Sun Tzu’s Strategy to Triumph in Warfare and Personal Success as Indicated in His Work, The Art of War

December 10, 2020 by Essay Writer

The Art of War

The Art of War by Sun Tzu, is an ancient text which holds the key to victory in war and life. The methods of war that are described in this book seem to be philosophies rather than methods; for they can be used outside the regiment of war and into everyday life situations and struggles. The philosophies in the book were used in Ancient China by Sun Tzu himself to defeat an army of three hundred thousands with an army of barely thirty thousand. He acted as a commander but also as a master of philosophy. The instructions that in the text are found were written for the eyes of emperors and their war commanders only, but when the secret finally broke out, his tactics were being used all around the world. The war history of the United States seems to be foretold by this text. The text foretells the reason behind the Nazi’s ultimate doom in WWII and why the United States would be defeated in Vietnam.

When it comes to Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, knowing his words will lead you to prevail, ignoring them will lead you to fight in darkness. Tzu’s core principles were used by the United States to win the war against the Nazi in WWII, and the ignorance of the same, caused the United States to lose the War in Vietnam. These principles can be summarized by three quotes from the text: “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” and “Avoid what it’s strong, attack what is weak.” In a modern, yet similar scenario, the North Vietnamese leader, like Sun Tzu, faced a force ten times greater than his. The force so feared was the anticommunist United States, the superpower of democracy and capitalism. The United States never lost a fight against the minimal North Vietnamese army, however, it did lose the war. Through the loses suffered by the Northern Vietnamese, they came to know their enemy and themselves; they learned to avoid what was strong and to attack what was weak. The United States came to learn that “to win 100 battles is not the height of skill; to subdue the enemy without fighting is.” North Vietnam, won the war, not because they won the fighting war, but because they won the moral war. The images that were broadcasted of the “Tet Offensive,” resulted in the United States losing support at home and in consequence losing the war. Losing the Vietnam War, reminded the United States of the philosophy which they used to win the fight against the Nazi during WWII, that is, that most battles are won by using intellect, not brute force.

In WWII, the Nazi came to be an unstoppable force. With an ever growing army and knowledge of their surroundings, the Nazi’s were able to conquer massive amount of land in relative little time and minimal resistance. The United States seemed to be in a lose-lose situation, because they had to mobilized its army to France in order to take back control of this essential land. The problem faced by the United States was mobilizing its army in bright light would be sending them to faced death by the hands of awaiting enemy. When the United States, finally came into the war they followed Sun Tzu’s instructions to “let [their] plans be dark as night and then attack like thunderbolt.” Like the North Vietnamese leader would do a decade from then, the United States used deception to move the Nazis from their point of advantage and into a false battle; the United States then attacked and took over Normandy which was let underprotected by the deceived Germans. With Normandy secured, the United States pathed their way down to victory.

When it comes to everyday, Sun Tzu’s teachings are as effective as they are to victory in war. For instance, in an election, whether it be a national or as simple as a school election, knowing your enemy and yourself is essential to winning the popular vote. Everyday life is like chess, when the opponent lets his weakness visible, one must attack that weakness and avoid the opponent’s strengths. And finally, in the game of life, winning can only be effectively won by using intellect, not brute force. Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, prove to be the essential instructions to victory both in war and life.

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