your allies. Reward Your supporters and bring the battleground back to normal quickly.
Chapter 3 – Strategic Offensive
Master Sun said:
Than destroy it.
Than destroy them.
Ultimate excellence lies
Not in winning
But in defeating the enemy
Without ever fighting.
The highest form of warfare
Is to attack
The lowest form of war is
Is a last resort.
In Strategic Offensive we return quickly to the Taoist concept of The Way – inherent and unexplainable rightness – in stating that it is better (The Way) to take a State intact than to destroy it. It is much more honorable and ethical – not to mention the positive spin that could be generated on worldwide cable TV and at the United Nations – to simply render The Enemy impotent… to seize control and leave the infrastructure intact.
Regardless the size of the organism being battled, Your reputation and esteem will suffer less – could actually be enhanced if your gripe serendipitously follows The Way – by diminishing the damage during initial occupation.
The Mother of All Strategies – The Way to the nth! – would be to win the battle without ever fighting, employing the Taoist ideal that the most Skillful Warrior is never warlike.
Ultimately the goal of waging war is to control or overpower The Enemy. This can be achieved using the exhaustive planning and testing from Making of Plans. Duplicity and deception, as we mentioned in “Two Negatives Make a Positive”, can be a means to this end. Psychology or espionage can also lead to pitching a no-hitter. The use of firepower is an immediate detour off The Way.
There is a hierarchy which can be followed so as to diminish the damage of conflict. Attack at the point of strategy – while Your opponent is still planning. Next, break the ties of Your Enemy – isolate him from allies. If you must engage, have your professionals fight their professionals. And never, ever, ever attack The People.
Next time, how does all this relate to the Cube Dweller.