We must limit our war to a clear objective. We must use time productively and spend it wisely. We must have reserves in troops as well as money, we are not hungry for war. But will satisfy others appetites for war so they never hunger for war again.
Chapter 2 of the Art of War is ‘Waging War’ and for this I think of The Elephant. The elephant is slow to anger but has a violent temper and will use it to humble and drive off threats. Active during day and night, the elephant sleeps around two hours a day usually by standing up and remains ready to strike at anytime in defence of himself, his family and his herd. When an elephant sets its mind on something it will not waver. The elephants commitment will remain until the task is complete. The elephant remembers for a long time.
An elephants intelligence and personality must benefit the rest of his herd. And when we wage war we must do so to benefit our herd – the people as not to put them in harms way.
Trustworthy and honest the elephant remains to his herd and his task on hand.
Chapter Two: WAGING WAR
Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power,
and the glory, for ever and ever.
When fighting and victory is long in coming, tiredness and boredom come. In laying siege to a town, it exhausts our strength and focus. The resources of the State will not be equal to the strain. No man, will be able to avert the consequences of war.
In fighting we must seek victory quick. There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged war. By knowing the darkness of war we can understand the best way of fighting war. When on move – we must travel fast and forage on our enemy.
Our army must move quick and will have food and weapons for its needs. We must keep in mind expenses – in the past it was broken chariots, worn-out horses, breast-plates and helmets, bows and arrows, spears and shields, protective mantles, draught-oxen and heavy wagons, which amounted to four-tenths of its total revenue – think of what expenses we are likely to occur and have them in reserve now. The wise general makes a point of foraging on the enemy and being mindful of expenses.
To kill the enemy, the soldiers must anger. Consider the advantage in defeating the enemy quick. Our soldiers should be treated generously. Captured soldiers should be treated honourbly as the conquered foe must feel able to join us and increase our own strength.
Otto von Bismarck said ‘Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think hard before starting a war’ so be mindful that eyes of soldiers our own and the enemies will haunt us until our own deaths and should innocents – civilians die their memories will haunt us even more.
In war the object is victory, not lengthy campaigns. War is no game. We are the judge of others fate. We are the ones on whom it depends whether the nation will have peace or be in peril.
Waging war costs money. If our army marches abroad, our treasury will deplete at home. We must think of organising our campaigns with least effort and resources. We must think of ways of using resources of our enemy. Our commands must be direct and clear for the entire army.
Tupac Shakur said “Fear is stronger than love, remember that. Fear is stronger than love. All that love I gave didn’t mean nothing when it came to fear.” Our dark sides are much more primitive and powerful and we dress them up in fancy and colourful words and thoughts. War is about fear – not love. Our army and our enemies are both fearful of the consequences of violence and war, the love both sides have is for the people they have left behind. It is in their name that we fight.
Important Quotes to remember:
“There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.”
“It is only who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on.”
“Bring war material with you from home, but forage on the enemy. Thus the army will have food enough for its needs.”
“Now in order to kill the enemy, our men must be roused to anger; that there may be advantage from defeating the enemy, they must have their rewards.”
“Use the conquered foe to augment one’s own strength.”
“In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.”