The Art of War and War Essay

Submitted By kobra1
Words: 1082
Pages: 5

War Games

How often is a book or guide that was written in the first century BC still used in this modern day society? Hardly any other writings have that level of prestige. Sun Tzu was a tactical genius and wrote “The Art of War.” This book is still read, studied, and practiced by many of today's leaders and military tacticians. The art of war is considered a masterpiece on the philosophy of war and how to manage conflicts and win battles. Though it has been very hard to determine the true conditions of its creation, it is estimated to have been completed around 220 BC during the Han dynasty. This book has served as the main center of a compilation of multiple strategies that formed the base of orthodox military theory in China. However this book is not only popular among the Chinese. Many modern day military theorists have read and used these strategies as well as political leaders and even people in business management. The Art of War is not only about battles and war, but also talks a lot about public administration, diplomacy, and the importance of relationships with other nations. The Japanese were among the first of nations, besides China, to adopt The Art of War. Its techniques were honored among the samurai. The Japanese admiral of the Togo Heihachiro Fleet used the book and claimed it was a main aspect of their victory over Russia in the Russo-Japanese War. Also, this manuscript can be rooted back to communism. Though it did not teach communist ideas, the Chinese leader known as Mao Zedong used the military tactics to create a form of guerrilla warfare which influenced Communism world wide. Though proven useful many times over, American leaders did not take it seriously until the learned their lesson in Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh had the book translated into Vietnamese for his officers who fought by the guidelines. Since Vietnam, The Department of the Army in the United States placed The Art of War as a main source of knowledge for all military official as well as require them to prepare presentation to teach lower ranking members of the military. Even in the 1990s, during the Persian Gulf War, generals Norman Schwarzkopf and Colin Powell used the principles of speed, deception, and targeting of the enemy's weaknesses to achieve victory. Sun Tzu's book, The Art of War is composed of thirteen chapters. Each chapter is a detailed description of an aspect of warfare. These chapters range from “Estimates” of war, such as terrain, weather, and command, to the “Employment of Secret Agents.” As aggressive as the title makes it sound, Sun Tzu's ideas on warfare are to first attempt victory without bloodshed by recoiling and isolating your enemy from their allies and avoid besieging your enemies. However, he was no fool and knew that victory in this manner was extremely rare and nearly impossible. Therefore, Sun Tzu goes into detail about offensive strategy, maneuvering, strengths and weaknesses, and destructive forces, such as fire. Each one of these aspects is its own detailed chapter. The “Maneuver” chapter states how much more advantageous it is to have an organized, well disciplined, army as opposed to a disorderly mob. Also, patience is touched on as well stating that rushing a single goal or forcing a full army into a quick march is certain to lead them to failure and death. The “Weaknesses and Strengths” chapter focuses a lot on deception. The use of bait and harassment can prove valuable to achieving victory. It also tells how to exploit weaknesses and how even strong defensive positions can have weaknesses. The other chapters and aspects of Sun Tzu's book can be expanded on and explained for dozens of more hours. However, it may be more simple to show how it can be used in so many ways that Sun Tzu never could have imagined. The Art of War is not considered the greatest war manual based solely on its presence in numerous wars and battles that all resulted in victory,…