From Project Gutenberg.
IV. TACTICAL DISPOSITIONS


 1. Sun Tzu said:  The good fighters of old first put
    themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then
    waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy.

 2. To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our
    own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy
    is provided by the enemy himself.
 3. Thus the good fighter is able to secure himself against defeat,
    but cannot make certain of defeating the enemy.

 4. Hence the saying:  One may know how to conquer
    without being able to do it.

 5. Security against defeat implies defensive tactics;
    ability to defeat the enemy means taking the offensive.

 6. Standing on the defensive indicates insufficient
    strength; attacking, a superabundance of strength.

 7. The general who is skilled in defense hides in the
    most secret recesses of the earth; he who is skilled in
    attack flashes forth from the topmost heights of heaven. 
    Thus on the one hand we have ability to protect ourselves;
    on the other, a victory that is complete.

 8. To see victory only when it is within the ken
    of the common herd is not the acme of excellence.

 9. Neither is it the acme of excellence if you fight
    and conquer and the whole Empire says, "Well done!"

10. To lift an autumn hair is no sign of great strength;
    to see the sun and moon is no sign of sharp sight;
    to hear the noise of thunder is no sign of a quick ear.

11. What the ancients called a clever fighter is
    one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease.

12. Hence his victories bring him neither reputation
    for wisdom nor credit for courage.

13. He wins his battles by making no mistakes. 
    Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty
    of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is
    already defeated.

14. Hence the skillful fighter puts himself into
    a position which makes defeat impossible, and does
    not miss the moment for defeating the enemy.

15. Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist
    only seeks battle after the victory has been won,
    whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights
    and afterwards looks for victory.

16. The consummate leader cultivates the moral law,
    and strictly adheres to method and discipline; thus it is
    in his power to control success.

17. In respect of military method, we have,
    firstly, Measurement; secondly, Estimation of quantity;
    thirdly, Calculation; fourthly, Balancing of chances;
    fifthly, Victory.

18. Measurement owes its existence to Earth;
    Estimation of quantity to Measurement; Calculation to
    Estimation of quantity; Balancing of chances to Calculation;
    and Victory to Balancing of chances.

19. A victorious army opposed to a routed one, is as
    a pound's weight placed in the scale against a single grain.

20. The onrush of a conquering force is like the bursting
    of pent-up waters into a chasm a thousand fathoms deep.

The Art of War by Sun Tzu.

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